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Chefs hitting the ‘boards

Skateboard
NOT FOR RIDING: Sang Yoon, owner and chef of Father’s Office, brings out his prize board signed by skater Tony Hawk.
(Benjamin Reed / Los Angeles Times)

MAYBE IT’S the $4.50 gas, or the ridiculous L.A. traffic. Or maybe it’s just the default California cool factor, but these days a few local chefs are riding skateboards to work instead of driving cars. Chefs on skateboards! (Don’t give the Food Network any ideas.)

David Myers rides an Arbor board between his restaurants, navigating busy La Cienega Boulevard to get from Boule (north of Beverly) to his new brasserie, Comme Ça, at Melrose Avenue and La Cienega.


FOR THE RECORD:
Restaurant location: In the July 30 Food section, a Restaurant Journal item said chef Theo Schoenegger will open his new restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas. In fact, the restaurant will be at Encore, a resort adjacent to and affiliated with the Wynn scheduled to open this winter. —


“It saves time and it’s fun and it keeps your mobility and balance,” says Myers, who used to street skate as a kid in Cincinnati. “I hate driving in this city.”

Josef Centeno, of Echo Park’s Lot 1, rides a classic Steve Steadham the quarter-mile downhill from his apartment to the Sunset Boulevard kitchen.

But Sang Yoon, chef-owner of the Father’s Office bar/restaurants in Santa Monica and Culver City, does one better -- he’s selling skateboards.

Yoon had 100 limited-edition boards made by Syndrome Distribution, a skateboard company based in Vista, Calif. The sleek black and tan boards are made of Canadian maple and stamped with the Father’s Office logo -- a paper clip.

“Our logo is the paper clip; a skateboard looks like a paper clip,” said Yoon recently during a wine tasting at the newer Culver City restaurant. “We thought about making a surfboard -- that would be kind of funny -- but we haven’t yet.”

Of Syndrome, Yoon said: “This company has street cred; it’s a serious deck, a legit skateboard. Like, a 12-year-old would approve of it.”

Yoon made sure that the boards were sized for grown-ups and not street-skating teenagers. “These are trick boards; they’re not for little kids. Adults will ride this. Possibly drunk adults.”

Yoon calls his boards “office supplies” and, along with a T-shirt that shows the word “beer” scribbled on a legal pad, displays them on the restaurant’s website and sells them at his Santa Monica location.

(Women’s underwear were once also among the office supplies, but, as Yoon’s New York publicist sedately e-mailed, “Sang does not sell the panties anymore.”)

From his office-within-an-Office in Culver City, Yoon recently brought out his prize board signed by Tony Hawk, “the most famous skateboarder on the planet.” Yoon doesn’t ride that one.

Actually, he doesn’t ride any board these days, though he did when he was a kid. “I’m not a skateboarder,” he says. “Where would I go? I just like them.” For the record, Yoon, an ice hockey player, rode a Dogtown.

“Everyone’s got T-shirts and hats,” Yoon said. “No one has a skateboard.”

--

Small bites

* Gyenari Korean BBQ & Lounge opened Thursday next door to the newly opened Rush Street along Culver City’s booming restaurant row. The executive chef is Robert Benson, who is also co-owner with Korean American partners Danny Kim and William Shin. Gyenari serves a combination of traditional Korean dishes -- many cooked at table -- and contemporary fare. Seoul Tacos, anyone?

Gyenari Korean BBQ & Lounge, 9540 Culver Blvd., Culver City. (310) 838-3131, www.gyenari.com.

* Patina executive chef Theo Schoenegger is leaving to open his own eponymous restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas, set to open “at the end of the year,” according to Patina Restaurant Group’s reps. His replacement at the Joachim Splichal Disney Hall flagship restaurant has not been named.

Patina Restaurant, 141 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 972-3331, www.patinagroup.com.


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