One of Japan’s best fast casual fried chicken chains has expanded to Los Angeles. Karayama is hosting an official opening party this week in Little Tokyo, unveiling a menu of karaage offered as bowls, set plates, and even as a sandwich on airy shokupan bread.
Karayama is a well-known name for much of the greater Pacific rim, with dozens of locations across Japan, Hong Kong, and Thailand despite only first opening in 2014. This new Little Tokyo location is the company’s first American foray, and features a fast casual service model with (eventually) a beer and wine bar that allows for sake and imported beers. There’s a full 34 seats inside the former Oystars space, and room for more on the patio in the front.
Signage is up now for the restaurant, and the kitchen is already cooking during limited hours for neighbors and anyone who happens to walk past. In addition to classic fried chicken served over rice, Karayama also offers full dinner meals for multiple diners at once, complete with sides, and a la carte add-ons like wings and fried shrimp. Diners can also expect plates of spicy fried chicken, as well as stir frys and curries. The opening menu is below.
The full grand opening for Karayama is slated for this Friday, with limited hours until then. The restaurant plans to be closed this Thursday to tool up for the big weekend reveal, but in the meantime is doing $2 off any menu item over $7 as a welcome into the neighborhood. Expect eventual hours from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Karayama. 136 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles, CA.