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“It’s been a protracted journey,” Dara Mirjahangiry tells HollywoodLife in an EXCLUSIVE interview concerning the rise of his restaurant, Sei Much less. Conceptualized within the quarantine as a member-only eatery celebrating hip-hop tradition, Sei Much less has shortly develop into the must-go vacation spot for A-listers in New York since opening in January 2022. Quavo, Kevin Hart, Gunna, Meek Mill, Cardi B, and Travis Scott are a few of the names which have eaten at Sei Much less, however the true cosign got here when Fabolous and French Montana dropped “Say Much less.”
“Fabolous was truly the primary superstar that I ever met in my restaurant profession in New York Metropolis,” Mirjahangiry tells HollywoodLife. Born in Iran, Dara and his household immigrated to the U.S. when he was two years previous. Rising up in America, Dara pursued a profession within the hospitality business, and that allowed him to attach with A-listers earlier than they blew up. He tells HL he was “constructing these relationships for years,” with one being with the “Into You” rapper. “So, it got here full circle by having [Fabolous] shout me out in certainly one of his songs. Having a track concerning the restaurant that I opened in January was simply one of the gratifying issues that would’ve occurred,” says Mirjahangiry.
The meals – a dynamic Asian Fusion menu ready by Chef Allen Ma – is only one motive why Sei Much less is a premiere vacation spot for hip-hop titans. The restaurant can also be a spot the place the tradition, and those that create it, will get the appreciation it deserves. “After we say the tradition and hip-hop tradition, it doesn’t imply music artists,” explains Mirjahangiry. “We’re an ecosystem of like-minded people that assist one another and values one another. I feel that’s what we’ve created; a hub in New York Metropolis the place folks from out of city, once they come to New York, they wish to maintain their conferences there. They wish to movie their podcast there. They wish to have their album launch get together there. It’s a spot the place individuals are snug – we don’t choose anybody.”
In an EXCLUSIVE interview, Dara discusses what it was like filming the “Say Much less” video within the restaurant, how Sei Much less drew such a clientele, and the primary dish that the restaurant ever served.
HollywoodLife: What was your first response to listening to Fabolous and French Montana’s “Say Much less?” Or listening to your title within the lyrics?
Mirjahangiry: It’s been a protracted journey. I’ve been constructing these relationships for years. Fabolous was truly the primary superstar that I ever met in my restaurant profession in New York Metropolis. So, it got here full circle by having him shout me out in certainly one of his songs. Having a track concerning the restaurant that I opened in January was simply one of the gratifying issues that would’ve occurred.
How was it filming the music video within the restaurant?
It was fairly seamless. Fab and French are each professionals, they’d an awesome crew with them. They acquired every little thing finished in sooner or later. I feel it was nice vitality and it was a pleasure working with them.
You stated the primary meal you cooked was for Bobby Portis. What did he order, if I’ll ask?
When Bobby is available in, I do know his order. I order for him; he doesn’t even have a look at the menu. He had a few of our signature dishes: the rooster satay, the shrimp satay, rock shrimp tempura, rooster wonton dumplings, lobster spring rolls, salt and pepper lobster, salt and pepper shrimp, lobster fried rice, Beijing rooster and candy and bitter rooster.
I learn that you just’ve maintained your friendships along with your childhood social circle. Has that perspective, that loyalty, been a key consider Sei Much less’s attraction to its hip-hop/sports activities clientele? There appears to be an emphasis on such bonds in these fields.
I’d say one factor that I feel is exclusive about my upbringing is that I keep the relationships with my core group of mates for the final 30 years. I grew up with a really various group of mates. I feel my publicity to so many various cultures at a younger age, and being an immigrant myself, allowed me to not choose folks for the place they’re from however who they’re.
I feel that’s one thing that actually resonated with lots of hip-hop artists and lots of athletes. They’ve grown up in these conditions the place lots of people try to reap the benefits of them or perhaps expose them or use them for one thing. They shortly notice I’m not a kind of folks. I genuinely construct relationships primarily based on belief, values and friendship, and people relationships have developed over the past 10 years.
Sei Much less has been described as a restaurant “created for the tradition.” How does the restaurant embody that ideally suited/gravitate towards hip-hop tradition?
After we say the tradition and hip-hop tradition, it doesn’t imply music artists. I feel there’s clearly an enormous emphasis on the tradition amongst totally different manufacturers throughout the nation. It may be a few of the greatest style retailers on the planet, a few of the greatest liquor manufacturers, after which with the tradition, that’s filling into possession of massive manufacturers. I feel with the restaurant and the way we’ve embraced the tradition, it’s not about music artists and athletes. It might be the crypto billionaire, it might be the tech billionaire, the true property man that’s investing in part 8 housing or somebody that’s investing in properties in Atlanta or Houston.
We’re an ecosystem of like-minded people that assist one another and values one another.
I feel that’s what we’ve created; a hub in New York Metropolis the place folks from out of city, once they come to New York, they wish to maintain their conferences there. They wish to movie their podcast there. They wish to have their album launch get together there. It’s a spot the place individuals are snug – we don’t choose anybody.
What’s it about Sei Much less that has attracted this A-list clientele? Each restaurant desires of being a celeb hotspot, however few pull it off. What would you say Sei Much less does that not many others don’t?
We’ve got a built-in clientele that I’ve labored with for over 10 years. And, a few of my companions doing hospitality have sure relationships, too. We deliver all of that collectively at Sei Much less. I feel what makes Sei Much less distinctive is that we’ve got these non-public eating rooms the place celebrities really feel snug coming and being themselves.
We by no means expose these celebrities; what they’re doing, who they’re coming with. It’s nearly making them really feel regular. We attempt to deal with them the identical as any of our clientele. I feel that’s why the celebrities resonate with us; we’re not starstruck and we’re probably not making an attempt to be additional. We genuinely attempt to present a service and an environment that they get pleasure from. I feel that’s one thing that has labored in what we’ve finished in eight months at Sei Much less.