Since appearing as a finalist in season five of The Next Food Network Star, Korean-American chef Debbie Lee has been busy slipping her fingers into a lot of pies locally, holding a pop-up stint at BreadBar, consulting on an iteration or two of a long-lost relative’s Culver City Korean restaurant Gyenari, and starting food trucks dedicated to Korean pub grub and poutine. Throughout it all, she’s maintained a promise to eventually open a brick and mortar restaurant based on her whole "I’m a little bit country, I’m a little bit K-Pop" schtick, most often referred to as her "Seoul cooking." Now, Lee’s PR team sends early word that the chef is opening her own "Ahn Joo Snack Bar."
The restaurant is expected on November 10th, but the location, as per a press release, won’t be announced until a local food blog or writer exposes it. This should take roughly about ten seconds, as we’re told it is in one of the most "high profile, visible, and highly trafficked locales" in the city. Whoever finds the restaurant, takes a photo, and tags @AhnJooLA on Twitter gets an invite to the opening and $100 to spend there. They will also cause the release of the menus as well as more details, while stealing a job away from some poor corporate food blogger somewhere (sigh).
Anyway, we’ve been off the streets for a minute, but we’re going to say oh, the former Lemon Basket or Soul Daddy space would be a good place to start. And funnily enough, a quick search on Google appears to pinpoint the location through UrbanSpoon at Sunset and Cahuenga at 6424 W. Sunset Blvd. Could the mystery already be over? Do we get to split the prize with UrbanSpoon?*** Are we having fun yet?
Like Lee’s new cookbook, the restaurant will serve Korean pub grub, maybe even the same kind featured at Gyenari when Lee was doing her Seoulful menu nights there. Either way, we won’t really know for sure until one of you gets off their duff and starts looking, so ride like the wind young foodies, and godspeed!
***It turns out the location is at Americana at Brand in Glendale, as per a finding the next day.