James Tir, also known as lbfoodcoma on Instagram, has helped restaurants struggling during the pandemic.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- James Tir is a food blogger in Long Beach. He goes to three or more restaurants a day to make food content and coordinates food events for people in Long Beach.
"It goes way back to when my parents came to the United States from Cambodia because they had to escape the genocide in the early '80s, late '70s, and they found themselves in Long Beach and when I was born, I kind of grew up in a doughnut shop," Tir said.
He said that's what sparked his love of food. Tir worked as a busboy at his aunt's Cambodian restaurant growing up.
He eventually became a real-estate agent, but he realized that wasn't his passion. So, he decided to make a leap of faith and put all of his energy into food.
He runs social media accounts for restaurants in Long Beach and he's a food blogger, known on Instagram as lbfoodcoma.
His goal is to highlight Long Beach's food scene which was huge for businesses starting up during the pandemic.
"We immediately had a ton of feedback like, 'We saw you on James' post and we definitely need to come and talk to you guys,'" said Manuel Banuleos, chef at Fonda Tobala.
"His lbfoodcoma brand was really instrumental in helping us grow through the pandemic. Actually, I'm pretty sure he was one of the reasons we were able to stay busy during the pandemic," said Brandon Sugano, general manager at Sura Korean BBQ and Tofu House.
Moving forward, Tir says he'd love to open his own restaurant and give the Cambodian community extra love.
"I don't do this for money. I literally go in and do it for free. lbfoodcoma, is completely a free thing. it's my gift to the city because you feed the hand that feeds you," Tir said.