Brothers David and Andrew Fung were raised in Seattle but as kids frequently visited their cousins in the San Gabriel Valley. "Those were some of my fondest memories," says Andrew, biting into a Hong Kong waffle sandwich at a new Asian coffee and tea joint in Monterey Park, before passing it to David for a sample. "I remember thinking, 'I ate that really good thing [there], how come we don't eat that in Seattle?' "
That good thing, it turns out, was a Chinese breakfast favorite called fan tuan, made from fried dough, pork floss and rice. Such Eastern culinary staples now are part of daily life for the Fungs, who moved to Monterey Park last year. They began making the SGV a focus of their YouTube videos, an appealing mix of rap and food jokes that also spotlight their Asian heritage. "We're not food experts," David says. "But I'm happy to be a cultural representative for the Chinese."
They've become successful enough to quit the part-time retail jobs they used to juggle and to be featured on YouTube's Hungry Channel — where they had their own show in which they, um, ate calf testicles. (Among more traditional food items.)
Their most successful YouTube video is 2012's "626," which is named after the SGV's area code and hilariously portrays the lives of young Asian-Americans there. Borrowing the beat from Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa's "Young, Wild & Free," it's been viewed nearly a half million times. "626" highlights local eateries like Savoy (for the Hainan chicken over rice) and JJ Café (for the plates of steaming fried rice). "So what we hang out? So what we drink tea? We just sittin' good in the SGV," the Fungs sing. "So what we eat late? That's how it's supposed to be."
With a father from Hong Kong and a mother from Shandong in mainland China, the brothers are two years apart but often are mistaken for fraternal twins. David, 26, usually takes the lead in conversation, while Andrew, 24, is more low-key. (When they're unsure, they'll look to each other for cues.)