Despite being in the restaurant business for over 20 years, Lee Maen has a boyish charm and laid-back demeanor that make him look at least a decade (or two) younger—but don’t mistake that good-time, youthful aura for anything other than a resilient entrepreneur bursting with ideas and drive.
We meet for lunch on the patio at BOA Steakhouse on Sunset. Maen is dressed in jeans and a plaid shirt, and he’s on his way to Dubai (where IDG now has three restaurants along with one in Abu Dhabi) and then onto Saudi Arabia, where the group is looking to do a local partnership with the hit trio of BOA, ROKU and Katana. “It might be several locations for each,” he says over bites of goat cheese baklava drizzled with honey. “You’re going to love this—it’s one of our most popular dishes—along with the Caesar salad,” he says.
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