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  • Anna Kleindorfer and Gio Kang

Delicious Chengdu: Tradition meets Technology

A traditional Sichuan restaurant with an added modern twist, Delicious Chengdu charms all its visitors with its in-house mini marketplace and its excellent service. Chef Yu, head chef and co-founder of Delicious Chengdu, has worked at the restaurant for over 35 years, and in his time, has been able to perfect the menu and create dishes for customers of all demographics. After facing business-threatening challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, Delicious Chengdu was on the verge of closing their doors. Here Mike Chen and Lena Zhang entered the storyline: two ambitious, passionate friends, eager to take on a new enterprise, they partnered with Chef Yu to keep Delicious Chengdu open during the pandemic.

They brought new perspectives and experience to the table, and began to add innovative aspects to the restaurant. In addition to being a sit-down restaurant, Delicious Chengdu boasts an in-restaurant market place, as well as many recent developments pertaining to the set-up of the restaurant, technology, and creating a community of people around Sichuan cuisine. As a restaurant with a devoted customer base, the new owners of the restaurant, Lena and Mike, have come up with new events and ideas in order to widen their current demographic and create an even more tightly knit community.

Chef Yu, Lena, and Mike are the three musketeers of Delicious Chengdu – they make the perfect team. In her early days, Lena Zhang worked as an architect, but later became a food critic under a Chinese media company. As a professional architect, Lena understands how location impacts business and uses her knowledge to efficiently utilize space in the restaurant. Additionally, as a former food critic, Lena is well-versed in restaurant culture, and knows the steps to creating a successful, well-functioning restaurant. Her past occupations form the ideal background for operating and overseeing Delicious Chengdu.

Her partner, Mike Chen, has worked in kitchens for the majority of his life. He discovered his passion for food at a young age, and holds experience cooking all over the world. He attended culinary school, specializing in traditional French cooking techniques, that he and Chef Yu have applied to Delicious Chengdu’s menu. Mike is also a self-taught data scientist, who previously oversaw casino data servers in Las Vegas, but returned to the restaurant business after rekindling his passion for food. Chef Yu has been with the restaurant since its opening, and has stayed true to the heart of traditional Sichuan cooking. As an experienced, well-respected chef, Yu has traveled internationally to learn about different cuisines and culinary techniques, and he has worked in 5-star restaurants over his 30 year career in the restaurant industry.

Delicious Chengdu’s appetizers have secured their place as a customer favorite – the spicy popcorn chicken, smoked duck, and stir fried pork prove to be a widely loved trio. In addition, as a result of Chef Yu’s extensive experience with cooking fish, one of Delicious Chengdu’s signature dishes is a “fish filet in pickled broth,” whose spice varies depending on the customer. Other fish-centered dishes include their “fish filet in chili oil” as well as their “fish filet in green pepper broth.” Lastly, the “supersize fire-wok chicken” often brings a wow-effect to

the table, as its size and flavors leave customers wanting more!

At and since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have made many modern advancements to the restaurant. Mike and Lena plan for Delicious Chengdu to develop into a high-tech restaurant, while maintaining its traditional Sichuan cuisine.

To improve efficiency and expand service hours, Mike and Lena plan to partner with a technology company that specializes in robot (automated) servers that can serve pre-produced dishes. They’re both very open to new technological advancements within their business and are extremely excited to start the project. Mike explains, “Community is very important to us. With our restaurant, we want to create a space where people can come to enjoy our food, but also to enjoy others’ hard work.” For this reason, Mike and Lena plan to have film and art-market events on their outdoor patio where they will showcase films and artwork of local artists, with the hopes of bringing together members of the community and supporting other business owners. Another goal of Mike and Lena’s is to establish a food delivery service that utilizes drones as delivery agents – a project they’ve already begun working on. Their delivery drones will travel within a 3-5 mile radius of the restaurant and will be able to drop into backyards or bring food up to the window of multi-story apartment buildings. Mike and Lena’s futuristic business goals give light to their ambition and their dedication to filling Delicious Chengdu with excellent service and a loving community.

The road to rescuing and maintaining business at Delicious Chengdu has not been an easy one. Mike talks about his advice to other restaurant owners and says, “To be honest, we are still experimenting. From our perspective, community is really important – a restaurant is not just a place that serves food, it's an area where people gather to share a common love for the food they are eating.”

Visit Delicious Chengdu!

Address: 9679 Las Tunas Dr, Temple City, CA 91780

Phone: +1 (626) 286 - 9996

Website (order pick up/delivery):

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