Mama Lion | Koreatown's Newest Supper Club
Have you ever heard that trends are cyclical? Maybe you've dug out an old jacket or dress from your parent's closet and found that styles from the 1960s were once again trendy. I find this to be true in the culinary world as well. Speakeasies and supper clubs are the new (but not so new) hot spots to cool your heels after work or catch up with friends on the weekend. Supper clubs first became popular in the 1930s and 1940s and and were known to be "destinations" where patrons would spend whole evenings. Yesterday marked the grand opening of Mama Lion, a glamorous new supper club located in the heart of Koreatown.
Mama Lion owner, Robert Kim, has assembled an impressive team to help bring his vision to life. With over 18 years of experience, Kim is a veteran when it comes to running legendary establishments such as the Park Plaza Hotel and the Beverly Hills Hotel. His partner, Chef Michael Hung, helms the kitchen with talent stemming from his tenure training with Traci Des Jardins' James Beard award-winning team at San Francisco's Jardiniere. He also oversaw the kitchen at Roland Passot's Michelin-starred La Folie before moving to Los Angeles and joining the Faith & Flower family. Since then he has opened Viviane at the Avalon hotel before taking on Mama Lion.
In Los Angeles, people come for the food, but stay for the drinks. Aidan Demarest, previously of Seven Grand, The Edison, 1886 Bar, The Spare Room and Neat Spirit Bar, has been named General Manager of Mama Lion and has created a beverage program that will keep them coming back for more.
The menu incorporates all the ingredients you love. It features fresh dishes, like the raw oysters on the half shell and hamachi tartare, to rich flavors of their Santa Barbara Uni Tostaditas and seared fois gras. But don't take my word for it, check out the full menu here.
The Head Barman, Todd Eames, created a cocktail menu of thirteen unique libations. These staple cocktails take on a sexy Californian twist. Check out their full cocktail menu here. My personal favorite was the Honey Pot (shown below). Not as sweet as you would think with a name like Honey Pot. The combination of Gin, Lemon, Honey, Champagne and Lavender blended beautifully.
Mama Lion is open Tuesday to Friday from 5:00 pm - 2:00 am, and Saturday and Sunday from 6:00 pm to 2:00 am. And of course, what you all have been waiting for, happy hour! Their happy hour runs from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm where certain items are only $6.01. They also offer a late night menu from 11:00 pm to 1:00 am.
The lack of robust public transit in LA means that most folks will be driving to and from. Mama Lion supports the "Designated Driver Program" and offers free soft drinks and coffee to its patrons. Drink exuberantly but drive responsibly folks!