The zombies on AMC’s The Walking Dead have big appetites – there’s no doubt about that. They’re foodies in a sort of sense, but in honor of Sunday’s mid-season premiere, we thought it more fitting to converse with the living on the show. Steven Yeun plays protagonist Glenn Rhee, a human trying to survive in a zombie-driven world. In his real life though, he invests in things like the new Los Angeles restaurant (located in Koreatown), The Bun Shop. It’s a concept that was first started by Yeun’s brother Brian and his partner James Seok (a Morimoto alum) in food truck form. Now, they’ve built a brick and mortar version, where Yeun visits to eat, hang and vent about zombies of course. We hung out with Yeun at The Bun Shop, chatted on all things TWD and caught him and his brother spraying sriracha in one another’s faces (you know, what siblings usually do).
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
Breakfast: Coffee, eggs, and bacon.
Lunch: A nice sandwich.
Dinner: Steak and Potatoes.
What’s your drink?
A Whiskey Sour
How do you always start your day?
With a French Press coffee and a run through my emails.
What’s different about playing Glenn on The Walking Dead from other parts you’ve played?
Glenn is great because he gets to embody so many different roles. He can be the hero; he can be the victim; he can be the lover, etc. As an actor, it’s one of the best roles I could have ever asked for.
In playing the part of the Glenn, where do you draw inspiration from?
Glenn and I have a bit in common. I think the younger version of me was definitely an inspiration for Glenn.
What’s the most shocking discovery you’ve made in all your time of playing that part?
That I had a lot more in me than I thought I did.
What made you and your brother open The Bun Shop?
The Bun Shop is a creation between my brother, Brian Yeun and business/chef partner, James Seok. They originally created The Bun Truck and this is their brick and mortar. I am just along for the ride as an investor. Brian and James do all of the real work. I just show up and eat free food.
How would you describe the food?
It is a fusion of everything we grew up with. It says a lot about our particular generation. We come from a generation of Korean immigrant kids that grew up in the Metro-Detroit area. We have specific tastes and style and I think the food definitely echoes those things. An obvious description would be to call it an Asian-fusion place, but I liked what one person said about the food: “It’s Korea x Everybody.”
How is it working a family business?
We grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. My mom and my dad owned beauty supply stores, so we know the lifestyle. It has it’s days as a grind, but I think the deep satisfaction that all of the hard work is self-motivated is a great feeling. I’m sure Brian and James feel a sense of accomplishment every time they unlock their doors, because they made the place happen.