Owners of Bethesda’s Milae Cleaners opening Korean restaurant

Kang family taking over former La Plaza space

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The owners of Bethesda’s Milae Cleaners on River Road will soon not only be dry cleaning shirts and suits, but cooking up bulgogi and kimchee.

The Kangs are opening a traditional Korean restaurant on St. Elmo Avenue, the site of the former La Plaza restaurant.

The new restaurant, which will be called House of Milae, plays off the title of their current business. Milae is the Kang’s 21-year-old daughter.

“Her name has been lucky for us,” says Thomas Kang.

Kang said the family wanted to expand their business, but didn’t want to open another dry cleaner. “We noticed that there are no Korean restaurants in Bethesda, and also my wife is a wonderful cook,” Kang said.

“M&M” Kang, as she is known, will be the main chef at the new restaurant, slated to open sometime in September after some minor renovations.

Thomas Kang, who will spend his time primarily at the family’s dry cleaning shop, said the food at the restaurant will be very traditional. “No fancy food, just plain Korean food…close to what a typical Korean mother would prepare for her kids,” he said.

Meanwhile, Milae Kang will also work at her namesake restaurant. A recent college graduate, who according to her father “didn’t like her major,” she’ll be working in the front of the house. “Milae, the real person, will be there,” he said.

4924 St. Elmo Ave., Bethesda.

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