What's Good In Your Hood
Colombian Korean chef OG Chino gives us a tour of his delicious creations, a unique cocktail and the dynamic history of LA's Koreatown.
The whole concept of Colombian Korean happened because my
two favorite foods are Colombian and Korean food and I just
wanna fuse them together.
I think the weirdness of it just made people more curious and
I'm Darian Santana and I'm all about good food and great people
and the stories that make us proud to be where we're from and
this is what's good in your hood do it.
So took in the bees are our win in the Chevy laugh like you.
The sea was good, man.
Yo, what up?
I'm driving through your hood right now.
I'm not far from Koreatown.
Please tell me somewhere to have some food.
I'm so hungry, man.
I got you go to this spot.
It's called and when you get there, ask for Chino.
That's my dude.
Tell him you're my friend and he's gonna hook you up.
Make it happen.
Bring me in.
What's good everyone.
I'm in L A in Korea in a restaurant that remixes Colombian food
and Korean food over hip hop beat.
Let's check it out.
First time I heard about Korean Colombian.
It was very weird.
But after coming here and experiencing and feeling the flavors
and seeing the different combinations, I was impressed,
things that are mixed between little with rice and beans.
It's the most amazing food ever love it.
This is one of the examples of a really diverse and vibrant
lifestyle in Koreatown, which is one of the reasons I live
here meets at the intersection of Korea, Colombia and hip
It's more than just a restaurant.
It's a vibe.
Chino has managed to create more than a restaurant.
There's this feeling that you get in a space that's unique
It's vibrant and it is so a lot.
My father was a diplomat in the sixties.
Him and his partners were the first ones to set foot in Colombia
from Korea and they set up the Korean Embassy.
We were always raised knowing what our culture was and knowing
that we're not from here that we came to this country.
During the late seventies.
I think a lot of Korean families were sending their kids to
Um There was a, the word got out that America had good education
and, and free education.
When I got here, they put me in ESL because I couldn't speak
I only spoke Spanish.
I couldn't speak Korean well either.
So I hang in and started hanging out with the Mexican kids.
Get teased a lot.
The same kids that made fun of me became my best friends.
And that's why the name Chino stuck automatically.
I kind of grew into that whole culture.
So in 12th grade, I ended up at Hollywood high school at a, an
I recognized my art, put me in like scholarship programs at
She actually gave me guidance.
It was really hard to concentrate on the school and I ended
up dropping that art school after about a year and a half.
Then I opened a little record store in South Central.
A lot of people credited for being the first like hip hop shop
in L A.
The people that gathered at that shop are an example, like
from Jurassic Five, you know, Jurassic Five went on to become
a really big group.
No big deal.
It only lasted two years.
But that got my name recognized by a lot of the little record
labels in New York.
And I decided I'm gonna move to New York.
How did you come to wanting to open a restaurant?
I was living in New York.
I came to visit L A and my sister says, hey, my friend's bar is
going out of business and uh he'd like someone to take over
I was the lucky person.
He was completely different.
But I was like, wow, I could do something with this.
My sister was like, you're always doing parties and you know
it makes sense that you have a bar.
So I was like, cool.
The first thing I thought about was like, wow, I could throw
my parties again because I was always throwing parties at
different bars in New York and, and I could invite all my DJ
But I was like, you know, all my friends are foodies.
I'm always hanging out with them, going to eat good food and
and I knew that that's a new trend is the culture, the foodie
culture, you know, so I connected with Chris Korean American
chef, really well known wins a lot of TV, food battles and things
He started my initial menu and it worked no big deal.
So what put on the map in terms of food?
What's like everyone's favorite menu item here, the Kimchi
rice, which is a fusion of the Colombian with uh Korean Kimchi
I think it's so cool that you have uh Korean short rib and a and
A I was like, what?
I don't know how to cook, but I, I can think of things coming
I'm gonna see how takes and infuse a little bit of Korea in it
So right now I'm in the pork belly of the beach and they're gonna
show me how they make their, but of course, they remixed it
with some Korean flavors.
And uh we're gonna have my home grown, I'll show you guys how
to do it.
Uh Candelaria is also my favorite neighborhood in Bogota
Let's see it.
She's cutting up the, that's gonna go in the fryer with the
They're the sweet ones.
So they're gonna add that nice sweetness to the dish.
The traditional usually comes with steak and, or the home
girls adding the Korean short ribs, which is such a fun play
on what a is as opposed to the regular steak.
The Korean short ribs are really, really sweet.
So that's gonna be such a fun thing to add to this.
Of course, the egg on top candy girl I put in work.
I'm so hyped right now.
We just melts in your mouth.
Now, Chino is truly an OG, he's an artist, a DJ businessman
and he's also the creator of a neighborhood landmark, a landmark
that he masterfully created through the most common denominator
And let me tell you his food hits you in the face with the unexpected
taste of art, music and street culture in the heart of Koreatown
is not just a restaurant and also a bar.
So today's challenge my friends is you need to create a cocktail
that is a perfect remix of Colombia.
A little bit of Korea Town and a Sprinkle of hip hop.
Can you make it happen?
Yeah, I don't turn down a challenge but I'm not gonna do this
I'm gonna get some help from my boyfriend Medellin Nelson
Uh you know, never turned a child.
I'm here with Medellin's Fines Nelson Nelson.
Take it away.
What are you gonna do today?
We're gonna use a little bit of OK.
One part Colombian age drum, a little bit of spicy mango.
All the way from Colombia.
All the way from Colombia.
And what makes the spicy it chilis, chili give us a little bit
You know that spicy mango juice.
I want to make popsicles out of it.
Of course, like all good drinks and dances.
You must shake it a little bit of OK.
You know, let's see if this is really a drink that is worth right
It's sweet and it's got that little kick because of course
the spicy mango winner of the challenge, you got it.
I don't know, we're gonna call it.
Maybe we killed it.
We called it the killer K town.
Kill a K town.
I killed it sweet spicy and be careful because this will get
you used K town.
This 2.7 square mile area located in the center of Los Angeles
is the most densely populated neighborhood in L A with two
thirds of his residents being born outside of the US.
Korea Town isn't just a Korean neighborhood.
It's also largely Latinos from El Salvador and Oaxaca, Mexico
believe it or not.
Korea Town at one point was the exact opposite.
It was hit hard from the riots in 1992 Koreatown literally
burned for six days straight, dozens of businesses burned
down and Oi Chino witnessed it all firsthand.
What was it like?
Because Koreatown was literally on fire.
I mean, it was sad.
It was sad.
Uh, you know, hearing about the death, you know, especially
it always makes it seem like it was a thing between Blacks and
Do you not agree?
Do you not think there was a really summarized, generalized
version of what really happened?
I mean, most of the damage happened here in Koreatown and it
wasn't done by blacks from South Central.
They didn't drive up in caravans to burn down Koreatown.
Uh But that's what they made it seem like.
Uh and it wasn't that, you know, Koreatown was looted and burned
down by, by Korea Town residents really.
But I personally knew like, you know, Korean armies in the
neighborhood that looted.
Uh They probably didn't loot other Korean businesses, but
it wasn't um a minority thing.
It wasn't just a black and Latino thing.
Now, this is the, the immigrant landing spot.
Your restaurant is very much reflective of that.
It's super diverse in there.
So the new generation Koreatown is very open, very diverse
So it's no longer that closed Korean society.
I feel like your restaurant is very inclusive, all different
kinds of people sprinkled in different flavors and your food
is multi dimensional is the embodiment of.
He's pretty much the ambassador of Cape Town.
He brings Colombia and Korea together with an L A twist.
Something that my grandma will make.
I couldn't help.
But to notice that was a metaphor for the immigrant experience
from turbulent beginnings to settling into new land.
And then of course, remixing it to something altogether different
and way more epic.
And thank you to like the unofficial mayor of Koreatown.
I learned so much about the different flavors, all of the different
hip hop that you infuse into your restaurant.
No, I'm just the official Koreatown homage.
I'm just a homeboy.
And that, what's good in your home, in the next, what's good
in your hood?
We're heading to Boyle Heights, Los Angeles.
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