A look inside Koreatown's Mama Lion, a haven for singers

KOREATOWN, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- There is a restaurant in Koreatown called Mama Lion that seems to be a haven for fantastic singers.

Julian Miranda is the organizer of an open mic night at Mama Lion's supper club. If you are thirsty for something special, this is where you should drink.

"When I open the stage up to people, I am always shocked and pleasantly surprised to see how much talent is out there. Never judge a book by its cover, that's my motto," he said.

That's the perfect introduction to the first singer of the night: Eric Krump.

One after another stepped to the mic, each with their own style. So good, even professionals are taken aback.

"It's bananas. Sometimes I get in here and after more than 20 years in the business, I say, 'Well, maybe I'm not going to sing tonight," laughed recording artist Norwood Young.

The performers are singing not to a recorded track, like karaoke, but to a live band that can jam.

"Everything is breathing. It's a living organism, and it's just...you can feel the heartbeat, you can feel the drums, feel the bass, feel the keys, you know," shared keyboard player Arean Alston.

While Miranda runs the music, it's Robert Kim who created the place.

"My goal was to create a platform for local artists to come together and enjoy great music and enjoy great company and create a little platform for singers that can come and just showcase their talent," Kim said.

He wanted a modern-day Supper Club. He took a forgotten 1926 building and made it a Los Angeles destination. .

"This is where someone that's up-and-coming can come here and make the right connection with someone and become a star later on, who knows," Kim added.

It's a gracious invitation deeply appreciated by performers who just want a stage.
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