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Takorean: Bigger Space, but Still Streamlined

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Missy Frederick is the Cities Director for Eater.

[Photo: Missy Frederick/]

When food trucks make the move to a brick and mortar restaurant, the obvious assumption is that they're going to go big, expanding their menu and trying to make a splash. That's not really Mike Lenard's plan. "We have a clear, concise concept; it's kind of an 'if it's not broke, don't fix it' kind of thing," he said.

It's a philosophy that carries over into the design of the restaurant, which is being done by Brian Miller and Lauren Winter of Edit Lab at Streetsense. "Mike's got such a simple viewpoint; what he does is very streamlined, very specific, " Miller said. "He doesn't try to do a lot of things; he does one thing well. We wanted to do the same thing with the space."

It's a 44-seat, 1,700 square foot restaurant. A focal point is the faceted wall, an angular structure that surrounds the ordering counter. It's sort of an abstract representation of the former food truck, the designers explained.
Otherwise, the space has the same sort of primary color scheme as Takorean's existing truck and Union Market stand, with some wooden textures and graphical representations of the food on plywood decorating the space. They will open in early August.

Despite the menu's expected simplicity, Takorean has evolved slightly since its early food truck days. They added a rice option, spiced kale slaw and roast pork when they made the move to Union Market. And the Navy Yard location will offer chips and salsa (with a Korean-influenced salsa, naturally) as a side.
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