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  • Writer's pictureClara Kleindorfer and Kathleen Chen

Yang's Kitchen: Heaven with a Side of Kale Salad

Updated: Oct 11, 2020

Ama's Food Made with Sustainable Ingredients

watermelon hibiscus fresca, scallion pancake, beef noodle soup, and oolong fresca|pc: Jennifer Chong

At Yang’s Kitchen, you can leave all your worries at the door and indulge in heavenly food. The bright ambiance lifts the weight off your shoulders, as if you are floating in a different realm. Light floods in through the expansive windows as the divine aromas of beef noodle soup fill your nose. Awaiting your turn to order, your mouth waters at the sight of diners crunching on scallion pancakes.

Suddenly, you have the impulse to devour every single dish on the menu. Upon waiting for your dishes, you notice the same fiddle leaf fig tree that decorates almost every LA millennial’s apartment tucked into the corner before shifting your gaze to the kitchen, where traditional Taiwanese cooking is being practiced. When the food comes, you see the same braised beef rice that is served at street carts in Taiwan, but with a side of kale salad. Let me repeat. Kale salad. Rarely do you see such authenticity paired with an American delight. You realize that Yang’s has married the intricacies of American culture to the decadence of traditional Taiwanese cooking.

Within the restaurant’s mission lies undertones of American values, the most notable of which is bringing sustainably farmed ingredients into the kitchen in conjunction with creating delicious and healthy food. Chris Yang believes that the responsibility is on him as a restaurant owner to move the sustainability movement forward while educating his customers on the importance of food choices. Rather than contributing to Industrial Agriculture and Farming, a major contributor to global climate change, Yang sources ingredients from farms that are conscious of renewable practices. His beef is sourced from Santa Carota farms, where the cows are fed mountains of carrots.

While cooking has always fascinated Chris Yang, it was only when he met his girlfriend Maggie that his passion truly sparked. Initially, he cooked to impress Maggie. Shockingly enough, she wasn’t immediately blown away, but she documented Chris’s cooking “for the gram.” It was from these endearing moments that the couple’s love blossomed. The high school sweethearts dreamed of opening a restaurant together and felt happiest when feeding friends and family. This dream soon became a reality and enabled them to fulfill their goal of spreading the feeling of pure love infused within their cooking.

In the wake of the pandemic, Yang’s Kitchen was forced to make major adjustments. Yang realized that his restaurant could no longer operate the way it used to. As he walked through the aisles of markets, he noticed that many of our local grocery stores are no longer safe.

Shoppers roamed the markets disregarding social distancing protocols, and customers’ bulk buying tendencies strained produce stocks. Sensing the need for a safer means of purchasing groceries, he addressed these issues by converting Yang’s from a restaurant to an online platform selling kitchen accessories and local produce from farmer’s markets. The shift to an online service reduces potential health risks.

In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, Yang, an impassioned activist, is compelled to do as much as he can as an ally to the Black community. Yang’s has also committed to supporting the Black Lives Matters movement by temporarily ceasing to advertise their business whilst simultaneously selling merchandise promoting the movement on their website. Each piece of merchandise has inspirational Black Lives Matter quotes imprinted upon its surface, and for each piece that is sold a portion is donated to the organization. So far they have raised and donated five thousand dollars to the movement.

Yang’s Kitchen is paving the way toward a brighter future as an innovative and responsible haven of Asian American culture. They are doing their part to confront important sociocultural issues, encourage sustainability, and inspire the legacy of Asian American cuisine. It’s a home for Asian-Americans to enjoy the kind of authentic food that would be served at their grandparents’ houses while upholding their eco-friendly values.

Visit Yang's Kitchen!

Location: 112 W Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801

Order: Grubhub, Doordash, Seamless

Visit Yang's online market!

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Oct 13, 2020

I'm loving it. Can't wait to try it myself.

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