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West LA’s Celebrity-Backed Modern Vietnamese Restaurant Lasts Under a Year

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Despite loads of praise, Khong Ten will close this weekend

Khong Ten bar inside tabletops
Khong Ten
Khong Ten
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Even in the best of times, it can be a struggle for restaurants to stay afloat. That’s a hard lesson being learned yet again by longtime catering chef Kim Vu and partner Don Andes, a veteran operator from The Holloway and Little Joy, as they prepare to close Khong Ten this weekend in West LA. The modern Vietnamese spot lasted under one year.

Vu notified Eater of the upcoming closure just today, saying August 3 will be the restaurant’s final day of service, and that they’ll be working up as much of the regular menu as they have left until then. Vu and Andes first took over the former Freddy Smalls space on Pico Boulevard last summer, before opening in September of 2018. Fresh Off the Boat child actor Hudson Yang was also one of the restaurant’s major backers, and he spent time promoting the place on social media and in the news.

But in today’s saturated dining scene, with lots of competition from nearby Sawtelle, Santa Monica, and beyond, the pushes weren’t enough to keep Khong Ten afloat. Vu tells Eater that the plan is to revamp the space and offer up something new down the line, though it’s unclear just what shape the space will take in the future.

Khong Ten. 11520 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA.