David Kuo has been anything but idle these last few years. He’s welcomed two sons into the world and opened his restaurant, Status Kuo, twice.
Running a restaurant had been a lifelong dream for Kuo. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he sharpened his chef skills at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena. After graduation, he spent time working under Charlie Palmer at Hotel Bel-Air and at Jean-Georges in New York. Picking up techniques and tricks at every turn, Kuo returned to L.A. with a plan: save money and open his own place.
His first attempt to make his dream a reality came on July 4, 2011, when he signed a lease on what is now the Vietnamese restaurant East Borough in Culver City. But construction was slow and more than a year slipped by. He almost walked away, but at the urging of his wife, he kept looking.
And then La Petite Crêperie shut its doors on Grand View Boulevard in Mar Vista, right in front of the popular Sunday farmers market, and Kuo seized his chance. The first time he opened Status Kuo (a play on his last name, pronounced “Ko”) was in December 2014. The space was small, the investors few (just Kuo and his wife) and the alcohol absent.
“We learned a lot,” he says definitively, glancing around his newly opened restaurant that’s now double its original size. “It was casual, fun, mom-and-pop. But we’re
better, leaner, stronger.” …
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