If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know I *love* Din Tai Fung. I just came across the Los Angeles Times’ article on a new branch of Din Tai Fung that will be opening up soon:
“Popular Taiwanese dumpling chain Din Tai Fung is growing increasingly upscale, with plans to open its fourth U.S. location at swanky Glendale shopping center the Americana at Brand. In September, the eatery will bring its foodie favorite soup dumplings to Brand Boulevard, along with menu items such as pot stickers, noodles and truffle dumplings. Din Tai Fung, which has about 80 locations in Asia, operates two shops in Arcadia and one in Seattle. Owner Frank Yang said the Glendale launch comes as Arcadia becomes “very packed.” … The company is looking to open in more retail centers across the U.S. -– but only at higher-end locations. No strip malls, he said. The Americana stop – featuring a “modern, zen interior” – will be roughly 6,900 square feet and seat 160 people, Yang said. He hopes that diners there will be more diverse. “In Arcadia, 60% of customers are Asian,” he said. “We’re trying to bring our food to the mainstream. Hopefully more Americans will come.””
There are two Din Tai Fung’s in Arcadia, California and one in Bellevue, Washington. I’ve been dying for one to open in the San Francisco Bay Area. From my various sources, I know that the Din Tai Fung owners are extremely picky about opening new branches to ensure quality.
A friend of mine reminded me of a sore topic, where Frank Yang states “60% of his customers are Asian … Hopefully more Americans will come.” I’m sure Yang meant 60% of his customers are of Asian descent and probably a good majority of them in the greater Arcadia area are American citizens by birth or through naturalization. I am sure for my of us who have foreign-born parents, many older Asians refer to themselves as Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, etc… and the general non-Asian population as “American.” This is a self-perpetual foreigner syndrome. Being an American has nothing and should not have anything to do with race (unlike most countries). America is a land of immigrants. We may have our roots and certainly should not forget out heritage, but we are also Americans.