Reopening a Koreatown favorite: Here’s Looking At You gets a revival

Hosted by

Inspired to open a restaurant that was original and fun, Lien Ta and Jonthan Whitener opened Here’s Looking At You in July 2016. Photo by Jenn Emerling.

When Lien Ta and her business partner Chef Jonathan Whitener chose to close their first restaurant Here’s Looking At You in mid-2020, they turned efforts to their sophomore space All Day Baby. Hoping to reopen, Ta shares the journey of Here’s Looking At You, from creating a fun and communal vibe to losing electricity during the restaurant's last opening day at the onset of the pandemic. “There were days when no orders came in and funds were going away, and it was best to put this beautiful restaurant to sleep,” she remembers. 

The duo’s Go Fund me campaign aims to pay back rent of nearly $80,000 to the landlords and regain control of the kitchen. Beef tartare, mai tais, and frog legs are ready at the pass as soon as the restaurant reopens.


Lien Ta recalls making trips to the lumberyard with Chef Jonathan Whitener to pick out zebra-print bamboo for the bar, and curating playlists to contribute to their desired vibe. Photo by DYLAN+JENI.


To reopen Here’s Looking At You in Koreatown, Lien Ta has begun to crowdsource funds to help pay back rent accumulated during the pandemic. Photo by Jenn Emerling.

Credits

Host:

Evan Kleiman