This week brought some (temporarily) bad news from Little Tokyo: due to damage caused by a pipe leak earlier this month, The Spice Table will be shuttering for lunch service. Chef Bryant Ng explained to us that the equipment used to bake the baguettes for the banh mí sandwiches was non-functional, and since those tasty sandwiches comprised a good portion of the lunch menu, a shutdown became an unfortunate reality.
Ng also dropped the news that The Spice Table will relocate to a new location within the next six to 12 months. The move was prompted in part by the flood damage (which is now all but repaired) but also because The Spice Table's current site sits directly in the way of a proposed Metro station that's slated for construction in the near future. “In our view, it made sense to try and find a new location during this down time, since it was something we would have to do eventually anyway.” Ng hopes to relocate somewhere in Little Tokyo, but admits that the new location could pretty much be anywhere, depending on what spaces are available around town.
There is some good news, thankfully. The Spice Table will continue to be open for dinner service and will offer their lunchtime burger (as seen in our recent Best of L.A. issue) on special request. We also asked Ng about his plans for a second restaurant, the location and concept — which are as of now undetermined. His response: “I haven't been saying much because I don't want to jinx the process. Call it superstitious, call it crazy, it's all true.”
Ng says that he doesn't want to build up too much hype for his new project. “When we opened The Spice Table, there wasn't a big announcement involved, and the restaurant became popular organically, that's something I want to have for this next project a well.” Ng did mention that he had been working on this new concept for about three or four months, but would not elaborate whether it was related or connected to The Spice Table in any form.
In the meantime, Ng and his wife Kim are leaving for a two-week trip across Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam that will function as both a time to reconnect with family and a chance to, in the chef's words, “become inspired and invigorated by the region and cuisine.”
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