In 1975, Mandarin restaurant opened in Beverly Hills serving exotic Chinese food in an elegant atmosphere for dining and special occasions. Since it was a huge success, the owner, Cecilia Chaing and her son Philip Chiang opened another restaurant on Beverly Blvd. – Mandarette (little orange), a smaller and more relaxed eatery.

Today, Mandarette is still going strong after 25-years thanks to Ken Yang’s family. “My father was a chef at Mandarette Café in the 80s,” Yang said. “Philip Chiang sold the restaurant to my father and then went on to open his first P.F. Changs.”

After some research, I discovered that Chiang dropped the “i” in his last name. He teamed up with Paul Fleming (P.F.) and incorporated both of their names into the mega-successful Chinese Bistro style-restaurant.

Yang’s sister ran Mandarette for years and recently turned the responsibility over to her brother, Ken. “I was born in Taiwan, lived in Japan and graduated from Boston University,” Yang said. As an aerospace engineer for years designing radar enhancement devices, he always had a pulse in the restaurant business due to his family’s involvement in Mandarette. “I took over in April 2011, when my sister was ready to retire,” he said. “Our methodology is not to serve traditional Chinese food with heavy sauces, starches and MSG. Instead, we cook in a more healthy way. We focus on the quality of food and use more California flavors,” Yang said. “Also, we only have Chinese chefs in our kitchen.”

Eager to try some of his dishes, my friends and I asked our server, Nesia, which are some of the most popular dishes. Without hesitation, Nesia announced, “The strawberry shrimp.” The shrimp is adorned with sweet ruby-red strawberries and broccoli. It’s addictive and a first-rate dish.

Click on this link to read the rest of my review Courtesy of the Beverly Press and published on 5/ 17/ 12.

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