Considering Los Angeles already has three Japanese burger chains (and another on the way), it’s about time to get our hands around a Japanese hot dog (well, besides this and this). JapaDog, the Vancouver-based inventor of okonomi, tonkatsu, and ume dogs is looking to set up shop in L.A., specifically hoping to establish a foothold in our shopping malls.
Earlier this year, the six-strong chain, which started as a street cart, expanded to a Manhattan storefront, quickly becoming a crucial lunch and late-night eating destination on Saint Marks Place. Two entries on JapaDog’s blog allude to the L.A. expansion. They are completely in Japanese, but fortunately, we’ve watched a lot of old samurai films in our day and paid close attention.
Page one details JapaDog’s completion of a business license at L.A. City Hall, a process the owners say was the "the easiest of any city in which JapaDog has opened a business, in fact, so simple that I had to double check with the city hall clerk to make sure I was applying for the appropriate license."
After lunch at the "wildly successful" In-N-Out, JapaDog met with the managers of a popular mall in Hollywood and other local shopping centers, with the chain’s intention to find one that would accept a food stall in an outdoor space. The JapaDog blog lays out its plans: "As a long term goal, we’re thinking about being aggressive by opening many stores in these indoor mall spaces, but for the short terms the strategy will be opening food stalls in outdoor spaces."
The second entry mostly concerns a displaced generator in New York, but does make mention of some Southern California bun taste-tests and ongoing negotiations with L.A. malls. "After touring the malls, we head back home to a mound of English documents," the owners say.
Currently, no business license is on record online for JapaDog’s L.A. expansion, but it sounds like it won’t be long before we can snap into a seaweed and teriyaki-topped hot dog.