On the heels of Starry Kitchen’s closing announcement, two more unfortunate shutters have struck our celebrated Asian dining scene, one a stalwart of Pasadena that offers elegant Chinese cuisine, the other a nearly seven-year-old strip mall favorite in Koreatown.
Eater reports that Yujean Kang’s is calling it quits after 20 years in Old Towne Pasadena, ending a run of Chinese fine-dining from the chef of the same name, of whom SinoSoul blogger Tony Chen once wrote, “He has forgotten more ‘old-school’ Chinese dishes than most have tasted.” Kang closed yesterday, he claims, because he signed one helluva bad lease right before the latest recession struck and now that his landlord is willing to help him reduce it, he seeks to take some time off and ponder his next direction.
Over in Koreatown, Western Avenue’s Mapo Jip, which specialized in a pork neck potato stew lauded as “plenty satisfying” by Food GPS in its essential “Vitamin P” column, recently closed its doors after nearly seven years. A sure loss to all porkers in love with the other white meat, the restaurant has been replaced by another enterprising ramen provider, this time in the guise of one Isa Ramen.
Isa combines Japanese curry, takoyaki, and California and spicy tuna rolls with a sprawling menu carrying twelve options for ramen, including hakata, Yokohama-style ramen, and its titular isa ramen.
Isa Ramen, 740 S Western Ave. Koreatown.