A branch of Yang’s Braised Chicken Rice recently opened in the North Market of the Farmers Market/The Grove complex. Let me repeat that. Yang’s Braised Chicken Rice just opened up by the Farmers Market parking lot. You’ve heard of matches made in heaven? This match seems to be made in the other place. Yang’s is likely the largest restaurant chain in China. They have 6,000 locations in Asia. This branch, on the other hand, is located on the same street as Genghis Cohen. Moreover, Yang’s restaurants serve only one dish–you guessed it, braised chicken rice. The only variation is you choose from is one of three spice levels. That might be fine with Chinese diners who appreciate Yang’s braised chicken rice, but I don’t think there are very many people in the vicinity that fill that description. And at least originally, Yang’s was the most Instagram unfriendly restaurant I have ever encountered. When I went to their first US branch in Tustin a few years ago, they plated their signature dish with a large clump of white rice in the center, with their braised chicken on the perimeter. To save you the trouble of imagining what that looks like, just check the picture below. (Fortunately they have since replated the dish to put the rice on the bottom.) Meanwhile, I would imagine most customers in their new location would have their camera phones in hand when they walk in.
But you know, this might turn out all right after all. That’s because this branch of Yang’s deviates from the company mold. They actually offer a variety of dishes–orange chicken rice, sweet and spicy chicken rice, fried rice, all with brown rice options, as well as broccoli, an acai bowl, and French toast (with a $13 tab which simultaneously raises my interest, but which sounds too ludicrously costly to actually try). I had the orange chicken bowl and after having been not impressed previously with their signature braised chicken rice, found the orange bowl to be quite promising. It was not the typical sweet, gloppy, heavily breaded orange chicken most often encountered, but more like the quality versions of orange chicken found in the San Gabriel Valley’s Hong Kong style cafes.
I still wonder if the Yang’s branch on Fairfax makes sense, as the menu is still quite compact, and it isn’t cheap with almost everything priced in double digits. But at least they’re smart enough to make the necessary changes that might attract the local clientele.
Quite a few of them. Off the top of my head I think they would include Tasty Garden, A-Me Kitchen and Bay Cafe.
Completely agree on the orange chicken at HK cafes.
The best orange chicken I’ve had was Tasty Garden in Arcadia ten years ago when it was firing on all cylinders. The galbi was amazing, too.
Wait a minute x 2. Im always partial to single plate rice dishes and baked dishes at Hong Kong cafes. I didn’t know they did orange chicken. I usually get my fill by going to Panda Express (the trick is to wait for it to come out fresh and piping hot).
This is now a thread for orange chicken at Hong Kong cafes. For the record I don’t know anyone who has had Yangs. Who is eating that shit?
I gotta think Yang’s target audience is folks who were eating there in the old country. That’s probably why the original version in Tustin was so ugly.
sounds right up @TheCookie’s chicken alley, and neighborhood. piping hot review forthcoming?
Re: legitmate orange chicken. Reminds me of when ipsedixit recommended kung pao chicken at the old New Chong Qing. He was right. It was outstanding.
Thanks for the report! I have liked the Yangs at the Culver City mall but as you noted, it’s just a one item menu and so I would have not stopped by Yangs here. May check it out when I’m in the area. I’m often at the Farmers Market for my pickle and french ham addiction.
I ordered the braised chicken but have to admit I couldn’t stop plucking pieces of this not too orange sauce-y, super crispy goodness.
Braised Chicken (medium spice)
Just give me tender chicken, shrooms and aromatics in tasty braising liquid over rice and I’ll shut up. And medium spice is plenty spicy.
Fried Rice & White
The fried rice is basically the steamed rice (which is good) quickly tossed and not fully incorporated with soy sauce and sparse egg & scallion… but it’s allowed to be bland because braising liquid! If you’re pinching pennies there’s no need to spend the extra $4. Get the white.
I wanted to get a sample of the sweet & spicy chicken but the counter lady got busy so I passed. Oh and everything was so piping hot I was afraid the earth-friendly containers were going to melt, lol. Business was pretty steady for a late Thursday afternoon. Said counter lady was really friendly.
Thanks @chandavkl for reporting and @PorkyBelly for tagging me!
Thanks for the report what did you get in your
Thanks. I decided to pass on the red envelope because it was more involved than the sign presented - involving email addresses and such. We were pressed for time.
was it both dark and white meat ?
Hmmm… the chicken in the braised was either most or all dark. The orange chicken was probably the opposite, mostly white. I’ll update because I intend to become quite acquainted with that little chicken menu.
Another note on Yang’s: our food came in to-go containers because she mistakenly thought we were taking it out, so they may have regular plating, etc, but I’m not sure. TBC…
Just curious as to why you changed this from the somewhat edgy sentence in your Instagram post. I won’t quote it here but I found it a little unusual and thought provoking.