Status Kuo: A Pictorial Essay

Chef David Kuo of Status Kuo is one the hardest working chefs in L.A. right now. Not only is he re-debuting his restaurant after a brief but significant makeover (which involved revamping the menu, doubling the dining room space, and obtaining a liquor license), but he also welcomed a new baby into the family only a week ago.

It was a pleasure to dine at the “new” Status Kuo. There is a distinctly neighborhood feels to the place. The front of the house is friendly and competent to all who walk through the door. Having just started, the beverage program shows lots of promise, featuring some great cocktails.

And most importantly, the food at Status Kuo is as good (if not better) than its former iteration. Chef David has kept many of the “old favorites” from the prior menu, and added some new twists to the new menu. He describes his current fare as “new-school izakaya”.

Service was warm, and the noise level in this space actually allowed for normal conversation(!).

Cocktails: Midnight Tommy (cognac, coconut sesame orgeat, clove) & The O.G. (bourbon galliano, connamon, demerara)… Well-poured and sneakily smooth.

Skewers: Shishito with lemon & ranch dressing, lamb with cumin, garlic and chive pesto, and beef with leek &yuzu kosho butter… All the meats were tender and flavorful - This was a splendid set of bites to start off the meal!

Baby bok choy, with garlic…

Roasted cauliflower, with schwarma butter, eggplant & parsley… Definitely piqued my interest with this combination of flavors.

Taiwan Beer…

Stuffed squash blossoms, with shrimp & pork… Such succulent, satisfying bites - A “must-order” dish.

Chicken adobo fritters, with potato, black pepper aioli, serrano chile & green garlic… Another winner. This paired so, so well with booze.

Spanish octopus, with pee wee potato, fried eggplant & ajo verde… This tapa is as solid as any pulpo I’ve had in Spain - Impressive!

Firestone Luponic IPA…

Duck “pizza”, with scallion pancake, duck, calabrian chili & pickled green… A success both in deliciousness and texture, the sensations of this pizza totally reminded me of the iconic 101 Noodle Express beef roll.

Hey Song Sarsaparilla Soda… Super.

Roasted half chicken, with jasmine rice & kaffir… Juicy and comforting. This is a ‘carry-over’ menu item from the old Status Kuo. The chicken itself is tender and moist, yet I hope they add more ‘au jus’ to the whole presentation in order to complement the rice.

Sunday gravy, with soy, five-spice braised pork & radiatori… Hot damn! Somehow, this dish has evolved to new heights since it was first introduced at the original Status Kuo - This is a splendid tasting pasta dish! One could really taste the broth as it permeates through the pasta - Very comforting. Another “must-order”.

Dessert: Matcha cream brownie… This was the only dessert item available on the day of our visit. Hopefully, the dessert offerings will be expanded.

Digestif: A new mint/ginger concoction from the bar with a long name (which I promptly forgot) - It was a well-constructed after-dinner drink.

The welcoming ambiance, cordial staff, eclectic drink selection, and yummy Taiwanese-inflected American cuisine all combine to make the new Status Kuo a truly pleasant neighborhood dining experience.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Status Kuo
3809 Grand View Bl.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
310.574.7610
statuskuo.la/

12 Likes

may zoroaster bless you for the absence of the words “umami” and “savory” in this informative post.

3 Likes

Great report, as always! Seems like the only harder worker in LA is his wife as I believe I saw her scurrying around, directing their employees, when I went last week. And then, uh, ya know, the birth and whatnot.

RE: half chicken - do you think that dish is a $20 dish? I’m still interested to try it (in part because “rotisserie” is always mentioned in the first sentence to describe Status Kuo, but I wonder if that’s a bit of a misnomer?), but after your seemingly 50/50 review of the dish, I’m wondering your thoughts.

For context, I was trying to think of other half chicken dishes around the city…

  • Gjusta - $16
  • Republique - $38 (I believe it’s a half chicken?)
  • Costco (whole chicken) - $4.99 :slight_smile:

Also, felt the same way about the Sunday Gravy. Crave-worthy. Especially when you put some of that chili in.

1 Like

Me too - love that.

It was a close call, man. I considered describing the Taiwan Beer as “hops forward preparation”…

3 Likes

I like savory. But that was funny anyway.

Great review @J_L!

1 Like

Love that they call it Sunday Gravy. So Sicilian.

Interesting updates coming from the artist formerly known as Status Kuo … http://la.eater.com/2016/11/8/13566396/status-kuo-little-fatty-accomplice-bar-mar-vista-switcheroo

A bit bizarre that it’s happening so close to their other recent re-opening. Looking forward to trying the bar program, though.

2 Likes

i thought the same thing myself. looks like a bit of identity crisis. the menu at little fatty looks delicious tho. we are in dire need of decent chinese/taiwanese food on the westside.

The bar is open as of yesterday.

https://www.accomplicebar.com/happenings-1/

We went a couple nights ago. Really like the new space! It has a good feeling to it. But I can imagine it getting crammed at peak times.

The drinks were great, and the bartenders were more than happy to talk about the different cocktails, all of which were handwritten in a notebook that served as the drink menu. The happy hour (5-7pm, I believe) has a couple specials. We got the gin gimlet and old fashioned. Both were good, but the old fashioned was tinyyyy. Like a shot. Then we had one of their custom cocktails that was basically a pisco martini ish. And boy howdy it was great! One of the better cocktails I’ve had in recent memory.

They were also doing a “sneak peak” of the Little Fatty menu, so we had the:

  • Dumpling of the Day (Lamb & cumin when we went)
  • XO Fatty Noodles
  • Beef & Broccoli (comes with rice)

Everything was tasty and wasn’t too too heavy. The dishes are served in typical Chinese-American takeout boxes, which is kinda fun in a bar setting and also sets the tone for the food. Feels similar, in a way, to Chubby Rice. Coincidence that both names have slang for “over-weight”? Even if it is a bit odd that they’re going through another shift so soon to their latest reopen, it seems like this new direction is a good one to go down.

5 Likes

How were the serving sizes? We went in summer (to Status Quo) and found the serving sizes to be precious. Everything was good to great for the most part, but feeding our 16 year-old alone was making my credit card moan.

1 Like

Our order ended up being great for two people, we thought. Seems like one entree per person plus a snack or two would fill ya up nice. May be a different story for teenage/@PorkyBelly appetites, though.

I wasn’t gonna post this cuz it’s bunk, but here’s a low light picture to give you a better idea:

5 Likes

“Little Fatty” was Chef David’s Chinese nickname as a child. Thus the homage…

2 Likes

i’d like to go on record as finding that nickname repugnant.

this, however, is a different matter:

2 Likes