On The Line: Kacy Jun of Urban Seoul, Part Two

Categories: On the Line

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Photo by Eleonor Segura

Normally you'd be reading the first installment of OTL, but we're changing things up. Don't worry, we still get to interview some pretty cool chefs, like Kacy Jun of Diamond Jamboree's Urban Seoul. We thank him for recounting some of his childhood memories, even though they may have been difficult to tell.

Read our interview with Kacy Jun of Urban Seoul, Part One.
And now, on to Part Two . . .

Do you have any skills that are non-food related?
I guess you can call me MacGyver-- I can fix anything with what is around. Right now I'm working on another project. Every morning I would go into this restaurant (as a consultant), and every time it just smells like gas. Nobody decided to do anything about it. On the third day, I went into the back and tightened everything up. There was one loose hose, and no-one bothered to do anything about it. It's nothing big, but I'm that person who'll tighten a loose screw.

Hardest lesson you've learned:
Don't play Candy Crush while driving.

Last thing you looked up online?
Porto's potato balls. I went to Downey after and bought some.

Where did you grow up?
Born and raised in Los Angeles. The early part of my childhood was Glendale. My father would take us out of school a week early to go snowboarding in Mammoth. One time on vacation, we learned that there was a fire in our neighborhood. We went back, and our whole neighborhood was on fire. We lost everything.

From there, we moved to Koreatown. That's where I got to experience the neighborhood and cuisine. That's also where the LA riots happened. That memory is so vivid to me. The very first day that it happened, I was in elementary school. My best friend was crying because his mother passed away as a result of a shooting. All chaos broke out the next day. My dad had a shop on the main street where everything was happening. He picked us up and took us to our cousin's house in the Valley. Then he told us he had to go back to the shop and get something. As a kid, I knew this wasn't good. My dad had a gun in his car, but I told him not to go.

I moved to Irvine in 8th grade. It changed my life. This place was so clean. And green. I was coming from somewhere so chaotic and crazy, it was a complete change. I thought I was in paradise.

When you're not cooking in the kitchen, what are you doing?
I like to swim or any outdoor activities like hiking.

Last song playing on your radio?
W & W & Ummet Ozcan - The Code.

What were you up to five years ago?
My life was being a sous chef at Sapphire Laguna. They do a good job over there. I was there from day one, staining the tables and chairs.

Last movie watched; how was it?

Despicable Me (Part 1). Can't believe it took me this long to finally watch it. I didn't really care for it in the beginning, but my girlfriend came over with the dvd. It was really good. I still haven't seen the other one.

What's your favorite childhood memory?

Family vacation to Oahu. My parents were celebrating an anniversary. I remember snorkeling with my youngest sister, and back then you were allowed to feed the fish. I had a bag of food, and she was kind of scared. We were looking in the water through our goggles, and out of nowhere, all these fish started coming towards us. I thought it was so cool. My sister got so scared, I remember her clinging on my leg. I lifted up the bag of food, and there was a hole in there.

Food-wise, the one thing that stands out the most is going to a luau to watch hula and a fire show. During intermission, they gave out this big serving of pineapple-guava ice cream. I still remember it to this day as the best ice cream I ever had.


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Location Info

Urban Seoul

2750 Alton Parkway, Irvine, CA

Category: Restaurant

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