Larry Morrow, the entrepreneur behind stylish New Orleans hotspots Morrow’s, Treehouse, and Monday, has brought his signature aesthetic and Creole-tinged Korean cuisine to the French Quarter with Sun Chong, now open at 240 Decatur Street.
Sun Chong is named after Morrow’s grandmother, and she leads the kitchen along with his mother, Lenora Chong, and chef Christian Green. Morrow tells Eater Sun Chong is “Korean-inspired but Asian American, meant to bring in all of those flavors as well as bring my grandmother’s recipes into the mix,” like the bulgogi. “I ate that as a kid growing up. I’m a pescatarian now, but my mouth still waters every time she cooks it,” he says.
In addition to Korean specialties like bulgogi and bibimbap, the menu features Asian American classics like fried rice (crawfish or vegetable), lettuce wraps, sweet and sour pork, bacos, and dumplings. The Korean fried chicken lightly glimmers with juiciness, and dishes like the Fish in a Boat and fried ribs are dazzling spectacles, with the latter arriving underneath a smoke-filled glass dome. The cocktails, created by Macy Ezidore, are also head-turners, like the I Love You; a gin, lychee soju, and peach drink with layered colors served in a heart-shaped martini glass and topped with a hibiscus flower.
The goal with Sun Chong started out fairly simple: “I wanted to create a cool, intimate spot with classic hip hop music being played and dope food,” Morrow says. When he started working on the restaurant about a year and a half ago, Morrow began calling it Sun Chong as a placeholder. But soon, it started to feel right. “I like to do things that feel organic and good in the moment, so I ran with it and built on the concept from there,” Morrow says.
Morrow describes Sun Chong’s aesthetic as simple, clean, and vibrant. It was designed with help from Matthew Holdren, who was behind some of his other projects, including Morrow’s. That Marigny restaurant made a splash upon opening in 2018 as one of New Orleans’s most stylish, modern restaurants. Five years later it remains packed most nights, as does Morrow’s newer Mid City restaurant Monday, opened in June 2022. Artist Anne Marie Auricchio created most of the custom art at Sun Chong, like the pink hibiscus flowers covering the walls and the gold illustrations of dragons on the restaurant’s columns and ceiling.
For Morrow, the opening of Sun Chong has been his most meaningful yet. Because it’s named after his grandmother, “I wanted to make sure we got everything right,” he says. The grand opening took place Tuesday, May 2, with his grandmother in attendance. It was “a day with a lot of emotions. I’ve opened up other concepts but haven’t felt these emotions. Being able to do this for my grandmother, it hit different,” he says.
The Morrow Group is gearing up to open a fourth restaurant this summer, Morrow’s Steak and Seafood, at 1001 Julia Street. And Morrow sees no end in sight for potential projects. “New Orleans has really shown up for me over the course of the past decade-plus, and I’m really appreciative of that,” he says.
Sun Chong is open at 240 Decatur Street from 4 to 11 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday and Monday.