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Famima!! (??)

Anyone have any theories as to how Famima!! stays in business? I find the place a real enigma. Are there hounds that shop there regularly? If so, what attracts you?

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  1. Same here...no idea how they survive. Actually, didn't Famina close a few locations already?

    If any, I still prefer visiting convenience stores in Asia. Even 7-11.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Vince S

      famima in torrance is gone now. how they even stayed open for more then a week surprised me.

      1. re: AGENT FOODIE

        Yeah, I called that one (as did numerous others):

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/376056

        Now the real call is: How much longer does Famima last in the U.S.? My guess is that they're outta here by 2010...

      2. re: Vince S

        They opened 2 locations in Long Beach, then closed both and reopened one in Lakewood. Both of the ones in Long Beach were in so-so locations.

        1. re: justagthing

          I tried one of the Long Beach locations a few times....no idea how they stayed open so long. Seriously two of the worst sandwiches I have ever tried, (had to toss the sandwich both times) to eat, the dim sum was mearly okay...and that is being kind. After the 5th time standing there trying to figure out what if anything I could eat for lunch and settling on a Ramen bowl I gave up.

      3. I was in the West Hollywood one last night, it was empty around 8 with no more hot dim sum, just some scary mozzarella stick I like the concept of Famima but I think they don't carry enough products maybe to satisfy the customer, or there just weren't enough people who wanted green tea custard. I had a serviceable "sushi sandwich" and I always enjoy finding some Japanese crackers or dessert that you can't get outside the Japanese markets. I was kind of sad the Glendale one closed, but really the wrong market of customers, I think.

        1. The one in Culver City is the best one I've been in. There is high turnover of the goods and most things look really fresh on the shelf. Dommy! and I went to the one on 6th st downtown on a saturday and most of the help was confused, shelves were disheveled and it took 20 minutes to "toast" my sandwich and it didn't taste as good as the one's I get from culver city.

          1. They serve a critical market segment for those consumers who are looking to pick up a pack of Hello Kitty stickers along with some Japanese ice cream fruit bars.

            1. I think their tomato garlic soup is great. And DH loves some of their sandwiches for a quick lunch. But that's all I've tried.

              1. I love, love, love the fact that you can get baozi as a takeaway snack food, just like you can at any of the hundreds of 7-11s in Taiwan. Same for onigiri.... I wish onigiri were are abundantly available here as it is in every convenience stores in Japan. Instead, we're stuck with convenience stores that stock 100 year old hot dogs and hardly anything healthy and delicious to eat.

                What I don't like is that the staff at Famima!! clearly have no idea how to maintain the baozi at a proper temperature, and every time I've tried it the bread has been disgustingly gluey. (West Hollywood location... I'm looking at you)

                Mr Taster

                1 Reply
                1. re: Mr Taster

                  Ah! Those 7-11s in Taiwan are the sole reasons that my kids love going back for. :) My daughter was really excited to discover a Famima! near us, but we seldom go because it's inconveniently located on the Third St. Promenade. We go to Nijiya for the same items that she is interested in. They have origini, hand rolls, bento boxes, and toys in candy boxes that my kids love.

                2. The ones in DTLA are pretty awesome.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ns1

                    My theory was that they were aimed primarily at Japanese tourists and expats, looking for a comforting and familiar style; sorta like I can imagine Southern Californians in Germany or Japan taking comfort in finding a Tommy's, or a Tito's Tacos, not because the food is wonderful, or even good, but because it's "home".

                    Gotta say, though, the food doesn't come close to the convenience stores in Tokyo and Fukuoka..

                  2. my dh stops by the one downtown all the time to pick up a snack. they remind me of a japanese corner market, a little like an abc (in hawaii) store but better.

                    this corner shop in tokyo reminds me precisely of famima:

                    http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h16...

                    i wish there were more, as i travel for a living and am always looking for a place to get a healthy lunch.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: lotta_cox

                      That probably is a Famima (Family Mart)... or an AM/PM, or a 7-11, or a Lawsons, or a (my personal favorite) Daily Yamazaki. I really think Daily Yamazaki could thrive in the US where Famima has failed, if only for the name.

                      1. re: cravingcoppa

                        It was definitely NOT a 7-11, or an AM/PM, or anything with a western name. Although I do not recall nor did I write down the name when I took the shot.