Sound Advice
with Roy Choi

By: Alanna Watson

When it comes to LA food, Roy Choi is everywhere. What started as a single food truck peddling Korean tacos became a pivotal part of the food culture and launched the chef into bona fide celebrity status. Now, his name is behind close to a dozen restaurants, trucks, pop-ups, bars and bakeries all over Southern California, including three at the Line Hotel Los Angeles. For his latest restaurant, Best Friend, the LA mainstay is making the career-defining move to Las Vegas, where he found a home within the walls of Park MGM.

But enough about food—you can find interviews with Roy on every corner of the internet; catch his CNN TV show, Street Food, or pick up a copy of his book, LA Son, for endless material on what got him this far. Instead, we set out to talk to Roy about music. Because what better inspiration for a creator than the music that motivates him?

Let's talk about the music you listen to while you're in your element—the kitchen. Which artists get your juices flowing?

Dilated Peoples

We want to hear all about what goes on in the background while you're in the zone, making magic.

Team is working. Mise en place is set. Cutting board is clean. Knife is sharp. Towels are folded. And I'm ready to cook. That's where the new menu ideas come to life. Before this moment is a lot of psychedelic stream of consciousness to find the flavors in the atmosphere.

You are known as one of the pioneers of the food truck movement. What music brings you back to the days in the original Kogi truck?

Kanye West and K-Pop

It's the opening night for a new restaurant. What's playing in the kitchen to get you prepared?

Cumbia music

The last plate went out and you're ready to pack it in. What music brings you back down to earth?

Hip-hop. Usually underground lyrical boom bap.

When you're freestyling—creating new dishes and cooking up the next career-defining dish—what's playing in your mind?

I let my mind go free. It feels like textured clouds of ideas and information merging together in my third eye. I synergize all that by grabbing at them with my invisible hand and pulling them together into this physical world.

It's Sunday morning. Your day off. What song speaks to your brunch sensibilities?

"Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd

Now that the playlist is set, what are your grand plans for your new restaurant?

I want to build a big restaurant that makes people happy and shares the love that I represent here in LA. I see the place being packed and filled with smiles and laughter.

How are these concepts different than LINE LA concepts?

For the first time, I'm looking to take everything that happened in LA over the last ten years and bring it together for a super restaurant. A compilation album of sorts. Flavors from Kogi to Chego to A-Frame to LINE LA all in one with a new twist, but rooted.