By David King

When the infamous traveling TikTok food critic, Keith Lee, announced that he was coming to the Bay Area, his followers listed several locations that he should visit. One of the more popular suggestions was Concord’s Papi Clary’s Kitchen.

Lee has 15.3 million TikTok followers and his food reviews have gained over 630 million likes according to Wikipedia. He travels to cities to review local restaurants, giving preference to Black-owned and family restaurants, small independent eateries who could use support. He frequently has family members place takeout orders on his behalf in order to avoid preferential treatment from restaurant owners.
His reviews follow a consistent formula, where he sits in his car and describes where he got the food, what his experience was ordering the food, how much he paid, and then he rates each item on a scale from one to ten.
Unfortunately, Lee did not review Papi Clary’s Kitchen. Instead, he pursued those from Oakland and San Francisco despite the numerous suggestions to Concord. He went to Oakland and San Francisco locations and cut short his trip. He bailed.
Nevertheless, it is undeniably a huge endorsement for this small restaurant in Concord to receive such popular support and recommendations.
Papi Clary’s own story (which she tells on their Instagram page) is one of hard work and entrepreneurial drive. Chef Clary, Claryzza Abilie, now 24, started to cook in her own backyard in 2019. In 2020, she was in lockdown in the Philippines while vacationing due to Covid. When she eventually returned, according to his Instagram, she was shut down five times trying to operate his “kitchen” from his backyard.
At that point, he states, “I decided to put on my big boy’s pants” and purchased a restaurant located at 2186 Solano Way in Concord.
Papi Clary’s Kitchen star continues to rise. Her menu specializes in birria entrees and often sells out. Curious? Give them a try. They also cater providing a variety of party trays.

This article has been corrected for a mismatch of caption and photo in its earlier version.

2 thoughts on “Concord’s Papi Clary’s Kitchen Recommended to TikTok Food Critic Keith Lee”
  1. Yes, Papi Clary’s is amazing!
    The Diablo Gazette’s reporting, however??….. awful!
    If David King did any sort of research, he would know that Papi Clary’s is owned & operated by a WOMAN. That is NOT Papi Clary in that picture. This is shameful and disrespectful to the fullest. Give that woman the credit she deserves. David King & The Diablo Gazette owe HER a public apology.

    1. Yes, you are correct, we mismatched a caption with a photo which led to a proofing error on the use of pronouns. Our apologies to Claryzza. Nevertheless, congratulations on your success.

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