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Ethnic fast food chains?

FML Apr 4, 2009 11:00 PM

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?

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  1. t
    theonceler RE: FML Apr 5, 2009 12:26 AM

    An easy one is Pollo Campero... they are everywhere now.

    1. A5 KOBE RE: FML Apr 5, 2009 12:29 AM

      King Taco

      3 Replies
      1. re: A5 KOBE
        DrBruin RE: A5 KOBE Apr 5, 2009 02:34 AM

        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
          Servorg RE: DrBruin Apr 5, 2009 09:18 AM

          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
            mlgb RE: DrBruin Apr 10, 2009 03:46 PM

            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. l
          ldodb RE: FML Apr 5, 2009 01:12 AM

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

          1. ipsedixit RE: FML Apr 5, 2009 01:26 AM

            85°C Bakery Cafe (from Taiwan)

            1. Pamplemoose RE: FML Apr 5, 2009 10:51 AM

              Pretty good Greek Food.
              They are expanding all over.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Pamplemoose
                DrBruin RE: Pamplemoose Apr 5, 2009 10:53 AM

                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. b
                bulavinaka RE: FML Apr 5, 2009 10:59 AM

                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
                  ipsedixit RE: bulavinaka Apr 5, 2009 03:41 PM

                  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
                    bulavinaka RE: ipsedixit Apr 5, 2009 04:04 PM

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

                2. j
                  Jwsel RE: FML Apr 5, 2009 04:02 PM

                  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. sku RE: FML Apr 6, 2009 09:24 AM

                    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.


                    1. Das Ubergeek RE: FML Apr 6, 2009 01:53 PM

                      Don't forget Goldilocks Bakery...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Das Ubergeek
                        Peripatetic RE: Das Ubergeek Apr 10, 2009 03:06 AM

                        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.


                      2. wilafur RE: FML Apr 6, 2009 02:43 PM

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

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: wilafur
                          huaqiao RE: wilafur Apr 6, 2009 03:08 PM

                          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
                            ipsedixit RE: huaqiao Apr 6, 2009 10:25 PM

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

                            1. re: ipsedixit
                              huaqiao RE: ipsedixit Apr 6, 2009 10:35 PM

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

                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                wilafur RE: ipsedixit Apr 7, 2009 10:29 AM


                          2. p
                            peifferc RE: FML Apr 7, 2009 07:56 AM

                            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
                              DrBruin RE: peifferc Apr 7, 2009 09:32 PM

                              I learn something new every day.

                            2. Peripatetic RE: FML Apr 10, 2009 02:54 AM

                              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.


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

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Peripatetic
                                bulavinaka RE: Peripatetic Apr 10, 2009 07:38 PM

                                Almost forgot - Il Chianti in Lomita.

                                1. re: bulavinaka
                                  Peripatetic RE: bulavinaka Apr 12, 2009 01:29 AM

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

                                  1. re: Peripatetic
                                    bulavinaka RE: Peripatetic Apr 12, 2009 05:42 AM

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

                                    1. re: bulavinaka
                                      Peripatetic RE: bulavinaka Apr 12, 2009 02:56 PM

                                      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
                                        a_and_w RE: Peripatetic Apr 13, 2009 08:59 AM

                                        I would skip Yongsusan -- I was pretty underwhelmed.

                              2. c
                                chowmominLA RE: FML Apr 14, 2009 03:22 PM

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

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