While Ayara Lūk is technically a pop-up, the experience has not mirrored the typical definition. The restaurant is in a brick-and-mortar location they rented and will run until construction is complete. Not only that, they’ve had to operate the spaces simultaneously.
Luckily, the new restaurant is just around the corner from the original one, which means guests who find the shuttered venue won’t have to turn around and go somewhere else entirely—they can just turn around and walk to the new spot.
Planning ahead, however, meant struggling in the interim. Ayara Thai didn’t hire any additional staff for the transition.
“Mainly it’s my sister and I who are leading up the kitchen and making it happen with some members of our team we can spare over there,” says Asapahu, who was born in Thailand and moved to LA when she was 5-years-old.
Although, she admits, there are some positives to having dual concepts, which have been operating together since early January.
“Everyone has really been flexible,” she says. “We understand why we’re doing it. And it’s been nice that we’ve started it a little bit earlier before we actually close. A lot of the hiccups and the prep work and just the madness of opening a new restaurant have kind of been reduced thanks to having both. I can rely on the prep kitchen of one to prep certain things for this restaurant even though the menu is a little bit different. Our technique and the style and the way our system works is very similar. It’s a good transition period.”