HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Discussion

Ethnic fast food chains?

  • f

Can you recommend any ethnic fast food chains in L.A.? What I mean by this are LA locations of foreign fast food places. All I can think of thus far are Jollibee and Chow King, both from the Philippines. There must be others here - any suggestions?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. An easy one is Pollo Campero... they are everywhere now.

      1. re: A5 KOBE

        Um, A5 Kobe, I think you misread the post. King Taco is a local chain, not a foreign fast food company with a location in the US.

        Some chains in LA from foreign countries.....

        1. Chabuya Tokyo Noodle House/Bar with Locations in WLA (I think off of Sawtell) and in Torrance (off of Crenshaw)- It's not ultrafast food like Burger King or McD's but the food came quickly. Personally, I wouldn't recommend it. There are better noodle houses that aren't chains.
        2. Tous Les Jour - korean bakery/cafe. Several So Cal locations - http://touslesjoursusa.com/store.asp?... Again, this place isn't really recommended as my bakery tastes lean elsewhere. I prefer King's Hawaiian, Portos and a few other local bakeries, which are not foreign chains.

        To the other posters. Pollo Campero. They're okay... Do you really recommend it or just mentioning it to mention it? They taste eerily like El Pollo Loco. And, I've been to KyoChon. Their fried chicken is pretty good.

        TO FML: Why look for a chain from another country? There are better renditions of most of these foods from restaurants started locally but representing their national foods. I'm curious.

        1. re: DrBruin

          Santouka Ramen is a successful chain in Japan. Among other locations here in the US there is one in Mar Vista.

          Santouka Ramen
          Mitsuwa Market Food Court
          3760 Centinela Ave.
          Los Angeles, CA 90066

          1. re: DrBruin

            I think the beans at Pollo Campero are better. Plus you get offered a biscuit!

            Along similar lines I don't know if El Pollo Inka is Peruvian but it might as well be.

        2. Also there is
          BonChon and KyoChon both of which are Korean fried chicken places with lots of branches throughout Korea.

          1. 85°C Bakery Cafe (from Taiwan)

            1. Daphne's
              Pretty good Greek Food.
              They are expanding all over.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Pamplemoose

                Daphe's is not a foreign chain with locations in LA. It's a local chain serving ethnic food. May as well add Taco Bell (mexican) and KFC (southern) to this list if we're going that route.

              2. Here's one that's sure to put a sneer on Ipsedixit's avatar: Din Tai Fung. :)

                Maybe not fast food, but wait long, food fast.

                2 Replies
                1. re: bulavinaka

                  I think that would actually put a sneer on the face of the owner for DTF. Shudder to think that there would be those that consider DTF to be "fast food". How gauche. :-)

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Damn - bloodied red smiley face still smiling - ARGH! :)

                2. Beard Papa, if cream puffs are considered fast food.

                  Famima could be considered a fast food chain, though it is more of a convenience store with take-out, prepackaged food options.

                  1. There are a number of Korean chains in LA:

                    Hollys Coffee, which is essentially the Starbucks of Korea, has one outpost in LA on Sixth between Kenmore and Alexandria. I love the Sweet Potato latte, which is a steamed milk drink with sweet potato flavoring; you can get it with or without coffee.

                    I also believe that Mr. Pizza Factory, on Wilshire around Western, is related to the Korean chain Mr. Pizza. It's okay in small doses and for a certain weirdness factor (e.g. potato pizza with a scone crust that you can dip in jam, etc.)

                    And if you're into the whole tart yogurt thing, there is Red Mango.

                    http://recenteats.blogspot.com/2009/0...

                    1. Don't forget Goldilocks Bakery...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        Paris Baguette (Franco-Korean baked goods chain from Korea) too. Mostly retail, but believe some locations have eat-in areas. I like their green-tea cake.

                        http://www.parisbaguetteusa.com/

                      2. yoshinoya's! hehe. yeah, it is ghettto but it stokes fond memories of my college years.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: wilafur

                          If only the Yoshinoya's here in the US would offer a Japanese style breakfast! Then again, having seen some of the ghetto Yoshinoya locations here, I'm not sure I'd trust them with handling natto...

                          1. re: huaqiao

                            They now have sushi ... Yoshinoya + raw fish = ??

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              OK, that just made me a little queasy...

                          2. El Pollo Loco is now operated by a US company on this side of the border, but it actually started as a Mexican chain. According to their website, the first one in the US was opened in 1980 on Alvarado St in LA. (There are two on Alvarado St now so I'm not sure which one it is.)

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: peifferc

                              I learn something new every day.

                            2. Italian Tomato (Japanified Italian food chain from Japan) at the Torrance and Costa Mesa Mitsuwa checks all three boxes: foreign, ethnic (of sorts), and fast.

                              http://www.italiantomato.co.jp/

                              UPDATE: oops, I missed a "box": I don't think I could recommend it exactly.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Peripatetic

                                Almost forgot - Il Chianti in Lomita.

                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                  That occurred to me, too, but I'm under the impression it's not fast food.

                                  1. re: Peripatetic

                                    I'm down to chains now - can't think of anything else. :)

                                    1. re: bulavinaka

                                      For non-fast food chains, there's also Max's of Manila and YongSuSan. I've never been to either, though I've heard good and not-so-good things about both.

                                      1. re: Peripatetic

                                        I would skip Yongsusan -- I was pretty underwhelmed.

                              2. Yum Cha comes to mind, only because I criticized it as the fast food chain for dim sum in a recent post!