SOCAL CONNECTED “Fire Station 9”

Foreign Restaurant Chains Expand in SoCal

Dozens of foreign restaurant chains have made their way to the hearts (and stomachs) of Southern Californians.

In this segment of "SoCal Connected," reporter Conor Knighton visits an enclave of dumpling houses, hot pot restaurants, and bakeries to look at L.A.'s role in foreign restaurant expansion in the U.S. and ask why the region is such an attractive starting point.

In the San Gabriel Valley, Knighton makes a pit stop at Din Tai Fung, a popular dumpling house that opened its first U.S. location in Arcadia. Since then, the Taiwanese chain has expanded to three other busy locations in Southern California.

Knighton also visits Hai Di Lao, a state-of-the-art hot pot restaurant that offers entertainment in the form of a 'noodle dance,' and Little Sheep, a Mongolian hot pot restaurant that offers a seasoned and spicy blend of vegetables and herbs served and tossed in a metal pot, right before your eyes.

Other popular foreign restaurant destinations found in Southern California include Latin American and Korean chicken chains like Pollo Campero, Kyochon in Koreatown, and Paris Baguette, the one-stop bakery for green tea roll cakes and taro milk tea.

Featuring Interviews With:

  • Joanna Zhao, manager, Hai Di Lao Arcadia
  • Michael Wu, CEO, Little Sheep International

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