Pinkies up, ladies and gents. Owner Robert Kim and chef/partner Michael Hung's glamorous new Koreatown restaurant, Mama Lion, has officially opened its doors, adding yet another key player to the neighborhood's thriving culinary scene (Terra Cotta and Here's Looking at You opened just last year, and don't even get us started on the always-buzzing Korean BBQ hot spots). This glitzy new supper club, located on the corner of Western Avenue and 6th Street, is making a serious statement with stunning, high-concept interiors and an impressive, upscale menu.
Informed by former posts at Faith & Flower in Downtown and Viviane inside the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills, Hung knows a thing or two about satisfying L.A. taste buds. (Though he's also impressed the San Francisco crowd after working at James Beard Award-winning Jardinière and Michelin-starred La Folie.) At Mama Lion, the lauded chef is dishing out a contemporary, California-style menu of upscale shared plates spanning finger foods, raw bar selections, inventive main dishes and sweet tooth-satisfying confections.
From seared froie grois and caviar service (yes, you read that correctly) to uni tostadas and apricot soufflés, the seasoned chef is serving up a little taste of luxury that'll pair perfectly with the range of craft cocktails prepped by Aiden Demarest of the Spare Room, Seven Grand among other high-end cocktail bars in L.A. Also on our radar? Truffled white bean hummus with crispy flat bread, hamachi tartare with Asian pears and Korean chilis, and a 28-day, dry-aged prime New York steak. (For the full menu, click here.)
The palatable spread is complemented by equally intriguing interiors, dreamt up by West Coast design firm, Kelly Architects, whose projects read like a who's who of L.A. restaurants, including Hinoki and the Bird, Clifton's Cafeteria, Copa d' Oro and more. Industrial-style exposed beams, brick walls, glimmering chandeliers, sumptuous leather seating, and mixed metal design details created the perfect backdrop for late-night cocktails and fancy dinners.
If you're looking for the kind of swanky, laid-back restaurant for lounging with a martini in hand or impressing a first date, this is your new go-to. After dinner Mama Lion transforms into a lounge with a DJ. Bottle service is available on most nights.