This past May, Yoshinoya unveiled a completely new concept in Fullerton called Asiana Grill, melding teppanyaki and yakitori with the kind of fast-casual, create-your-own dish design customers expect at Subway and Chipotle. This past Saturday, Asiana opened its first Los Angeles-based location on a USC-adjacent stretch of Figueroa, the second Asiana in existence, but by far, not the last.
This corridor in West Adams is increasingly being engaged by chain restaurants looking to branch into L.A., as evidenced by the local premieres of Chick-fil-A and Freebird in the same vicinity. Following Saturday's debut, Asiana will likely start popping up in new, highly trafficked pockets of the city, before making itself available for franchising starting in 2013. The odds look good for a UCLA follow-up, lest the chain kick off its own fast food controversy by playing favorites in the city's famous collegiate rivalry, something any newcomer to L.A. must tiptoe around lest they be drawn and quartered by mobs of Trojans and Bruins.
Asiana Grill, 3021 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles.