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Meet Andrew Wong & Andrew Chiu of Peking Tavern in Downtown Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrew Wong & Andrew Chiu.

Established in 2013, the conception of Downtown Peking Tavern dates back to early 1990’s as two Chinese American architects, Andrew Wong and Andrew Chiu, practicing in Asia often gathered in Beijing to enjoy local food, spirits as well as the art and architecture.

Rock’n roll and jazz were still considered subversive by the Chinese government and only international hotels had bars and coffee shops. It was also a time when local mom-n-pop restaurants ruled the streets and ancient culinary traditions all over China revitalized.

As the Chinese economy flourished much of the old Beijing had to make room for redevelopment, the two architects vowed to bring what they remember of the amazing experiences back to America someday. Peking Tavern is a snap shot of the Beijing they once knew.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Everyone in this industry has similar obstacles and challenges. As architects crossing over, we definitely had to learn many things the hard way. Let’s just say the labor law is complex and cost of doing business is very high. We had no idea how much liability and workman’s comp insurance cost before we started. The continuing increase in minimum wage will continue to challenge everyone in terms of balancing customer satisfaction with profit margin.

Peking Tavern – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Peking Tavern is a gastropub. We have a very concise food menu and a ton of drinks – full bar.

We specialize in northern Chinese, dough-centric, food from noodles to dumplings. No rice or any stir fry. Every item is very traditional but elevated. We make everything on premise from scratch with very high quality ingredients. Guests can see through a window as they come in how the dumplings are individually hand made. Our Sichuan Fish Dumplings won a competition on a Travel Channel show three years ago and is still a crowd favorite. We also slow braise the beef shank that we use in our beef noodle soup and beef roll. Some say our scallion pancake is the best in LA.

What really makes us totally unique is our bar. In addition to a great selection of wine, 18 craft beers on tap, we are also the only place to get baijiu – the world’s most consumed liquor from China that you’ve never heard of. We carry six different types of baijiu. We serve them neat, chilled, or in cocktails. Cari Hah who created our cocktail program when we opened four years ago did a fantastic job and we’ve since developed additional delicious baijiu cocktails.

Did I mention we’re located in the basement of historical bank building? Many customers love the fact that we’re off the beaten path and speak-easy-ish.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Back in 2011 when we were fund raising and pitching the idea around we faced a lot of skepticism. Chinese gastropub? Dumplings and cocktails? Downtown LA? Since we opened we’ve earned many praises and garnered much love from the downtown community and beyond. Chefs and restaurant owners all over LA regularly come to enjoy our food and drinks. We are the choice for many people’s events such as mixers, receptions, holiday parties, wedding rehearsal dinner… Los Angeles has really embraced the idea of a fun Chinese place that has a small food menu but a huge bar. It’s a delight to see our regulars every day and new customers’ faces when they discover us for the first time. We’re so happy to bring our fond memories of Beijing (circa 1994) back to life in LA. We’ll be even happier and more proud when Peking Tavern pops up in other cities.

Pricing:

  • Thirsty Thursday all baijiu cocktails are only $7

Contact Info:

  • Address: 806 S. Spring Street(basement)
    Los Angeles, CA 90014
  • Website: www.pekingtavern.com
  • Phone: (213)988-8308
  • Email: hello@tooguapo.com


Image Credit:
Gaelen Casey Photography

1 Comment

  1. Ab cheng

    April 5, 2017 at 00:52

    The food is as yummy as it looks!

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