One of the Bay Area's original food celebrities, chef Martin Yan of Yan Can Cook fame, says he is on the hunt for a new space in Chinatown where he plans to revive his dormant M.Y. China restaurant concept.

As SFGate reported this week, Yan is looking at a couple of spaces in Chinatown where he hopes to move and reopen M.Y. China in time for Lunar New Year.

M.Y. (short for Martin Yan) China debuted on the top floor of the Westfield San Francisco Centre in 2012 to pretty immediate acclaim. The restaurant, a collaboration between Yan and Daly City's Koi Palace, featured hand-pulled noodle dishes and a noodle-making station behind glass where diners could watch the noodles being stretched — adding to the theater of the place.

"Everybody loves the M.Y. China,” Yan tells SFGate. “It's not just you come into M.Y. China to eat and enjoy a meal. You can feel the excitement.”

A dramatic bar featured a massive, decorative, antique Chinese bell that was hung from the ceiling at great expense.

"Our bar had a beautiful bell of good fortune and good luck that weighs about a ton,” Yan tells SFGate. “When we hung it, it cost almost $80,000 to reinforce the ceiling. We haven't moved it yet.”

Yan says that he and his team are looking at a couple of spaces, but one of them is the former Cathy House at California Street and Grant Avenue. The multilevel space could house several concepts, including an M.Y. China Express on the ground floor — and Yan is toying with calling the new, main resturant M.Y. Chinatown.

In addition to getting the restaurant back alive, Yan is also eager to do his part to bring tourists back to Chinatown post-pandemic.

Yan currently only has a restaurant in Las Vegas, M.Y. Asia, which opened in February 2022.

Stay tuned for updates later in the year, if and when Yan and his team ink a deal for a space.

Photo courtesy of Martin Yan