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Shiku, a Spinoff of the Beloved Baroo, Opens at Grand Central Market Friday

Kwang Uh and Mina Park are doing Korean lunch boxes, banchan, home pantry staples, and more from the former Valerie space in the thick of Downtown LA

An overhead shot of Korean banchan side dishes.
Banchan from Shiku
Mina Park/Shiku

It’s been almost a full year since the LA Times first got word on Shiku, the incoming Grand Central Market restaurant from Kwang Uh and Mina Park of Baroo fame. Now the Korean restaurant is ready for its official debut, with an opening slated for Friday, January 15.

In an email to Eater, Park says that Shiku will begin life as a pared-down takeaway focusing on comfort food of a sort, particularly doshirak, or Korean lunch boxes. Each tin will contain three banchan sides and one main item served over rice, like soy-marinated short rib galbi, pork. belly, Korean fried chicken, shiitake mushrooms, and more. Each of those mains can be scaled up to make a family meal with banchan to go, and Shiku will also dip into pantry staples and other home goods as well. A full list of items available at opening, from housemade gochujang and sesame oil to Korean snacks, can be found on the restaurant’s website.

The new Shiku takes over for the closed Valerie space inside of Grand Central Market, just behind Eggslut. Prior to this week’s arrival, Park and Uh had previously been operating as Baroo Canteen out of the now-demolished East Hollywood Swap Meet; they closed that shop. because of the incoming construction in late 2019.

The original Baroo, a strip mall sensation further west on Santa Monica Boulevard, became a national sensation thanks to Uh’s thoughtful, inventive, fermentation-forward cooking. That restaurant closed in 2018, but Uh and Park say they’d like to still reopen a version of Baroo somewhere in Los Angeles down the line. For now, it’s all about Shiku, opening Friday.

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