The owner of Dynamite Korean St. Food and Sushi Grill’s dream of having his own restaurant in Las Vegas finally came true. Around the same time, he was also diagnosed with stage 3 tongue cancer.
This was the story the popular food critic, Keith Lee, read when he opened his DMs in early 2023. Business had been slow for the first 2 weeks of the restaurant opening, prompting an employee, Reggie, to email Lee in the first place. In typical Keith Lee fashion, he bought some food for a video review to “rate it 1 through 10.”
When Lee showed up to this mom and pop spot, he was greeted by the owner’s son, Steve and they chatted a bit about the business while Steve’s parents were in the back cooking as they did every day. After ordering around $79 worth of food, like orange chicken and korean short ribs, he took it home and ate it on camera, eyes rolling back, fair ratings of 8s and 9s flying for a place that was seeing as little as 20 customers a day.
Just a couple of days after Christmas, Lee received a text from Steve that, unfortunately, his dad had passed away in hospice, prompting Lee to make a video asking for the Las Vegas community to show up for this family in their time of need.
A Taste Test Event was held on December 31st where Lee himself would be there and personally pay for the first 300 customers in line. “I’m asking for the line to be out the door just to let them know, we’re here,” he said in a video announcing the event in honor of Steve’s father.
On December 31st, that’s exactly what happened, with a huge line of locals and even Californians wrapped around the plaza in what could be referred to as the “Keith Lee” effect. He posed for photos, talked with fans who came to meet him and show support for the family of Dynamite and gave the business a huge boost and hopefully, many lifelong customers.
“A five-hour wait time. Line around the corner,” Lee said in his video. “So I went, I said hi to everybody. I thanked every single person for being there. We took pictures, we had fun, we smiled, we laughed. Everybody was patient, everybody was understanding. I couldn’t say thank you enough.”