LAS VEGAS — Kung Fu Plaza, the oldest Thai restaurant in Las Vegas, has become the first Asian restaurant among Las Vegas restaurants to become a Certified Angus Beef licensee. The certification was approved after a six-month review process by Sysco, one of the largest food distributors in the world. Sysco also distributes a wide variety of specialty products to kitchens and restaurants, including custom-cut steaks and other meat.

“The certifying company reviewed our purchases for six months and visited our establishment during this period to make sure we were only using certified beef products,” said Alan Wong, general manager of Kung Fu Plaza. “This is a big deal in that we are the first Thai and first Chinese restaurant to become 100 percent Angus beef certified.”

Most Asian restaurants use tenderizers, chemicals, and other methods — such as pounding the meat — to create the illusion of tender meat, Wong said. However, he added most Asian restaurants also buy the cheapest quality and cuts of beef on the market.

“I love to eat steaks and prime rib when I go to other restaurants, but never order it at a Chinese or Thai restaurant because I am never sure of the quality,” he said. “You can destroy a dish if you don’t use the best quality of beef available. My ancestors did not use the cheapest meats so it doesn’t make sense for my family to serve the cheapest meats to our customers.”

Most dishes on his restaurant’s menu average about $10 per entrée. The only reason for an Asian restaurant to order inexpensive meats is to increase their profit margin or because sometimes such meats are more readily available, Wong said.

“Two of our most popular dishes have always been our Mongolian beef and spicy beef salad,” said Wong. “We have never used any other method to tenderize the meat other than buying the best angus beef available.”