Is Yang's Kitchen in Alhambra The Future Of Chinese Food In Los Angeles?

Though TonyC has greatly lowered his profile, he clearly still has his finger on the pulse. So when he says on Instagram that Yang’s Kitchen ought to be the future of Chinese food in Los Angeles, the rest of us definitely have to take note, and in particular with regard to the noodles being dished out. Since I don’t see myself headed that way for quite a while, I’d be interested in hearing from those who get there before I do.

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Oh wow

Menu
Menu

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I’m going to do a OOE here pretty soon I think

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Def look forward to your review.

Fascinating menu.

Does @hppzz know about this place? If so, wonder what his thoughts are.

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IIRC the last time tony was this enthusiastic he was raving about shi hai…

I’m excited for any new Taiwanese place.

I am a little wary even though the raw ingredients are considered better and more high quality sometimes the technique and “soulfulness” is not up to par in comparison to Granny/Auntie or a specialist that has been doing it for decades.

As for the future of Chinese food in LA, that is pretty damn bold statement. I personally hope to see more regional and specialists open shop.
I love the relatively recent dumpling wave, I really don’t care for Sichuan food, Taiwanese…we can do more than beef noodles, and popcorn chicken how about those pepper buns from Raohe night market or Taiwanese Hakka? Same with Cantonese/HK I love dim sum and cafe food but there is more.

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Damn, a cheesy scallion pancake sounds fuckin good right about now.

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I ate there this weekend and it’s a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Not sure how long it’ll stay though. The high price-point because of the quality ingredients appeals to a certain group of diners, but not sure if it’ll appeal to enough of the neighborhood regulars. I liked their set menu, the fact that they have vegetarian options, and the broth of their beef noodle soup. The noodles were slightly too soft for me, but I’ll chalk it up to soft-opening pains and maybe the kitchen not dialing in the hydration w/ the fancy flours.

I’d definitely go back.

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Tony’s the food pimp.

It was closed for re-tooling when I went yesterday. The future is on hold.

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Yang’s Kitchen screams Pine & Crane, Joy, Little Fatty, Lao Tao, and the likes. Fusionized for a more broad crowd besides Chinese/Asian diners.

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The real question is can they go for that wider audience with out losing local Chinese Chinese-American customers

Tried stopping by this weekend as well but the kitchen closed down 10 minutes prior - many stressed looking young ABCs with the new brand of “cleaned up” Asian food on the tables. I’m ambivalent about the new trend but not entirely opposed.

this isn’t a trend, in fact it’s natural evolution of the diaspora–unless it’s a mainland Chinese import, these new restaurants opened by younger gen Asian-American chefs will be “fusionized” for lack of a better term. If these young restauranteurs grew up here in socal, their culinary perspective will definitely be influenced by the amazing diversity here. In our own family, I look at how we are introducing our toddlers to different ways of eating–mexican, korean, chinese, thai, cali, italian, mediterrean, you name it cuisines on a weekly basis and they are just as comfortable eating all those cuisines as their mother cuisine, vietnamese.

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Made it here on a hot LA afternoon and got to try a few items off the menu

Beef Noodle soup w/extra soy egg
I would go back just for this bowl of soup. I’m far from a beef noodle soup expert, but the broth is definitely the highlight here. Didn’t sense much of the herbs and spices, but the essence of beef had been significantly cooked into this broth. It was clean and not oily, but the beef taste was very concentrated with a long finish. I really really liked the braised beef - very tender, with just enough chew and flavor; much better than the over cooked and chewy stuff I’ve experienced elsewhere. I personally liked the house-made noodles as well, though it tastes a bit like eating home-made fettuccini in your noodle soup. But the noodles held up well in the broth. The chrysanthemum greens imparted a nice herbal quality to the bowl. The side of mustard greens and optional chili were both fresh-tasting and additive.


That’s the soy egg - cooked pretty nicely with an oozing yoke. Sorry I’m still getting used to a new lens so need to learn how to focus better.

