Food

Maketto Chef Erik Bruner-Yang Is Opening a Hot Pot and Taco Restaurant on H Street

Yangs debuts Friday in the Impala Cantina space
Restaurateur Erik Bruner-Yang.

Maketto restaurateur Erik Bruner-Yang is playing with a new concept: Yangs, a hot pot and taco spot that’ll open on H Street Northeast this Friday. (If the combo seems random, albeit delicious, consider that it’s located in the Impala Cantina space.) The idea came about because Bruner-Yang and Impala business partner Troy Hickman wanted to do something different for winter—the chef says if the neighborhood likes the concept, they’ll keep it going.

“I feel like I always need to have something spontaneous happening,” says Bruner-Yang.

At the trendy Line Hotel, the chef toys with tradition at his American-Taiwanese restaurant, Brothers and Sisters, and standing-room-only Spoken English. At Yang’s, the hot pot menu reads somewhat more conventional (minus the separate option of tacos, of course). Diners  pick a base broth—a robust Chinese chicken or roasted vegetable—and then tick off items from a 40-odd list of meats, seafood, veggies, tofu, noodles, and dumplings to cook in the simmering liquid. Dipping sauces include flavors like ginger-scallion, crispy garlic-chili, and “really really hot sauce.” Rounding out the options are small plates like garlic rice or fried chicken, plus a concise list of beers and wines. Maketto chef de cuisine James Wozniuk is also helming the kitchen here. 

For Impala Cantina fans, there’s a separate, much briefer menu offered in the first floor bar area, with $3 street tacos (chorizo, steak), snacks (elote, guac), and no-frills drinks like Modelo and frozen margs. The area is meant to be good for a quick stop-in—or depending on crowds, a snack while waiting for one of the 50-odd hot pot seats upstairs.

Hot pot is a hot trend right now. Yang’s is one of several cook-it-yourself soup ventures to open this year, including all-you-can-eat Urban Hot Pot in Rockville; a recent branch of Little Dipper Hot Pot in Fairfax; and Fuyu, a Japanese shabu-shabu pop-up opening at Whaley’s mid-December.

Note: This post has been updated from an earlier version, with more information from Bruner-Yang. 

Yangs. 1358 H St., NE. Tuesday through Saturday, 5 PM to close.

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Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.