Nanlangka Teppanyaki and Sushi Bar opened its doors in 2017, bringing a touch of elegant Japanese dining to the City of Porterville. This was a first of its kind in Porterville, chefs grill the food to order in front of the guests over an open flame so that they can witness the great knife and grilling skills of the chefs who prepare their meals.
Nanlangka’s owner, Mr. Chanh Nanlangka however, was no stranger to fine dining or to the City of Porterville. In 1991 Chahn joined San Francisco's renowned Benihana, immersing himself in the art of teppanyaki. In 1995, Chanh moved to Porterville and began working at Tokyo Bowl, a Japanese restaurant on Henderson Ave.
In 1997, Chanh had the opportunity to purchase Tokyo Bowl. Today, Chanh employs nearly 20 team members at Tokyo Bowl and regularly draws large crowds for lunch and dinner. Throughout the years, customers repeatedly urged Chan to open a teppanyaki-style restaurant in town. Seeing Tokyo Bowl’s popularity and the increasing demand for more dining options, Chanh recognized the need to grow.
In 2013, Chanh began the process of transforming 560 N. Main Street, previously known as Carmen’s Mexican Kitchen, a vacant 3,926-square-foot restaurant in Downtown Porterville. It took years of careful planning and plenty of tenacity to execute the remodel and reconstruction of the location. Through that process, Chanh continued operating Tokyo Bowl and helped manage another local gem, Thai Kitchen.
After a full renovation, Nanlangka Teppanyaki and Sushi Bar opened its doors in 2017. The name itself is meant to honor Chanh's parents, who passed away before the grand opening.
At launch, the restaurant accommodated 132 diners and employed 42 team members. Fine dining enthusiasts were treated to mesmerizing fire shows as Chanh and his teppanyaki chefs dazzled them with their culinary artistry, and the restaurant’s sushi chefs wowed visitors with a superb sushi menu.
The restaurant's success, prompting Chanh to expand in 2019, only two years after opening the restaurant. The expansion added an extra 1,000 square feet, an enclosure of the existing patio for private events, seating for 50 more guests and 21 additional parking spaces. The total seating capacity at Nanlangka is now 182 with the patio ready to welcome 18 guests. The restaurant continues to employ more than 40 staff members. Nanlangka contributes to the local Porterville economy with a unique dining experience that is one of few in Tulare County. In 2023, Nanlangka drew in more than 50% of visits from Porterville and surrounding cities like Tulare, Lindsay, Terra Bella and Springville, and more than 30% of visits from areas further away, including Visalia and Fresno.
Beyond being a culinary destination, Nanlangka Teppanyaki & Sushi Bar fosters relationships and nurtures aspiring chefs, thanks to its communal ambiance. The restaurant's success owes to the hard work of everyone involved, including Chanh's family who have played a crucial role in its success and its loyal customers. Chanh’s wife, Souphan, continues supporting operations management and Chanh’s daughter, Mandy, is following in her father’s footsteps, preparing to open her own boba shop in Porterville soon.
Chanh and his team’s dedication has truly added more elegance to local dining. His investment contributes to a growing economy that not only creates jobs, it also enhances the prosperity and quality of life for Porterville residents.
In recognition of a steadfast commitment to delivering exceptional local dining experiences for nearly 30 years and adding renewed interest and increased foot traffic to Downtown Porterville, the City of Porterville proudly honors Chanh Nanlangka and Nanlangka Teppanyaki and Sushi Bar with the Outstanding Business Award.
The restaurant facility at 560 N. Main St., Porterville, Calif., before it became Nanlangka Teppanyaki & Sushi Bar.
The restaurant renovation efforts led by Chanh Nanlangka yielded a stunning new façade for Nanlangka Teppanyaki & Sushi Bar, which is now in its sixth year of operation.
Central Valley restaurateur Chanh Nanlangka, his wife, Souphan, and their infant son (center), pose with several of their more than 40 Nanlangka Teppanyaki & Sushi Bar team members in front of the 560 N. Main St. Porterville restaurant location.
Nanlangka Teppanyaki & Sushi Bar Head Chef Johnny Soukkhasem prepares to perform an on-the-grill trick to the joy of expectant diners.
Porterville Mayor Martha A. Flores presented the Outstanding Business Honoree Award on behalf of City Council to Chanh Nanlangka as meeting attendees celebrated the recognition.
The 2019 expansion resulted in an enclosed patio where diners can enjoy al fresco dining with a bit of privacy.