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The Ever-Expanding Roy Choi Empire: Kogi's Founding Chef Replaces Jamie Lauren at Beechwood

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Roy Choi inside the KogiBBQ truck (Tom Andrews/LAist)
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Some kitchen switch-upping to report from Venice's Beechwood. Leaving her post is SF-to-L.A. transplant and former Top Cheftestant Jamie Lauren, who took over the head cheffing duties there just last October. In her stead, local culinary empresario and "stoner cuisine" guru Roy Choi, the man behind the seminal Kogi BBQ truck, Chego!, and A-Frame.Squid Ink has some details:

Owner Dave Reiss has asked Choi to step in and "provide some new direction for the kitchen while making plans to renovate and update the dining space," according to Alice Shin, Choi's PR and Twitter maven. Get ready for Choi's most American menu to date, one that's "laid-back, beachy and contemporary, while expressing some of the classic idiosyncrasies of Roy's imagination."

No word yet on what Lauren's next move will be. In February, Lauren was one of the four L.A. chefs up for Food & Wine's "The People's Best New Chef" for the region (she lost to Ricardo Zarate, alas). Of the chefs named to top honors by the mag itself in 2010, Choi was named Best New Chef overall.