Met up with some old college friends for bao at The Bun Shop. Yep, the food truck now has a brick and mortar location. I’m not a huge Walking Dead fan, but props to actor Steven Yeun for keeping Asian men sexy instead of geeky, and for investing in this restaurant which was opened by his brother, James Seok.
Seok is also the chef who concocted this menu.
I tried the beefy and pork bbq buns with edamame. It was … eh. I’ve definitely been spoiled by The Chairman Truck,
I expect my bao to be steamed just right so it’s still warm when I get it, and that it’s not sticky – there should be a smooth sheen to the bread. The beef was overdone to the point where I found myself chewing on charcoal. And the pork had way too much sauce. It’s porky belly! The meat itself is delicious so there’s no need to douse it in sauce to hide the natural fatty flavor.
We also got the ba’corn cheese to share. It was good but way too rich, and the three of us couldn’t finish it. I hate seeing cheese go to waste, but even I couldn’t stomach the last quarter by the time the dish got cold.
I am curious about the spam bun and the desserts, so I might go back again. Might.
The Bun Shop
151 N. Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Pros: Interesting art on the walls. Clean bathroom. Decent beer and drink selection. Friendly service. Good location on a street with plenty of parking, near HK Market, Paris Bakery, and Boba Time!
Cons: If you want good bao, you need to eat at The Chairman. I don’t normally rate Bay Area food over LA grub, but this is the rare exception.
Oh, and if you’re of the same mindset as me and don’t understand sports bars … (why do people who watch sports all the time look like whales and can barely run a lap without puking bacon?) … you probably won’t dig the vibe that much at The Bun Shop. It’s laid back and the noise level is good for conversation, but it’s also dark and catered towards men. Check out their website – in the “About Us” section it clearly states that The Bun Shop is “A perfect quick lunch spot for the working-man or a chill late-night spot for the homies.”