If simplicity, is, as Leonardo DaVinci said, “the ultimate sophistication,” then in a world of fusion cuisines and molecular grastronomy, Yang’s Braised Chicken Rice stands above all other restaurants in terms of sophistication. Founded in China’s Shandong province by Xiao Lu Yang in 2011, the restaurant has one item and one item only on its menu: the titular braised chicken dish, served with rice. Don’t laugh: Yang’s success speaks for itself: they have nearly 6000 stores throughout mainland China with additional locations in Singapore, Melbourne, and Japan. Their first U.S. location is coming to Tustin, California – in Orange County – next month.
Yang’s gimmick is that there is no gimmick. The dish consists of a pound of chicken thighs that are marinated along with ginger, mushrooms, and peppers in Yang’s special sauce – a family secret since the 1930s – and partially cooked in a pressure cooker before being finished in a clay pot. China Daily writes that three level of spiciness are available and that the restaurant advises dumping the rice – which comes on the side – directly into the pot to enjoy.
Because the sauce is produced in China and exported, the taste of the dish will be nearly-identical to that which is enjoyed throughout the world.
L.A. Eater reports that the Tustin location will have 40 seats and is slated to open on September 10th. The braised chicken will cost $9.99.
Is this kind of success through simplicity replicable among the foodies in Southern California? We think so.