LINCOLN HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A Cambodian inspired deli, Gamboge LA, opened in Lincoln Park in August.
"Cambodian food is the sort of parallel from our surrounding neighbors," said Hak Lonh, owner and head chef of the business. "[It] resembles Thai food and Vietnamese food and there's some Chinese influence ... we get our spice sort of flavor profile from India."
The owner and his wife, Jane Oh, have worked on opening their restaurant for the past two years.
"I grew up in the restaurant business and with my parents. And this sort of building came along, that was just sort of reminiscent of cottage shop homes that you would find in Cambodia," said Lonh.
The couple worked in media production before quitting to open up Gamboge LA amid COVID-19.
"We've been sort of blessed, because we didn't have a restaurant already ... and then the pandemic hit. Because like a lot of my colleagues and friends, they had to furlough people," said Lonh. "We got lucky that we didn't have to go through those tough decisions. But I'm opening up right now."
Gamboge currently offers outdoor seating in their patio and take out.
The owners of the restaurant said they purposely created a more streamlined menu, including items that are quick to make, to make it easier for everyone who is ordering take out because of the pandemic.
"For us, we try to keep things nimble, keep things, you know, to be adds on," said Lonh. "So, we just had to work with what we had. We realized that like, people need to eat."
The couple has planned to add more intricate dishes soon to share more Cambodian cuisine with their customers.
"We feel like the story is getting out there. You know, not many people know about Cambodia, or it's sort of dark history, but like this really bright sort of food. So it's cool ... it makes it all it is."
Gamboge LA is located at 1822 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90031.
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