Ever since Dahe Yang moved to Atlanta and opened Tasty China in Marietta, he’s been looking for an in-town space to call his own for nine years. He crossed the perimeter three years ago with the opening of Peter Cheng’s Tasty China II in Sandy Springs. Now, he’s made it to the heart of the city, and if all goes according to plan, Yang and Tasty China executive chef Jiguo Jiang will open their new restaurant, Jia, in Ponce City Market in the first quarter of 2015, ideally by January 15.
A traditional Szechuan restaurant, Jia will take the best of Tasty China II and combine it with new items created by 28-year-old Jiang, who moved from China three years ago. It will serve lunch and dinner and offer carryout service. Entrees will average $10-$12 for lunch and $15-$20 for dinner.
Most items will be served family-style. The one hundred-item menu will include stir-fries, steamed items, noodle dishes, and lamb, beef, fish, shellfish, pork, tofu, and vegetable options.
Yang promises bamboo fish, dried fried eggplants, black ear mushrooms with wild peppers, hot and numbing dry beef, ribs with black bean sauce, snow pea leaves in garlic sauce, and pork belly with potatoes served in a cast iron wok. There will be bang bang chicken, steamed chicken blanched and served with green pepper sauce, king crab asparagus soup, spicy peasant noodles, purple sweet potato rolls, and a Szechuan hamburger made with pork or beef with jalapeno and cilantro on steamed buns.
Typical Americanized regulars like Mongolian beef and Kung Pao chicken will be on the menu as well. For dessert, there’s Happiness Forever (fried Chinese dates stuffed with sticky rice) and sweet sticky rice with sweet potato sauce.
Jia won’t have a bar but will serve wine and beer (Chinese and domestic varieties), and possibly a traditional sake-based Chinese liquor.
Located in the Ponce City Market food hall with a large partially covered patio overlooking North Avenue, Jia has 1,950 square feet of interior space. It will be decked in traditional Chinese architecture, ideally with lattice woodwork on the double-door entryway, an archway designed to look like that in a Chinese family home, and a dragon motif wrapping one of the columns in the dining room.
Like every restaurant in Ponce City Market, Jia will operate a rooftop kiosk for two weeks each year, selling one unique item not on it’s menu. Yang hints that a sugar-coated traditional Chinese dessert is on the short list.