Known for breaking the rules, Roy Choi's dropped a handful of LPs that've challenged people to eat with their souls instead of their brains. During the Kogi era, street food was crowned king as Roy tapped into his own veins, digging deep into the base flavors that raised him on the streets of LA. The Chego album glorifies college dorm food and rice bowls to the max with a swagger and braggadocio that only OG peasant food can carry. A-Frame is rife with hit singles, each one a simple pocket into the bright spots of his childhood. But for now, the history lessons are over and the nostalgia will have to wait for another day. There comes a point in every artist's career when he leaves in search of new sounds and flavors to challenge everything he already knows and everything he understands to be true. For Roy Choi, Sunny Spot is that one record that will change his entire game.
What had started as Chinese take-out and pizza delivery gigs eventually bloomed into a degree from Roy's rival school the French Culinary Institute, a stint at Applewood and a career under David Chang at Momofuku Ssam Bar and Noodle Bar. Though born and raised in L.A., Jude and his quintessentially salty personality has bounced around NYC, Madison, Prague, Chicago and Philly, which has opened his perspective and palate as A-Frame's Chef de Cuisine. There, he works with Roy Choi to polish the charmingly rough edges of the restaurant's bouncing high energy and down-to-earth attitude. In addition to establishing the right beat to A-Frame's kitchens, he oversees the sunnier pastures at Roy's Venice pièce de résistance, Sunny Spot.
Like any other college kid who realized that retail is for suckers, Brian put himself through school in Arizona as a bartender before moving to L.A. in 2006. And it was in the city of angels and beach bunnies that he fell into the creative side of bartending. Remember how Dave knows all the cool people in town? That's how Brian was scouted to develop and manage the cocktail program at Alibi Room before crafting the bar program at A-Frame. And it's here, at Sunny Spot, that Brian's talents shine, both modest and loud, proving that talent and ego CAN be mutually exclusive. Want to find out what happens when the bartender falls madly in love with the dinner menu? Look no further.
In his latest restaurant project, this Venice-based designer returns to his Caribbean roots. A vast departure from the 60s-inspired, modern and streamlined design for A-Frame, Sean reached with both hands into his garden and pulled out vibrant floral fabrics, sexy, rich textures and lush tropical colors. Ornate, gilt mirrors populate a large candy box of turquoise beams, a burlap-skinned bar, and citrus-hued stools and marble table tops. Tall, reed grasses line the walls of a patio perfect for snuggling real sweet under the blanket of trees. In the rum room, a standing-room-only bar is stocked with top-shelf rums and other sought-after libations while white-linen topped tables and a single bird cage booth swathed in Persian silk punctuate the space. "From deal makers to love makers, this Caribbean parlor is the perfect get away," Knibb says.
If you don't know who Dave Reiss is, and you're a fiend for the underground icons of the L.A. scene, then you've most likely crashed 1 or 2 of his parties in the past two decades. Through his friendships, ingenuity and instincts as a DJ, he went from opening Swingers on Beverly to Red, Sugar, The Brig and half a dozen other properties -- which isn't too bad for a kid who got his start churning ice cream at Swenson's in Westlake. In '09, he took a chance on a guy named Roy Choi for the Alibi Room kitchen and has since opened A-Frame, and, most recently, Sunny Spot with the man.
Paul Pruitt is no stranger to the restaurant industry – Starr Restaurant Organization, Jose Andres’ ThinkFoodGroup and BLT know him well. Having directed successful restaurant openings globally, from NYC to Hong Kong, from Ritz Carlton to Trump International to W Hotels, one wouldn’t think he’d strike out on his own, go rogue and work in properties headed by indie bar owner/restauranteur Dave Reiss and headlined by a renegade chef Roy Choi. But as talent has a tendency to crave challenge, Paul chose to leave behind the comforts of corporate life to work on more creatively delicious projects. Sunny Spot just happened to be one of those projects.
From the management end of the brand team, Natasha Phan is the one you want to call on to finish the task. This charmingly pushy lady is the straight-up straight talker who can talk you and several others into joining the fray for her next buzz-worthy, up and coming project. Resources? She’s got them in spades. In a nutshell, she is your get-shit-done girl, who gets it done fast – all while crossing her t’s and dotting her i’s.