Everything about this small Eatery is appealing to me. Hidden in a Strip Mall somewhere on Santa Monica and Wilton (yep, not a great area) it is perfectly tucked away between cheap down to earth stores (translation: not so cute, shabby places). There is no sign, is this "Baroo"? It feels as if you enter someone's living room. Small personal details. Piles of used cookbooks, a Baseball hat on the shelf. We order at the counter. The super friendly longhaired Korean Dude with Glasses and Hat wearing a dirty T-shirt takes our order. We throw a tip in a jar. By the way, the nice guy at the Counter is Chef and Owner Uh Kwang. "Baroo" is his Kingdom of warm, friendly, gorgeous food he creates. "Free Style Test Kitchen" it says on Baroo´s Website.
This guy loves and knows Food, you can tell. Homemade Pasta on large Racks is sitting on the Bookshelf to dry.
Large Pickle jars everywhere, handwritten labels. Uh loves to ferment and pickle. He earned his stripes in various Michelin Star restaurants, studied in Italy and finally-Thank God!- opened up this unpretentious Hole in the Wall.
"Baroo" means "Bowl" and it refers to the one Bowl a buddhist monk is allowed to own.
Uh Kwang keeps it simple in his very personal Eatery and yet his food is of an impressive, bright complexity. When I taste the "Bibim Salad" i can´t help it :"This is fantastic!". Chef Kwang loves to hear that. He pays attention to his customers, he cares if you enjoy your food. All Bowls have many different components: different grains, oats, seeds, colorful pickled veggies, eggs, meat, powdered fruit etc. (Vegan options available)
We thank him for the amazing Food Experience. A small, humble smile flies across his face. This Dude has arrived, you can tell.
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