What part of California do you call home and have you always been there?
Koreatown, Los Angeles. The best Neighborhood in the world. The place I also call home. I grew up in Virginia and made the move to LA about 10 years ago.
What is your favorite part about living in Koreatown?
No question it’s the food. So many different cuisines to choose from. I love how you can get traditional Oaxacan food and not even a block away get the best pupusa or black bean noodle.
We hear you hate running but you are one of the founders of Koreatown Run Club, tell us how that came about?
I have a love and hate relationship with running. I’m still human. It’s hard to be consistent when it comes to working on your physical health. Its amazing to have a group of people hold you accountable and check in. I love running now. It's just nice to take breaks and come back with a new perspective or goal.
What are your favorite and least favorite parts about running?
Least favorite part of running is the possibility of getting injured. I have such bad knees and I’m very much bottom heavy. As I get older I try to put less stress on the knees and look for great shoes for support or a good knee brace to prevent injuries. My favorite part is meeting new people and feeling like I accomplished something for the day after I run HAHA.
Beach runs or city runs?
City. I never leave Koreatown but it's a good feeling and nice change of scenery when you go to the west side.
We also know that you are a co-founder of Love Hour Burgers, what led you and your partners to go down the pop-up smashburger route?
We all love burgers. Duy and I never worked in the food industry before so it was very intimidating coming into a new industry. We love being around people and getting our friends to help out. Our first popup I remember we had something like 300 of our friends line up and we sold out of burgers in like 45 min. By our 7th pop-up we got invited to Coachella. It's been a rollercoaster ride ever since.
Aside from Love Hour of course, do you have a go to comfort food in California?
Hands down it has to be Juntong Sullungtang (address here) in Koreatown. Order the Galbi Tang and add 4 scoops of green onions and don’t forget the coke with ice. The perfect meal that warms your soul.
When you're not running, flipping burgers, or delivering food to the unhoused in LA, what are some of your favorite activities/hobbies?
Sleep hands down. I’m king of naps. But on my down time I’m sleeping for sure.
Speaking of your active and busy lifestyle, which California Naturals products are the must haves in your cleanliness rotation?
The shampoo and body wash hands down. I love how you actually feel clean when you use them. It's a bonus the shampoo and body wash smell amazing too. I already packed them into travel size bottles for the weekend getaways.
How does it feel to be the unofficial mayor of Koreatown and how did that all come about anyways?
Hahaha. I don’t think about it too much. It's flattering to hear from people but I’m just a kid from VA that loves his Neighborhood. I wanted to find out more about the place I lived when I touched down to LA. I talked to neighbors, restaurant owners, anyone and everyone that knew anything about Koreatown. I got hooked on the process of finding out not only who I was as a Korean-American along the way but raising the voices and stories of the people that came before me.
Best piece of advice you've been given?
Stop eating fast food
What is one part of California that you are looking to visit for the first time?
Big Sur and Sequoia