- Business Advocacy
Cozy, with a simple modern and contemporary interior, Yang’s Kitchen, 112 W. Main St., Alhambra, brings a new evolution of Chinese Cuisine to Alhambra. After a year and a half of converting the previous Mosaic Lizard Theater into a restaurant, Chef Christian Yang, Maggie Ho, and partner Chef Joseph Marcos have opened a long thought out restaurant that serves not just traditional Asian dishes, but their own interpretations of Asian food.
Chef Chris and Maggie, as children of Asian immigrants, enjoyed eating traditional home-cooked Asian food growing up but wanted to add a taste of 21st century American melting pot to the traditional dishes. Chris, who is passionate about cooking, decided to open his own restaurant after working and learning from the food industry for many years. Maggie decided to leave the accounting profession and support Chris. Together they opened the next generation Chinese restaurant.
The long-term couple took a one-year break after graduating from college to travel and accumulate experience to help them find the right tastes for their dishes. In October, they took the brave step of opening Yang’s Kitchen. “It is a tough and difficult process to start a restaurant,” Chris said. “You shouldn’t open a business if it is just for the money; you should do it because of your passion.” Maggie would post Chris’ dishes on social media with the hashtag #yangskitchen, and that became the official name for their restaurant.
Yang’s Kitchen’s fast casual-order-upfront-and-bring-the-food-to-you kind of service is one of the differences from traditional Asian restaurants. “It is more labor-effective, and it gets the tables moving faster,” Chris said. “It is fast casual, but our foods are cooked from scratch.” Yang’s Kitchen sources sustainable, local organic ingredients, and they are prepared fresh daily. Filled with outstanding flavors, the pork strozzapreti dish is served with Beeler’s braised pork with gravy, handmade strozzapreti wheat noodles from semolina topped with their in-house fermented mustard green relish, cheese, crispy shallots, and scallions.
Similar to the popular Taiwanese beef scallion pancake wrap dish, their version has braised beef and Mexican inspired taco pico de gallo and ponzu sauce. Most Chinese restaurants do not serve salad, and Yang’s Kitchen wanted to incorporate salad options on the menu for those who want to eat lightly. Crunchy and crisp, the roasted squash and kale salad is prepared with butternut and kabocha squash, grown locally, tossed in creamy miso lemon vinaigrette with herbs and pumpkin seeds and mixed with leftover multigrain rice that has been dried out and fried as garnish. “I enjoy the crunchiness and texture of the salad,” said customer Debbie Chiang. “The dressing is not overpowering, and it is not a usual salad where it has a bland taste. Their salad has a lot of flavor.”
To spice up and to add natural flavor to any dish, request their in-house chili sauces and fermented mustard, which takes about a month to ferment. The ingredients and labor process of crafting a dish is worth the price.
Yang’s Kitchen offers various flavors of kombucha on tap, agua fresca, 18-hour steeped cold brewed tea, and soft serve, all unusual to find on an Asian menu. Yang’s Kitchen prepares and makes their drinks with their original style. The kombucha bursts with tart flavor, and the oolong agua fresca is refreshing with orange juice, tea, and aromatic lemongrass. There is definitely something on the menu for everyone. Yang’s Kitchen offers gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan options. Chef Joseph has suggested to offer a kids’ menu because he wants kids to enjoy the food, too. Contact them at 626-281-1035 for orders to go, or check out their website at www.yangskitchenla.com for more information on hours and menu items.
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