FYI Philly celebrates Asian American & Pacific Islanders Month

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Monday, May 6, 2024
FYI Philly celebrates Asian American & Pacific Islanders Month
Host Nydia Han and Christie Ileto celebrate Philadelphia's AAPI business owners on this week's FYI Philly.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Host Nydia Han and Christie Ileto celebrate Philadelphia's AAPI business owners on this week's FYI Philly.

Royal Izakaya home to Philadelphia's only James Beard finalist chef

Housed in a traditional South Philadelphia Rowhouse, Royal Izakaya has a speakeasy vibe.

When the red lantern goes up, it means the doors are open. The restaurant has no sign.

There's a lively Izakaya in the front, a Japanese bar with a broad menu and a no-reservations, walk-ins welcome rule.

In the back, there's an intimate eight-seat omakase where five nights a week, Chef Ito does two seatings, about two hours each, hand-crafting sushi and chatting with guests about what makes each piece so special.

Jesse is a seven-time James Beard award nominee, most recently up for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic.

He's Philadelphia's only finalist for this year's prestigious award.

The ceremony will be held on June 10 in Chicago.

Royal Izakaya | Instagram

No reservations, walk-ins welcome

Royal Sushi Omakase | Instagram

8-seat sushi bar, reservations required

780 S 2nd Street Philadelphia, Pa. 19147


Vietnam Restaurant honored as James Beard 'American Classic'

After 40 forty years, longtime Philadelphia establishment Vietnam Restaurant was awarded a James Beard Foundation 'America's Classics' award.

Owned and operated by the Lai family since the beginning, their authentic outposts feature Vietnamese staples and more.

In 2008, they opened a second location, Vietnam Cafe, in University City with the family's original grocery Fu Wah just around the corner.

Nhu Lai and Thuyen Lai and their eight children fled post-war Vietnam's Communist rule in the 1970s.

Son Benny Lai, who now manages the University City location, remembers the harrowing journey across the South China Sea as a 12-year-old.

The family lived in a refugee camp in Malaysia and was finally able to come to the United States in 1979.

Three generations of the Lai family.

Vietnam Restaurant | Facebook | Instagram

Vietnam Restaurant

221 N. 11th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19143


Vietnam Cafe

816 S. 47th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19143


Fu Wah Grocery

810 S. 47TH Street, Philadelphia, PA 19143


Takumi Bistro & Bar brings sushi, sake and ramen to the Main Line

At Takumi Bistro & Bar the menu can best be defined as robust.

There is an array of choices at the sushi bar prepared by Nobu-trained sushi chef Larry Giang.

There is a kitchen creating hot dishes like Ramen and wagyu fried rice.

They have a full bar service with a sake-forward approach bringing in a far-reaching variety of the specialty drinks.

As an added bonus, there is an outside patio for eating.

Takumi Bistro & Bar | Facebook | Instagram

821 Lancaster Avenue, Wayne, PA 19087

Earthside Provisions' menu blends Chinese culture and motherhood

Victoria Lindchan is part Chinese, part Polish and 100% mom.

Motherhood is what took her on a journey to create Earthside Provisions.

A budding herbalist, she learned the importance of nutrition for postpartum care after her first child's birth.

When she had her second child, she prepared by exploring her Chinese roots for natural remedies that helped with lactation and digestion.

Those recipes are now part of her menu at Earthside Provisions.

She creates them out of a commissary kitchen in East Falls and brings them to local farmer's markets around the city.

You can also purchase through her website.

Earthside Provisions | Facebook | Instagram

Local couple creates Indian spice blends for Moji Masala

When it comes to making a good meal, it's all about the seasoning.

Local couple Shireen Qadri and JD Walsh can help you up your Indian spice game with Moji Masala Indian spices.

Moji Masala offers 14 different blends, and each blend makes one dish.

The colorful packaging provides a shopping list of ingredients needed and a QR code on the back.

Once scanned, the QR code takes you to a short video on how to make the dish.

Moji Masala allows cooking to be done quickly and filled with flavor.

There are vegan and vegetarian options as well.

The couple originally lived in New York and wanted to create a business together.

With their common love for Shireen's mom's Indian dishes, Moji Masla was born.

You can purchase their spice blends on their website and find local retailers that sell their products.

Moji Masla | Instagram | Facebook

The Gables Bed & Breakfast offers hidden hospitality

An opulent mansion in the heart of West Philly is a hidden gem of hospitality called The Gables Bed & Breakfast owned and operated by the Gonzales family.

Cesar J. Gonzales, Jr. handles the business end and oversees operations with his family members.

The family immigrated to the United States from the Philippines and acquired another stately property in Reading, The Gables at Stirling Guest Hotel, which has become a popular site for weddings and events.

The Philadelphia location features 10 guestrooms, and all furnishings are of the Victorian era. Cesar also serves the breakfasts, which he cooks - often showcasing Filipino dishes in addition to the full American breakfast.

The Gables Bed & Breakfast - Philadelphia | Facebook | Instagram

4520 Chester Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143


The Gables at Stirling Guest Hotel - Reading | Facebook | Instagram

1120 Centre Avenue, Reading, PA 19601


Ettie Kim designs special occasion invites, Korean learning line

Ettie Kim is a self-described Korean American paper pusher who designs everything from celebratory banners to party place settings and wedding invitations.

She launched Ettie Kim Studio seven years ago.

Then, when she became pregnant with her first child, she created a Korean learning line with bilingual charts that she designed to double as wall art.

She also creates tablescapes for Baek-ils, which celebrate a child's first 100 days, and dohls, for first birthdays.

And business, to her pleasant surprise, is booming with customers from all around the world ordering her creations online.

Kim says after years spent trying to assimilate, second-generation Korean Americans like her are now working to ensure their children understand their heritage and culture so that it doesn't get lost.

Ettie Kim Shop & Studio | Facebook | Instagram

Asian American Pie concert breaks ground with all-Asian lineup

Asian American Pie is a show designed to rock audiences and break new ground as the first rock concert featuring an all-Asian American fronted lineup.

The special AAPI month concert will be held at World Cafe Live and was organized by Judah Kim and John Kim Faye, both of whom are also performing.

The goal is to showcase the often-overlooked contributions of Asian Americans in rock and roll.

They hope the concert will inspire other creative-leaning Asian Americans to challenge traditional cultural ideas of success and join them on the musical scene.

Asian American Pie | Tickets

Saturday, May 11, 7:30pm (Doors open at 6)

The Lounge at World Cafe Live

3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Pa.

Featured Artists:

Beau Frères | @beaufreresmusic

Alyssa Garcia | @alyssaggarcia

John Faye | @johnkimfaye

Judah Kim | @judahkimmusic

Moonroof | @moonroofmusik