About Us

In 1989, Michael Kwan was just 17 years old when he first stepped into the restaurant industry working as a busboy. In a just a matter of a few years, Kwan went from bussing tables to serving customers. In 1995, Kwan opened his very own restaurant, a 1400 square foot restaurant located in the city of Los Angeles, near West Hollywood and Beverly position. From serving tables, cooking behind the line, delivering food, and even purchasing meat and produce early in the morning, Kwan’s efforts taught him  to understand the restaurant business in every aspect, allowing him to run the operations efficiently and also cutting down on costs. In 2001, Kwan decided to take on another new and exciting challenge. This new concept eventually grew to be known as “WOKCANO”, an Asian Restaurant & Bar. WOKCANO on 3rd St., became a hit right away and suddenly became a local hot spot for many celebrities. With the success of his new establishment, Kwan expanded his restaurants to other urban cities. Today, the ZAO Brands group employs about 1000 people and generates approximately $100 million in annual sales revenue. The group owns 8 WOKCANO restaurants in Southern California major cities such as Los Angeles, Burbank, Cerritos, Culver City, Valencia, Topanga, Santa Ana and West Hollywood. In addition to WOKCANO, the Zao Group has also opened several other restaurant concepts such as “The Backhouse Yakitori Restaurant”, “Kues Modern Asian Bistro & Bar, “EMC Seafood”, “Bunkerhill Bar & Grill”, “Big Catch Seafood House”, “3rd Generation Sushi & Ramen Bar”, “Black & Blue”, & “COD”.