‘In the Weeds’: A carousel of pivots at Yang’s Kitchen

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Chef Chris Yang explains that his approach to the pandemic was experimental, offering meals at different price points and gauging the public’s interest in foods he made at home, such as his Thanksgiving prime rib. Photo by Brandon Lee.

Chef/owner Chris Yang had a neighborhood and media darling on his hands when Yang’s Kitchen opened in 2019. Despite its popularity and accolades, labor and the price of ingredients barely let him break even. And then there was the pandemic. Yang approached the challenges as an experiment to gather data and see what worked best for the business. He pivoted to a marketplace, playing with holiday specials and different price points. Now the restaurant is back open with new dishes, brunch service, and an 18-seat patio. 

Chris Yang is now serving a cornmeal mochi pancake at Yang’s Kitchen, a hybrid of American and Japanese breakfast. Photo by Brandon Lee.

Chris Yang estimates Yang’s Kitchen pandemic pivoted four or five times over the course of the last year. Photo by Jennifer Chong.



Evan Kleiman