Woon’s Mother-Son Team on Facing Cancer, COVID-19, and Asian Hate

Julie Chen Fong and Keegan Fong are the restaurateurs behind Woon in Los Angeles. Initially it started out as a family-oriented restaurant, an outlet for Chen Fong’s culinary dream. But now with the rise in anti-Asian hate and violence, Woon has grown to become a more community-focused restaurant, raising funds for AAPI-focused organizations and inviting others in through their favorite Chinese dishes. Here the two look back on the challenges and joys of the last two years and how Woon has adapted along the way.

Keegan: Woon is a reflection of my life, but mostly it’s a reflection of my

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Taproot in Bethel serves up ‘shiok’ burgers and Southeast Asian specialties

Jeff Taibe’s deep love for Southeast Asian cuisine has been unwavering for more than two decades, stemming from his time living and cooking abroad in Singapore and Thailand.

When Taibe and Steph Sweeney originally opened Taproot in Bethel in 2017, they initially focused on farm-to-table, chef-driven new American cuisine. But Taibe’s mind was still on the flavors he loved best — coconut, lemongrass, chilis, star anise — and he kept discussing the possibility of introducing new dishes with Sweeney, even well before COVID-19 disrupted the entire industry.

“It wasn’t the pandemic that caused the change; Steph and I had been

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‘We’re tired of it’: How six Asian Americans are doing their part to fight the rise in AAPI hate

But some Asian Americans haven’t waited for lawmakers to act, countering hate and racism against their communities in ways big and small.

A Chicago restauranteur shows love for his elders by making them delicious meals every week. A Bay Area educator creates online zines to help Asian Americans better understand their histories. A New York food blogger uses her platform to help vulnerable Asians pay for cab rides in the city.

CNN spoke to six people around the US who are playing a part in protecting and uplifting Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

Here are their stories.

A restaurant

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Lido Chinese Restaurant to close after 30 years in OKC Asian District

The rumors are true: Lido Chinese Restaurant, 2518 Military Dr., will close next week when March ends. 

Much to the chagrin of my esteemed colleague Steve Lackmeyer, the 30-year-old restaurant that helped build the Asian District as we know it today is packing up its wonton soup, it’s claypots and vermicelli bowls and calling it a career.

Since December, rumors have swirled around social media about the future of the restaurant. Owner Eric Ly spoke with me briefly last week and confirmed he planned to close at month’s end.

“It’s time,” he said. “Thirty years is a long time.”


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