Industry News | November 9, 2012

Asian Box Opens Second, Third CA Locations

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Asian Box announced the opening of its second and third locations in Mountain View and Burlingame, California.

Joining the Asian Box flagship in Palo Alto, California, Mountain View will open on Friday, December 7, 2012, and Burlingame will open on Saturday, March 2, 2013.

Following the brand’s tradition for store openings, a portion of each Box sold during opening weekend will benefit veteran charities as part of Asian Box’s Box of Life charitable giving.

Lifestyle brand Asian Box set the bar in becoming the first Asian gluten-free dining destination of its kind, bridging the gap between a fast-casual and neighborhood restaurant.

Offering an explosively flavorful, authentic, affordable, and cooked-to-order menu with all house-made sauces and marinades, Asian Box further differentiates itself by using only high-quality, all-natural ingredients and compostable packaging.

“We want to shock people with value, so they’ll say, ‘Wow, what a store! What a price point! What food!’” says CEO Frank Klein.

Staying true to the ingredients and style of Asian street food, the innovative Asian Box brand from FK Restaurants & Hospitality showcases traditional cooking methods and authentic recipes from corporate executive chef Grace Nguyen.

Formerly of Charles Phan’s acclaimed Slanted Door and Out The Door, Nguyen brings both her classic training and Vietnamese heritage to menu development.  

Since opening in March 2012, the first Asian Box in Palo Alto has become a regular dining destination for the Silicon Valley tech crowd, families, and nearby students.

“We have been a hit since day one and our ability to attract a broad demographic bodes well for our expansion into other markets,” Klein says.

Playing an integral role in store operations and growth for the Asian Box brand throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond is newly appointed regional operations manager Nate Keller, former executive chef for Google and owner/operator of the highly successful Bay Area–based Gastronaut catering.

While Keller will focus on store openings, Klein’s longtime business partner and culinary director Chad Newton will continue collaborating with Nguyen to home in on the authenticity and effective execution of Asian Box’s menu.

A husband-and-wife duo, Newton and Nguyen effortlessly marry the Northern California approach to cuisine with the colorful, aromatic foods found throughout Southeast Asia, offering a made-to-order menu that is completely crave-able.

“People want more clearly defined and authentic flavors,”Nguyen says.

Expanding on the current menu formula of base plus protein, fresh toppings, and sauce, the chefs will also roll out seasonal limited-time offers.  

With a variety of tasty options, guests can experience a different combination with each visit; however, the new Quickies offer a chance to taste the team’s favorite composed boxes.

Additional new menu items rolling out include a featured Asian Rib Night on Mondays, kids’ menu, and a limited selection of gluten-free wines and beers.

Echoing Klein’s desire to surprise and delight guests, each Asian Box restaurant emphasizes exciting visuals and atmosphere to match the punch of the food.

Longtime pop music critic and Rolling Stone contributor Joel Selvin of The Selvin Collection says, “Frank wanted the restaurants to sound like a Saigon hooker’s boombox, so we found the perfect mix of everything from Japanese garage rock and Cambodian pop to Burmese folk music for The Box’s upbeat soundtrack.”

Dining areas are juxtaposed withrecycled steel elements, reclaimed wood flooring and countertops, bamboo board wainscoting, vintage Asian light fixtures, and a soft color palette with accents of martini-olive green and spiced pumpkin.

Interior walls are plastered with splash-colored black-and-white images.

In addition to its rapid expansion, Asian Box will also debut a condiment and sauce line available in prime retail stores and online starting with three fan favorites.

In early 2013, the team will introduce the hot and slightly sweet Miss Jones' Sriracha; the salty, sweet, and spicy dry rub and sprinkle sauce Asian Street Dust; and the explosive HotBoxIt Sauce,a fiery blend of peppers, peppercorns, and chili oils.