The busy — very busy — folks from SM Entertainment have a new project up and running this week in the Koreatown area, and it involves bulgogi puff pies and japchae fried dumplings, among other things. The entertainment megalith is perhaps best known for its massive footprint in the K-Pop world, having brought groups like SuperM, Red Velvet, and EXO to the world’s stage, and now they’re moving into the Los Angeles food delivery scene.
This week, SM Entertainment launched an online-only version of their popular restaurant and club compound SMT. The company already operates (again, very busy) locations of SMT in Seoul, Korea and in Tokyo, and has long planned to bring a similar two-story compound to the heart of Koreatown in Los Angeles, just east of Western across from the now-closed Here’s Looking at You. But with the coronavirus still keeping things mostly locked down locally, and with long delays and extended lead times in the construction world, for now the company is starting with takeout.
The new SMT menu, which launched on Wednesday, is meant to be a slightly upscale but still very approachable first peek into what SMT will eventually be in Los Angeles. There are egg and bulgogi bowls, fried rice balls with different fillings, gable chicken wings, and more, with pickup and delivery available from DoorDash and GrubHub to start. The menu is new for Los Angeles and overseen by the same SMT kitchen staff that will be on-hand to cook at the restaurant and live event venue once such things are allowed.
That space is still coming together, with reps telling Eater that things likely won’t open up for at least a little while, until the SMT team feels comfortable letting folks inside to dine, drink, and sing karaoke upstairs in individual private rooms. There will still be a stage downstairs as well, with rotating acts and sit-down dinner service, plus bar access. For now, the closest one can come to all that, though, is some K-Pop-infused Koreatown takeout.