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Echo Park’s Japanese Sandwich Star Konbi Shuffles to Culver City Next

Bon Appétit’s 2019 best new restaurant in America gets a second takeaway location

Katsu sando at Konbi, Echo Park, on a blue plate.
Katsu sandwich at Konbi Echo Park.
Wonho Frank Lee

Nationally recognized Echo Park sandwich specialist Konbi is opening a second location in Culver City. The tiny takeaway restaurant on Sunset Boulevard, named Bon Appétit’s best new restaurant in America in 2019, will open next to Go Get Em Tiger at the One Culver development on Culver Boulevard.

The new Konbi, which isn’t expected to open until sometime in 2022, will have — at least from a diner’s perspective — much the same look and taste as the original, though it will come in a larger package. As with the Echo Park outlet now, diners will walk up to order for takeaway service only, with loads of outdoor-only seats available across the One Culver development. Those seats are intended to be shared among the other incoming tenants at the revamped building, though leases for some of the other spaces are still being shored up privately.

Reached for comment, co-owner Akira Akuto (who runs Konbi with partner Nick Montgomery, both former Momofuku alums out of New York City) declined to give a timeline for the opening or to say much about how much more expansive the menu would become, only noting that the business would be larger for staff and have much more kitchen capacity, meaning there are at least options for branching out from the existing, mostly sandwich lineup.

Fans of Konbi flock to the existing Echo Park location for the restaurant’s signature konbini-style Japanese convenience store sandwiches, ranging from options like katsu fried pork to egg salad. Konbi also offers sides like miso soup and shell bean and rice salad, plus pastries and coffee. Because of the new Culver City location’s proximity to Go Get Em Tiger, Konbi will only offer drip coffee and tea, with espresso drinks available next door at the coffee specialist. Expect an opening for Konbi Culver City sometime next year at 10000 Washington Boulevard.

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