We’re happy to have some time today with Forbes 30 Under 30 entrepreneur David Zhao; greetings and salutations, David! Before we begin kicking the proverbial Q&A pumpkin down the Autumn pathway, how has the latter-part of 2022 been treating you?
Thank you for having me, RJ! It is a great pleasure to be a part of this interview. The latter-part of 2022 has been amazing as our 9 locations continue to deliver a unique dining experience to thousands of guests per week. I’m very excited about the opening of Niku X, a contemporary Japanese Yakiniku experience. Getting ready to open our first fine dining restaurant in Downtown LA and collaborating with our new partner and executive Michelin-starred chef Shin Thompson is all very exciting.
Congratulations on being named as one of the luminaries on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list! For you personally, what does this recognition mean?
As an immigrant and Asian entrepreneur who started with $0 and zero background in F&B, it is a tremendous honour to be featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Starting with Chubby Cattle in Las Vegas 8 years ago and growing throughout the years to two locations in Philadelphia (where I went to school at The Wharton School and Denver), leading to the opening of The X Pot on the strip of Las Vegas, to Wagyu House in Rowland Heights, to The X Pot in Chicago and now Niku X in DTLA, receiving recognition is great. It also shows my fellow first generation and AAPI immigrants that it is something achievable and to be recognized for.