Panda Restaurant Group goes high-end with YakiYan

December 27, 2016

Straight from Taiwan to the Los Angeles area comes YakiYan, a contemporary Japanese barbecue concept offering a high-end omakase menu with a focus on prime beef.

YakiYan, which debuted in December, has a surprising operator: Panda Restaurant Group Inc., the parent to the quick-service Panda Express chain, which will serve as the U.S. franchise operator of the Taipei City-based casual-dining brand.

YakiYan is a 20-unit restaurant chain in Taiwan. But PRG founders Peggy and Andrew Cherng saw an opportunity to grow the brand in the U.S. through their Cherng Family Trust Office.

It’s one of several concepts the Cherngs