Jumping Onto The Titanic--Yang's Braised Chicken Rice in Tustin

It was big news last year when Yang’s Braised Chicken Rice, a restaurant chain with 6,000 branches in China, announced they were opening their first United States branch in Tustin. Well, I finally was able to make my way down there, and I feel fortunate that they were still in business because I can’t imagine how they have been able to survive so long. The concept itself is quirky–a one item menu (braised chicken rice, if you didn’t guess) with the only choices being variations in spice level. I could see that working for something, say, like Savoy’s Hainan Chicken. But the braised chicken here is too salty and too oily for my taste. On top of that they fill the bowl with the braised chicken, then stuff a giant scoop of white rice on top, largely obscuring the chicken… So where other restaurants now serve their dishes attractively with the express purpose of encouraging people to Instagram their meal, Yang’s does the exact opposite, as nobody in their right mind would want to photograph the presentation of their dish. Lastly is the cast of characters behind the counter. The lady behind the counter would easily pass for a homeless person. Indeed I wouldn’t be surprised if she is a homeless person. And the “chef” in back isn’t even Asian.

With Sichuan Impression and O’Shine Taiwanese cafe each just a couple of doors down on either side, I’m not sure what Yang’s owners were thinking in opening up here.

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If this were in Burbank and they sold this for $8 at lunch I’d buy it.

I guess they changed their serving method? 9/17 pic:

My friend alluded to the fact that the food was better when they opened. Quite possibly it was originally run by home office personnel, who went back and left the recipes for the permanent staff to follow.

I thought the food was meh, and I meh I mean that I won’t go back. I didn’t feel that I needed to finish my food.

BongChu in Koreatown does it better.

Similar concept, Better Execution. Much better.

the dish is largely about the sauce, which i understand is actually made in china and shipped to the US, so all you need is someone slightly more qualified than a trained chimp to run the pressure cooker to partially cook the chicken before assembling with the sauce, shiitakes, serranos & ginger in clay pots. that and washing the rice and putting the right amount of water in the rice cookers. and the dish was originally sold without rice, with people adding rice to the dish. having recently eaten at that clay pot place on valley in SG, i can’t imagine eating a clay pot rice dish without that crispy rice, but it is what it is.

Thanks for the warning and taking one for the team @chandavkl.

Signage for Yang’s opening in the Original Farmers Market next to Chipotle. Despite the lack of love on FTC happy to have it in the neighborhood but I can’t see this drawing much local enthusiasm.

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Actually they opened up in Rowland Heights and San Gabriel so I gave them another try, and they seem to have righted the ship. They even put the white rice on the side, rather than in the middle of the bowl on top of the chicken for all the Instagrammers. No complaints at this point.


OMG!! I’m totally excited for this! I am at the Farmers Market nearly every week for dinner. Both the Market and the Grove get their fair share of Chinese Tourists (Which flock to Pampas to load up on the meats)