Karayama: An Explosive Addition to DTLA’s Food Mecca with Delicious Japanese Kara-age Fried Chicken

Delicious Japanese Fried Chicken From Asia to DTLA

Nestled in the heart of Little Tokyo is our new favorite Japanese eatery, Karayama. First opening its doors in Asia in 2014, Karayama has expanded throughout the East including Japan, Thailand, and Hong Kong. They specialize in Japanese Fried Chicken, aka “Kara-age” and we are so glad they have found their footing in the LA food scene.


Karayama is genius in its simplicity. Everything from the space (minimal, but comfortable and bright), to the menu (concise but packed with dynamic dishes), to the over the counter ordering process was straight to the point. Not only does Karayama have a bright glass display of their most popular items, they also had a menu filled with photos so diners knew exactly what to expect with their orders. With that said, we now admit that we really had no idea the deliciousness that was in store for us.


Our Review of Karayama’s Delicious Food

Fried Chicken Rice Bowl Cheese Pull from Karayama Japanese Fried ChickenImmediately when our food arrived, we dove into the most anticipated dish of the night – the Kara-Tama Don with Cheese. It’s honestly hard to imagine a life before this dish, and we were immediately, smolderingly obsessed with this dynamic rice bowl. The rice that creates the base of the dish is served extra soft and steamy, paving way for the main attraction. The fried chicken in the Kara-Tama Don bowl is unbelievably crispy despite being topped with a foodie-approved, ample amount of cheese. Which brings us to our next topic of discussion: the cheese was incredibly gooey and we immediately went for the chicken/cheese pull which ended directly in our mouths. This is absolutely the super star dish here at Karayama.


Japanese Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwiches

Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich from Karayama

We also loved the Red Hot Fried Chicken Sandwich, though we admit it’s best enjoyed sporadically between bites of all the other amazing dishes on the menu. The spices are absolutely on point and not for the faint of palette. The chicken is, as predicted, super crispy in the sandwich – which we found to pair perfectly with the fluffy white bread.

Kara-age Fried Chicken

Japanese Fried Chicken Bone-in and Boneless

The Kara-age Fried Chicken is also not to be missed. They come in nugget sized, boneless pieces as well as sets of Crispy Wings. Being the avid foodies that we are, we went for a-la-carte orders of both and we couldn’t have been more impressed. Prior to coming to Karayama, the fried chicken we knew always came in large, super battered pieces from American chains like Popeyes and KFC. Karayama showed us that a classic invention can be made in with such a different, beautiful spin. The crispy breading seemed less greasy than the American version, and the chicken was so juicy that it had us wondering what sort of magic potion the founders of Karayama were conjuring up to make chicken THIS delicious.

Our Takeaway from Karayama

The best part about Karayama (aside from every dish we tried there), was that we left feeling great and not overly full and lethargic – despite ordering a larger order than most duos would. Their ingredients are fresh and high quality, their pricing is ridiculously fair, and their food really leaves an impression on you.


If you find yourself taking us up on this food spot recommendation, let us know how your experience was in the comments below!  

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