If you’ve ever been to any Marriot hotel or any of the brands they own such as the Ritz-Carlton, W Hotels, Bulgari Hotels and Resorts, Westin or the many others
You have been to one of 5,700 properties that are managed by Marriott International. The same way Marriott hotels operate is the same way many other businesses in varying industries are also managed, including restaurants.
This is Why We Have Nice Things
The privately-held, SoCal-based Panda Restaurant Group, or what you best know them for, is Panda Express. If you’re in the Pasadena area, you may have been to the Panda Inn (I actually went with my relatives), or Hibachi-San (first time I’ve heard of it). These are several of their brands that make up their group which is responsible for bringing Uncle Tetsu, a small family-owned Japanese chain to the U.S.
Uncle Tetsu was started in Hakata Japan in 1985 by Tetsushi Mizokami. His claim to fame is his cheesecakes which are more balanced with their sweetness while being like an airy French soufflé. That style when combined with the richness of an American cheesecake is why I got to try this cheesecake because I’m not into super sweet (yea, I like my desserts like how I am, not overly sweet). I guess I’m not the only one who likes it this way because there are approximately 80 bakeries worldwide with a majority, if not all of them outside of Japan, what’s up with that? From what I can tell, there’s only two in Fukuoka and their first U.S. shop is owned by the Panda Restaurant Group which opened in Hawaii on March 1st, 2016. The first one to hit the mainland (my hood), just recently opened in Arcadia, CA this September.
Experience and the Panda Knowhow
With 40 years of experience under the Panda Restaurant Groups belt, you can bet that the same quality and commitment that made Uncle Tetsu known around the globe is going to be carried on over to the United States. What else would you expect from a two-billion dollar a year plus restaurant group who is an ardent practitioner of Franklin Covey’s the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People?
Not Like Your Creepy Uncle
Good ole Uncle Tetsu is your new uncle who not only spoils you with his cheesecakes, but he’ll also entice you with his Asian-inspired beverages, cookies, cheesecake biscotti, and potentially more as the brand, and my belly grows too.
The Panda Does Not Just Do Bamboo
Aside from Panda Express, the Panda family is also involved with investing and supporting non-Panda brands. One such brand is Pieology (yea pizza, you surprised bro), but more importantly, they will also be working to bring Ippudo to California. Ippudo Ramen in the U.S. is currently only in New York, but they are slated to open their first location on the West Coast in Berkeley, CA.