Where to Eat in L.A.: Konbi


One of my favorite parts of Tokyo’s culinary culture (which I wrote about for Travel + Leisure here) isn’t the Michelin stars or the robot restaurants; it’s the beauty in the humble food you find in the most unexpected places — especially train stations. Whether it’s ekiben or sandos, what really gets me is the artistry the Japanese put into grab-and-go.

Back here in the States, fast food is slapped together and inhaled at a stoplight. It’s not really something you take pride in eating, let alone take pictures of. (Unless, of course, it’s In N Out…)

But start googling “sandos” — often sold at convenience stores, cafes, and train stops— and you’ll see finger sandwiches like these gorgeous egg and kastu versions from Konbi, cut with laser-like precision and served with the centers facing out. Konbi uses Bub and Grandma’s Bread as their base, and for their eggs, they use Chino Valley Ranchers, which I also love using at home because their yolks are so darn rich and yellow! They are truly a beam of sunshine to wake up with.

In any case, be sure to check out Konbi next time you’re in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles. Just like the restaurants in Japan, the space itself is diminutive, with an omakase-style bar with about 12 seats. There’s also a grab-and-go window if you’re in a rush. But the sandos are well worth the short wait if you have time to sit down nad enjoy them. They’re so delicious and delicate that you could easily inhale them. But with art like this, you want to slow down and take it all in.