AAPI-run, with women in key leadership roles, KEI CONCEPTS began for a simple reason: build something that the community can be proud of and forge a path ahead for the next generation.
June 2022 marked another innovation with Ini Ristorante, bringing Japanese-inspired Italian cuisine to Little Saigon for the first time, further enriching Fountain Valley's culinary scene.
Meanwhile, Kei HQ expanded to house over 70 employees, even annexing neighboring areas to support our growth, a clear sign of our expanding influence and commitment to our team.
Branching out, KEI Events began crafting memorable experiences, blending creativity with high-quality production. This year, we've extended our reach through speaking engagements and podcasts, creating unforgettable moments and reinforcing our brand's impact.
In August 2021, Kei Concepts tapped into the hand roll trend, transforming a space within five weeks to launch OC's first hand-roll-focused eatery, a testament to our team's rapid innovation.
By October 2021, KIN, which began as a pop-up two years prior, opened its flagship location, fully embodying Kei Concepts' vision and offering a broad spectrum of izakaya dishes.
Kei Concepts HQ
In March 2020, reflecting our growth, Kei Concepts moved its office to a more spacious location in Huntington Beach.
As the pandemic continued, August 2020 saw NEP Cafe bringing comfort to the community with nostalgic Vietnamese-French coffee and brunch, a nod to the traditional Vietnamese mornings that many longed for during uncertain times.
That same month, our adaptability was once again on display as SUP Noodle Bar received a warm welcome at its new Irvine location, demonstrating our brand's growing appeal and resilience.
Kei Concepts partnered with street food sensation turned a fast-casual hit, Dave's Hot Chicken, to bring the heat to Fountain Valley. This partnership served as an invaluable learning experience that allowed Kei Concepts to further navigate its way out of the struggles of the pandemic.
Daves Hot Chicken
Kin Craft Ramen
Kei Concepts' inaugural pandemic pop-up in April 2020 showcased our agility, featuring innovative ramen bowls for car-bound diners, selling out with each ticket release during COVID-19, highlighting our ability to adapt and thrive even in challenging times.
2020 was the year that flipped the world upside down. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the restaurant industry suffered immensely; Kei Concepts knew that there were only two options: standby and suffer irreparable damage, or power through and emerge stronger than ever before - naturally, they chose the latter.
That same year, Kei Concepts’ partnered with globally-recognized boba tea concept The Alley to bring their first location to Fountain Valley, Orange County, drawing thousands of fans on its opening day alone. With the massive success of their first The Alley location, Kei Concepts went on to open locations in Irvine, Las Vegas, and Hawaii.
In August 2019, Kei Concepts opened Gem Dining, our first dip into the upscale dining scene. At the time of its opening, it was regarded by food critics as “the most impressive non-Vietnamese restaurant in Little Saigon ever.” With Chef Edward's expertise, it eventually earned a spot in the 2022 Michelin Guide.
Kei Concepts HQ
Alongside our restaurant expansions, Kei Concepts HQ also began in a modest space in Fountain Valley, symbolizing our growing roots.
The demand for SUP Noodle Bar's distinctive flavors led to the opening of another location in Cerritos, showcasing our growing customer base's enthusiasm.
The lessons learned from Pango's establishment led to the inception of The Vox Kitchen in 2017, quickly establishing itself as a fusion food haven.
Intent on bringing something special to Little Saigon, Viet and Neo brought a vision to life with Pango Taqueria in Fountain Valley with the help of Chef Edward Huang, where, despite the hurdles, proved to be a notable chapter in the company's history.
In 2016, Kei Concepts had the opportunity to collaborate with the H-mart food court for six months. This Sup Noodle Bar location served as a valuable learning experience for his team and has remained one of his favorite pop-up experiences to date.
In 2014, Buena Park, Orange County, was the stage where co-founder and CEO, Viet Nguyen, reimagined pho at Súp Noodle Bar, while Founding Partner, Neo Du, elevated front-of-house hospitality. The following year, Ivy Ha, our current CEO, began her leadership journey as a manager at SUP Noodle Bar.