While you cannot definitively see any Asian Americans in this Panda Express commercial (transcript follows),
“New Black Pepper Angus Steak – Tender Angus steak wok-seared with hand-chopped baby broccoli, onions, red bell peppers and mushrooms in a savory black pepper sauce. It’s hot off the wok and ready for takeout & delivery. Only at Panda Express.”
what caught my immediate attention was the song sung in Mandarin.
I immediately looked to see if the commercial was available on YouTube to do some more research. I discovered from the comments that this was a cover of Frankie Valli’s ‘Cant Take My Eyes Off You’ by Katherine Ho.
If the name Katherine Ho doesn’t sound familiar, she’s the artist that sang the Mandarin cover to ‘Yellow’ in the film ‘Crazy Rich Asians.’ Apparently, someone on YouTube had asked Panda Express and confirmed that it was Ho as well as the fact that there is no single of the song. That’s really too bad, since I *love* her rendition of the song. Maybe she could post one up in the future on her YouTube channel?
Beyond Ho’s cover of the song, I really liked the cinematography of the cooking, the chopping of the vegetables, etc. – it made me really want to try Panda Express’s Black Pepper Angus Steak and also try cooking the dish at home. They make it look easy to make!
Also, I like the fact as the commercial is zooming out of the kitchen, Panda Express is not shy to articulate that they are a Chinese American Kitchen … cooking Chinese American cuisine (not necessarily “authentic” Chinese). Chinese American cuisine may not be for everyone (I prefer authentic), but I can say I’m a fan of some Chinese American dishes.
Additionally, I noted that Panda Express mentions they are ready for takeout & delivery, given that we live in interesting COVID-19 times, where in restaurant dining won’t happen until mid-July (at least that is the current plan for opening up per the State of California).