Roy Choi’s Pot Features Modern and Funky Design

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Pot is Chef Roy Choi‘s newest restaurant that opened in Koreatown a couple of weeks ago. Pot’s menu focuses on traditional Korean comfort food with an emphasis on family-style communal hot pots and innovative “other things,” such as the popular Beep Beep (uni dynamite rice bowl), Squid Spicy Yum (grilled squid, rice cakes, jalapeno) and Kimchi Fried Rice. And while he clearly draws inspiration from his Korean background for the food found on the menu, there’s so much about the restaurant that is distinctly Roy. Expect to be immersed with ’90s hip hop throughout your meal and to find reference to sex and drugs on the menu.

pot inside

Pot is located in the ground floor of the LINE Hotel in Koreatown. The interiors of the hotel, Pot, as well as the bar that Roy Choi also helms (with cocktails from Matt Biancaniello) were designed by environmental designer Sean Knibb. In an interview for KCRW’s DnA: Design and Architecture, I asked Sean Knibb about whether the decision to work in Koreatown was because of the neighborhood’s strong cultural identity, and he replied that it was about “Los Angeles, as opposed to one particular neighborhood.” He explained that he tried to represent L.A.’s cultural diversity throughout the hotel from the Mexican fabrics that can be found in the guests’ rooms to the mid-century modern influences in the design, and Roy Choi provided the Korean influence with his cuisine.

pot food
From left to right: Kimchi fried rice, Dang, Son, Jamaal Wilkes (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)
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Flowery uniforms that the waiters wear (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Many of the interior flourishes, including the tabloid-style menus, the flowery uniforms and bibs as well as the neon sign at the entrance were designed by Folklor, but involved Roy Choi’s collaboration.

Sean Knibb said that this restaurant/hotel collaboration was part of a larger trend in boutique hotels that is putting larger emphasis on dining: “people come to a hotel to eat and sleep, so why not centralize the culinary experience?”

What do you think? When you stay in a hotel is dining an integral part of your stay? Do you prefer to venture around town? Is this a way to get locals to engage more with visitors?

To find out more about the design of LINE and Pot, read the full interview with Sean Knibb here.

line hotel