In the building where I work at my day job I tried some BBQ from a restaurant that I had never heard of. This restaurant has its brick-and-mortar BBQ ops about 20 miles away from Downtown Los Angeles in Whittier. But, thanks to this “permanent experiment”, I filled my empty belly with their quality, and still warm, brisket. And on other days I’ve had Asian-Fusion, Indian and other delicious meals. All thanks to an interesting fix for a common problem of failed restaurants and empty space: “pop-up” restaurants.
Over the past 11 years many restaurants have opened and closed in this particular space. There was a health food “experiment” where I consumed many stale and rubbery meals because of convenience. There also was the American Sandwhich/Sushi/Terriyaki “experiment” that was better but also ultimately failed because it tried to be too many things at once. And I think one reason why is much like our attention spans have become out-of-whack due to our phones, social media and other gadgets, our pallets suffer from constantly changing tastes.
While some argue over the actual rate of restaurant failures and the possible causes, it is no secret that running a successful restaurant is difficult. However, a “pop up” space where numerous restaurants periodically “cater” and “experiment” makes sense in our fickle society. Of course, it makes sense to open “pop-up” spaces where there is a lot of foot traffic: business centers, downtown cores, etc.
The BBQ that I tried that day, Wowo’s Smokin Hot BBQ, boldly advertises that it is “Some of the best BBQ in all of LA & OC” (an area that includes almost 10 million people btw).
The flavor and quality of the brisket surprised me: fresh, not chewy and not overly expensive. Having tried Wowo’s at the “pop-up”, I will definitely try them the next time I’m fixin for some BBQ and near Whittier.