The Robots Are Coming for Chinese Food Next at This New LA Restaurant

“We enjoy Panda Express and P.F. Chang’s, but we don’t consider it Chinese food. We consider it American food,” says Su. “They’re Chinese in concept, but the flavor is designed for the American palate. We think it’s time to popularize more traditional Chinese dishes and educate the mainstream on what Chinese food tastes like to us.”

Despite the chef robots being an integral part of the restaurant, they are almost hidden from sight in the rear kitchen. The machines, which are designed and built in China but acquired through a U.S. distributor with FDA certification, represent the cutting edge of culinary automation. These machines allow users to upload recipes and instantly send distribute them to other connected devices, ensuring consistency across all dishes. The robots do a good job of mimicking one of the most important qualities of Chinese cooking — “wok hei,” a term referring to the distinct, smoky flavor imparted by high-heat cooking in a well-seasoned wok. The robots can stir-fry, stew, boil, and simmer with heat control of up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. They can also add up to 16 kinds of seasoning to a single dish and test the temperature of the food before serving it. Afterward, the machines will automatically wash and sanitize the work in under 30 seconds.