SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Restaurant owners are facing constant challenges during the coronavirus pandemic.
One restaurant opened right when the shutdown began in March and had to turn their whole concept upside down. Daniel Kim and his wife Angie are the owners of the all-day cafe Interstellar and hoped to bring a smile to their customers’ faces in the early hours.
What You Need To Know
- Interstellar cafe in Santa Monica opened in March — just before the pandemic began
- The cafe represents a blend of Korean and American cultures
- The owners offer more than breakfast, showcasing an extensive dinner menu
“We just wanted to provide good food and good coffee together, and start off people’s days before they go to work,” said Angie.
The couple chose this Santa Monica location for the tourist foot traffic and the offices nearby, but that was no longer an option when the shutdown took effect.
"It is survival mode," said Angie. "We are just hoping to make it through."
With their focus on a curated menu for dining in, the couple had to change their concept quickly, but at least they had each other to rely on.
"Mentally, especially during this time, it can be very, very stressful," said Daniel. "I can’t imagine not having Angie next to me."
Interstellar is the blending of Angie and Daniel — the coffee the helmed by Daniel, and the cuisine crafted by Angie. But it is also the blending of two cultures. "Interstellar" means the space between two stars, and the restaurant represents the space between their Korean and American identities.
"Growing up, we were always fighting for a space somewhere in between," said Angie. "We felt we had to choose between one and the other."
Yet this is not a Korean fusion restaurant. As Angie explained, it is globally unlimited with a large focus on Asian flavors in traditional American dishes like wings and waffles. They also offer more than breakfast, showcasing an extensive dinner menu, including a prime rib bowl bursting with flavor.
“We use ingredients from all over the world to elevate a dish,” said Angie.
The coffee is elevated as well. Daniel has been experimenting with various brews since 2011 and uses Onyx coffee from Arkansas. They are in fact the only restaurant to serve it in Santa Monica. For one of his signature coffee drinks, Daniel pairs the Onyx espresso with maple and orange to create a sweet, citrus latte.
“It tastes like fruity pebbles, kind of, but it’s definitely refreshing,” he said.
Grab a refreshing drink and global meal at Interstellar for a picnic on the beach or for delivery from 109 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401.