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Love Famima!

Has anyone gone to Famima, the new Japanese 'convenience' store? I read about it in Time magazine and just visited the Hollywood location. Great sushi, sandwiches, and a variety of steamed buns.

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  1. Yes...Famima is a great fun!

    There have been several posts on the various Famima stores in LA. Shachi, just type in "Famima" in the search bar at the top of this page and I think you will find a lot of talk! Also, google "Famima" and you will find their site in English.

    They expanded quickly in Los Angeles. I wonder if they are still opening new stores -- and where?

    1. I love Famima too! Wish they would carry more Japanese items though ;)

      They are opening up one on Overland and Venice by the new ASAP CPK. It doesn't look close to being done yet, but it does say Famima coming! Can't wait!!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Alice

        Good to know, Alice -- this area works for me!

        1. re: Alice

          NO WAY!! That is too close to home... walking distance actually... Damn...


        2. I'm a little on the fence about Famima. I think I'm more enticed by the idea than the food. I love all the quick options but I found the sushi to be TERRIBLE. The buns were at best only ok. The panini, however, satisfied me a great deal. And the beverage options are overwhelming! So many delicious optons. But the worst/best thing about that place is I cannot walk in without buy a box of Pocky and eating the whole thing!

          9 Replies
          1. re: whatatotaldrag

            Perfectly said, whatatotaldrag! Now that you have verbalized it, I feel this way about a lot of foodie places. I am drawn in, and I love to look, and sometimes I just don't buy anything! This happens at some of the gelato places; they are so colorful and stimulating, but I don't think I love gelato and I often walk out. It also happens sometimes at bakeries. It is so much fun to look at all the gorgeous textures and creations, but I don't really need to buy anything and sometimes I just know that it won't be up to my expectations!

            Some things at Famima are delicious! And sometimes it is just the whole idea of just being in there. Does anyone else relate?

            1. re: liu

              I can totally relate. It drives my SO NUTS tho'. I love to go to bakeries and Candy shops just to look... He thinks one should avoid temptation at all costs... LOL! :)


              1. re: Dommy

                Yes, candy stores are fun, too! I also love all ethnic markets...I just enjoy wandering and feeling the energy.

                How about the Asian "candy" stores? These are the ones with barrels that contain dried fruits and a lot of other unidentifiable items. I love it when they have little signs describing what the item is -- 12 different kinds of ginger, sour plums in any size or color you can imagine, gum, marshmallows filled with gooey paste...fun again!

                I also walk the Mexican and Asian candy aisles, especially during their holiday times!

                LA is such a great food city to explore, and Famima certainly adds more to that adventure!

              2. re: liu

                I can relate. Novel concept, cool to 'window shop', okay to try. Then again, I was a lil hesitant to purchase food...except for the Pocky. but I would just get that from Mitsua, Marukai, etc. already.

              3. re: whatatotaldrag

                I pretty much agree. I've always heard that 7-11s are like this in Japan. It's not much different from the convenience food aisles in your average Mitsuwa or Nijiya market.

                I'm having Famima from the Promenade now it's pretty tasty. I was tempted to try the spaghetti carbonara but opted to get the ham katsu with egg salad sandwich and a bottled ice tea. I couldn't help but add a pork bun and a cream puff as well. It all came out to exactly $10, a good deal for so many tastes.

                (And by the way, hi badly ...)

                1. re: whatatotaldrag

                  it is what it is. sushi from a convenience store, for instance. for which one definitely has to adjust expectations accordingly. but hey, it's sushi... from a convenience store! and where else can you find that?

                  1. re: rameniac

                    well, almost any supermarket in town now has a sushi area next to the fresh seafood. not that different, really.

                  2. re: whatatotaldrag

                    I thought the idea was cool too, but all of the prepared lunches and sushi I have tried were pretty bad. They had some interesting snacks however.

                  3. Oh my god! I love Famima. Their curry is pretty good!

                    1. I had their sausage ravioli snack—sausage stuffed ravioli, rolled in bread crumbs and parmesan and deep fried. Yummy!

                      1. They've opened 2 stores in Pasadena. One in old town, one in the Trio apartment near Vroman's. We're lucky bastards.

                        Their steamed buns are very addictive. And their curry filled 'donut', well, that about says it all.

                        1. I was staying at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel before Labor Day and Famima is a lifesaver for a traveler. I had the mimosa salad and a traditional spinach (before the recent scare) and both finished off a junk food meal nicely. I also had a tasty Italian combo sandwich with very spicy capicola.

                          I wouldn't say it was great, but it was good and very welcome to a tired traveler. They have newspapers, snacks and a fair selection of drinks. It was also the only place I ate in Hollywood for less than $15 per meal. It's not a destination, but more the kind of place you'd go in your neighborhood, which is always what I'm looking for when I travel.

                          1. Their brochure says, "Nothing beats our steamy hot Chinese buns." Works for me.

                            1. curry fry bread was my favorite when we tried it last month... wish they'd bring one to downtown LA there's lots of retail spaces opening up downtown that haven't been taken yet. =)

                              1. they have a nice store.. food is eh, average.

                                1. After experiencing convenience stores in Japan, Famima!! was a let down.

                                  1. I like their rice balls! yumm!

                                    1. since I posted a comment october, they have opened one in downtown with another to open soon a few blocks away!! 2 locations within easy distance of each other! we really like going there and just try to be smart about the expiration dates and whatnot. Also the desserts are pretty yummy over there too. =)

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. I checked out the Famina in Westwood and it was okay. I was not that impressed. It reminded me of an Asian seven-eleven. (Heck, it's the truth.) Anyway, I got confused with the concept. Is it a seven-eleven type convenience store to "grab and go" or a restaurant? The website left me with the impression that it is a restaurant, but I found it was indeed, a convenience store! The food is prepared and packaged to go. It was nothing fancy although I did like the curry noodles?!?!? The coffee was terrible. I prefer heading off to Marukai to pick up freshly made sushi and bento boxes to go or I head into Marukai's food court for Japanese fast-food.

                                        1. I'm a Famima freak. Love it! It's not quite what they have in Japan, but what can you do?! I'm a big fan of their chicken korma dish! That's the best. The rice has herbs and cashew nuts and stuff and I wouldn't think you can get that at a convenience store. I just saw their pastry case at the Culver city store and the downtown store. I liked the spinach chesse pastry that they have now...! They have donuts too...! I'm waiting for their new items... yum

                                          1. Sad to say that the 2 in Long Beach are closing. I believe the one on 2nd St. has already closed it's doors. But next week is the last week for the one on Los Coyotes (btw...most everything leftover is 50% off). I was told they are opening a new store on Lakewood and South St. The sad thing is that the employees were all let go and told that if they wanted to work at the new location, they would have to reapply and start at the bottom again. Just one negative point about the company, but otherwise they are 'convenient' for asian items, oh and I like their 'wholelottabannan.'

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: justagthing

                                              That is so sad. The employees there were nice, too. Gotta go see what's left on sale.