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Panda Express Drops Orange Chicken Burritos Right Into West LA

There's a new Innovation Kitchen in town

Panda Express Innovation Kitchen, Westwood
Panda Express Innovation Kitchen, Westwood
Panda Express
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Looks like another location for Panda Express, the fast food Chinese-American chain with hundreds of locations nationwide. Except this one, right on Westwood Boulevard, is going to be different: it’s a Panda Express Innovation Kitchen. Yep, that means orange chicken burritos are in every UCLA student’s future.

The quiet opening took place just days ago inside what was formerly a Radio Shack in Westwood, across the street from Pitfire Pizza. The interior has been completely overhauled as you can see, with all of the sleek new modern elements found in some of the company’s most recent builds. That includes their now-legendary original Panda Express Innovation Kitchen, which debuted in Pasadena back in 2014 to much media hype.

For those unfamiliar, Panda Express Innovation Kitchen acts in many ways as a normal Panda Express. You can still get all the usual stuff, but it’s also possible to highly modify any order. These are basically forward operating bases for dishes and ideas that the Panda is experimenting with — hence the not-so-secret scallion wraps that folks have been using to make those orange chicken burritos with. Play your cards right and you can also grab a kung pao quesadilla, or a Thai-style crispy walnut shrimp papaya salad.

Innovation Kitchens also offer salads, and carry some pretty expansive tea bars, where shakes, regular teas, boba drinks, and more are possible. This Westwood location is no different, though the space is a bit secluded in the back corner. Panda Express Innovation Kitchen is open now in Westwood, keeping daily hours from lunch through evening.

Panda Express Innovation Kitchen
2011 Westwood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA

Watch: Taste Testing the New General Tso's Chicken at Panda Express