Amarit Dulyapaibul is the managing partner of three concepts in Chicago that are part of the Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises empire: Three-unit Ramen-san, two-unit Sushi-san and the 11-week-old Omakase Room.
Dulyapaibul grew up in restaurants, the child of immigrants from Thailand who ran a number of Thai dining establishments in downtown Chicago, including Star of Siam.
“I grew up in the dining rooms [and] the kitchens,” he said.
He went on to study architecture at Tulane University in New Orleans, pursuing the dream of many first-generation Americans and their parents to move up the economic ladder.
But he missed the pace and energy of restaurants, and ended up falling in with LEYE.
He said working for such a well-known and well-liked company helped soften the blow that he was continuing to work in restaurants.
“I think there’s always that idea of [immigrant] parents wanting you to do better than they did, or not have to work as hard as they did … but if you’re in Chicago you know and respect the team that I’ve decided to play for,” he said.
He recently discussed his path to restaurant management, the origins of Ramen-san and its spinoff concepts, and the joy of running the Omakase Room, a 10-seat tasting-menu-only restaurant with checks starting at $250 that is nonetheless a fun place to spend the evening.
Additionally, he shared strategies for making takeout sushi delicious.
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