Beef scallion pancake wrap I also thought “what the heck” and ordered the avocado add on; it came with a choice of side salad or tomato seaweed soup. The salad was fine enough, and I ordered it because I needed some veggies, but clearly I should have tried the tomato seaweed soup just to see what that was like. Next time…

You can see that they use the Santa Carota beef here in this roll as well. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a beef roll, this is not going to scratch that itch. I would say this tastes more like a braised beef taco in terms of flavor profile, especially with the avocado. The whole was a bit less than the sum of the parts, and I probably wouldn’t order this again.



A couple of cold vegetable appetizers - cold pickles and some root vegetables. The cucumbers were a tad soggy, and I was hoping for more boldness (brightness, acidity, and spice) from this. Hopefully they can dial this in a bit better going forward.

Taiwanese oolong tea in a carafe

So one hit and some misses for me. However, the hit (the beef noodle soup) was really good. Next time, I would go back and try that along with their braised pork rice and maybe some fried chicken. From my sample size of one, it looks like they do a great job with protein and pretty great with broth (though I can see some of you not enjoying the style).

The service is in the fast-casual style. You go to the counter and order, then get a number and sit at a table. The restaurant is still working out some kinks; for example they missed an add-on to my order but rectified that quite quickly. But the employee-to-customer ratio is pretty high - looks like 1:3 to 1:2, so service is pretty responsive. They bring you water and were pretty quick to respond to any requests or questions that I had.

P.S. Pre-Bang at Ruby BBQ Combo (roast duck + siu yuk) with rice and yau choi
I liked the siu yuk quite a bit; the roast duck was decent but not destination-worthy for me

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How close were you when you were taking the photo? Wondering if you fell under the min focusing distance.

Nice review, BTW. :slight_smile:

your review of the beef noodle soup makes me think of what ivan orkin did in creating ivan ramen’s broth where it’s possible to integrate western technique to create a light clean tasting broth - though orkin also uses plenty of schmaltz - yet still create a bowl that the japanese accepted as being thoroughly japanese. you described it as fettucine; i’d be interested to find out if they make their own noodles or not.

when it comes to other dishes, what some people consider fusion, i’m going to categorize as assimilation. when mutually exclusive values try to occupy the same space, one set of values is going to dominate; you’re never going to have kosher bacon. it starts when you don’t know enough about a culture to know when you’re violating a standard or you assume that the standards in each culture are similar.

I was expecting a Niu Rou Juan Bing, wtf is that just pile on some beef, veg, avocado, and a lime wedge lol.

I’ll be honest for me the way that beef noodle looks and sounds…seems pretty boring and one dimensional.

None the less i will give this place a try. Always down to try some new Taiwanese.

Yeah, I think I might have been closer than MFD with that pic :). Also the lens is a longer focal length (45) than I usually use (35) so the DOF is thinner!

Funny, my favorite ramen broth in NYC before they opened Totto Ramen was Ivan Ramen (the noodles, not so much). Is it only a western technique though? I remember having a bowl of noodles in Beijing where the broth was really rich in flavor, but not necessarily rich in texture. I feel like Chinese/Taiwanese cuisine can offer this, when executed well. But again, I’m definitely not super knowledgeable on this stuff.

I should have asked directly, but from the menu and based on comments in TonyC’s IG, the noodles for the bowl I had are made in house. The noodles for the pork noodle soup and the cold noodles don’t look like they’re made in house.

Just a quick clarification that the veggies are pickled, and there’s also pico de gallo. But yeah it’s not going to taste near a niu rou jian bing, more like a taco :). Though now that I just finished the leftovers, a closer Asian food comparison would be a banh mi (obviously with a pancake instead of baguette).

Yeah, I agree the broth is more one note, but for me that one note is pretty well done. Whereas I’ve personally tried broths that have a bunch of herb and spice flavor, but the meat flavor itself was pretty flabby. Will be looking forward to your seeing your views after you’ve gotten to go!

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I think this restaurant is a nice choice if you are in the area. The food is healthy, and it’s made with a noticeably higher-than-average level of care. But the flavors are neither strong and exciting nor deep and nuanced, so it’s not a restaurant I would suggest going out of your way for.

My wife and I tried three dishes as well the cold dishes they had for sampling. None of them tasted the least bit Chinese. That’s not a criticism. I don’t think the restaurant is trying to be a healthy Chinese restaurant; I think it just happens to have Chinese owners. I think it’s cuisine non-specific, like Sqirl for example.

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