Ohh yes. It’s time to make our way down to the Rockstar of the region for the last year or so. The Far East Plaza. This once obscure and unknown shopping center is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing and more frequented hubs for Hip young adults looking for a tasty bite to eat. Sun up or Sun Down this place definitely feels like it feeds people. Chinatown Nightlife
In my eyes the revival of this space what spear headed by Mr. Roy Choi with the opening of his popular Chego spot, and someone who I have taken alot of interest in recently (due to his creativity) Mr. Alvin Cailan; The Father of Eggslut in Grand Central Market. Cailan is responsible for opening Ramen Champ in the building (recently sold/transferred to Yoshimasa Kasai) and his crowning achievement Unit 120: A Culinary Incubator that “guides budding culinary talent in the right direction…Unit 120 is where opportunity meets preparation.
Culinary hopefuls take their concept, menu or partnership that they’re unsure of, and test it out.” That’s Genius and I applaud him for taking such a strong position of leadership in the budding culinary scene that’s taking root in downtown. And when I say budding I mean the totally new face of food in LA. The future way the city eats is taking place right before our eyes and The Far East Plaza is a great place to experience that first hand.
It all fit’s together so well. Even though you do have to take into account the fact that all of the spots here are serving up pleasure food (cheat day stuff) or everyday stuff for those of you that don’t give an F . Regardless, it’s tasty and it excites the taste buds and creates a more fulfilling evening because of it. You’ve got your spicy rice-bowls and Korean Mexican Hybrid eats of Chego, The “never gets old good” ramen from Ramen Champ, the simple and sweet scoops of joy from Scoops and a refined sit down dinner over Filipino Food at Lasa in Unit 120. What more could you ask for? And this place is still in the build out phase. More restaurants are coming, you can bank or better yet bite on that.
Far East Shop: Vendors of Curated New & Vintage Fashions, opened up earlier this year and appear to be right at home in the heart of the plaza. They’re even open until 9PM on Friday and 10PM on Saturday.
That means that they’re just about the only place you could get your late night shopping on in all of Downtown LA. Nice.
And we close the night out at the inexplicably retro looking Scoops Chinatown. The atmosphere is chill (pun intended) and it’s a short and sweet no nonsense approach at grabbing a scoop or two. You’re there for one thing and one thing only. The Scoops.
Chinatown is changing fast, and for once I feel like it’s for the better. That may seem like a strange thing to say in this city while it’s wrapped up in the tentacles of gentrification, greed, and massive change, but I really do. I’ve frequented the Chinatown area almost weekly for 8 years now and I know where the region was not too long ago. Largely Empty storefronts sitting between storefronts selling copies of the same excess stuff that their neighborhoods were trying to peddle. And many forget the fact that the original Chinese population of the region is in the later stages of their lives, and trust me; their kids are not hanging around. This situation created a Chinatown that was slowly losing vitality and attractions to keep the visitors coming. For a time it had become little more than a spot to pickup t-shirts, tazers, and an ear piercing or ROOR Bong from Angies (The same lady that pierced my ears ). That’s all changing now, and it’s exciting to see YOUNG entrepreneurs and creatives taking up residence here. It’s certainly a breath of fresh air from the Big Budget “Indie Looking” Hospitality Concepts, and Blue Chip mega restaurants and stores opening up in other parts of the city. The Chinatown region always did and still has a pulse. And we now have the opportunity to experience a change in that pulse. A new rhythm; One that signals the approach of a whole new generation and culture in the area.
Til Next Time