Sure, it’s peak summer and we’ve still got more than a few heat waves headed our way, but curry is an always food—and if you want to try some from one of Japan’s largest curry operations, you’re in luck. Founded in 1961, Champion’s Curry is a fast-casual chain that is, you guessed it, all about curry, but it’s also about katsu, plenty of sides, sandwiches and cheesy fries—and on August 15, it lands in Little Tokyo.
Modeled after a Japanese curry diner—complete with retro chairs and a streamlined menu—the Little Tokyo location is planned as Champion’s Curry’s U.S. flagship, though it’s certainly not the first: In late June, the chain began its U.S. expansion with a pickup window in Long Beach’s SteelCraft outdoor food hall.
Both offer patio dining, and both specialize in the Kanazawa style of Japanese curry, a thick, rich, deep brown curry that’s become a national staple since the 1950s, and here they’ll pour it over fries and rice and serve it alongside a range of katsu, including pork, chicken, beef and even fish (pictured above), as well as grilled vegetables.
In a nod to L.A. food history, both the Little Tokyo and Long Beach locations also offer a curry dip: a side of Kanazawa-style curry for dunking your katsu sando in ode to the birthplace of the French dip sandwich. (Whether you’re team Philippe’s or team Cole’s is another story.)
Take a peek below at what you can expect from the new Little Tokyo location, housed in the former Karayama space, or stop by the walk-up window in Long Beach now.
Champion’s Curry launches in Little Tokyo on Saturday, August 15, at 136 Central Ave, with daily hours of 11am to 3pm and 5pm to 8pm. Find the curry restaurant in Long Beach’s SteelCraft food hall at 3768 Long Beach Blvd, with daily hours of 11:30am to 7:30pm.