If any of were wondering Porky & Moon look like, there you go!
Was there ever any doubt?
Oh I didn’t realize that’s what we were doing. Here’s another picture from a much better angle. Shows the face properly.
Lol, now I really want to hang with youz people.
I’m not sure if LA is ready for this concept, but I think San Francisco would be. After all, we have Eight Tables thriving, charging over $300 per person, which also serves chateau cuisine but the quality is miles off and frankly some of the dishes are overly Americanized (though maybe thats why its popular?)…Yu Bo is considered the master of chateau cuisine.
I visited Yu’s Family Kitchen in Chengdu before he moved. Food was very similar to pictured. An awesome experience, though I agree it’s not for everyone. Yu Zhi Lan was also very good.
No way I think he’ll come to LA or won’t come to the US at all.
In terms of ingredient sourcing and community he has better connections here, there are several food industry people who have an active interest in helping him settle here which probably isn’t as strong as in any other city. Also I believe his daughter was going to school here so that also would be a strong reason to stay here for familiarity.
As far as whether diners here will get it? Compared to Hayato I was a bit worried that diners wouldn’t catch on to what he was doing because his cooking can be quite subtle and the price tag and location were a bit of a challenge for somebody with no reputation but in less than a year he’s earned himself a strong following.
Yu Bo has several advantages being that he has a good following in both Chinese and English social media, there’s a huge high-income Chinese population here, he has a headstart with local chef endorsements which I feel makes a difference.
I had a looong discussion with Chef Yu after the dinner. Chef Johnny is right. It’s LA or nothing. The sheer size of Chinese diaspora here in SoCal is a powerful draw, even if SF may be a more of a “fine dine”-y city (sorry NoCal).
The problem for Chef Yu is where to open his brick-and-mortar in the LA region.
He’s definitely doing it in LA, I know that. He’s already moved everything here. I wish him good luck, I’ll definitely be visiting when I come down.
Honestly, that’s the conundrum of locating in LA: Lower rents in SGV, but much less of a fine dining culture (though more receptive to Chinese flavors), or Restaurant Row, where rents will be higher, but people are used to paying fine dining prices…but are there enough customers to sustain it?
If he paid 6.5 million USD for a Rick Singer admission, we are going to have a very hefty tasting menu price.
I have no idea if $125/person pre t&t is a realistic business model for Yu Bo, but that price point is the sweet spot to me when I factor in the level of satisfaction I had at dinner.
You’d be surprise at how much rents in the SGV are. Realtors aren’t stupid and they know Chinese people will pay a premium to be in the SGV.
But does it also depend on which Chinese flavors? I would never have guessed that Sichuan Impression in WLA would be as busy as it is, but here we are. And Little Fatty seems to be doing pretty well, too (although I think Taiwanese cooking is more accessible to a larger population). Haven’t been to Cassia recently, but I assume they’re also still packed? So clearly people may be willing to pay some $$$ for Asian (and non-Japanese) cooking when the food is done well and when the packaging (ambiance, service, etc.) matches the price.
I’m not personally familiar w/ Yu Bo’s cooking (and internet in the office isn’t great, so I haven’t had a chance to look through all of @moonboy403’s pics and thoughts above), but a small (cozy), fine-ish dining restaurant that’s “exotic” and hip to some and has some pre-existing buzz could actually make it on the westside, I think.
I personally would also avoid Restaurant Row like the plague. I think (through no insider or objective information) that Westwood, Century City, and Culver City might be a good place for him to land.
I think that’s LA’s big advantage over the SF Bay Area in this regard. Both areas have (1) lots of rich people and (2) lots of people with a deep knowledge of and appreciation for sophisticated Chinese cuisine, but the Venn diagram of those two groups overlaps a lot more in LA.
So a place like Eight Tables has to pander to people who think that a >$200 dining experience should conform to the Michelin template. Otherwise, well, look at how popular Jai Yun is.
I actually think Yu Bo’s cooking is much closer to Michelin’s style than almost any other Michelin starred Chinese restaurants I’ve been to in terms of presentation, thoughts, and subtle complexity of his dishes.
Following the Michelin template, the 16 shared appetizers would have been 16 courses.