LA is obsessed with this Japanese sandwich

  • Konbi makes the most popular sandwiches in Los Angeles
  • The egg salad is the most Instagrammed sandwich, followed closely by the pork katsu
  • Here’s how the sandwiches are made and why people are obsessed with them

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: If there’s one thing LA is obsessed with right now, it’s gotta be these Japanese sandwiches. We’re here at Konbi in Los Angeles, and they specialize in Japanese-style sandwiches, something similar to what you might find in a 7-Eleven in Japan, let’s say. People are completely obsessed with these sandwiches, as am I. I’ve been here about four times so far. I’ve never actually eaten inside ’cause it’s always so crowded in there. I typically take my sandwich to go, so I’m really excited to sit down, actually enjoy my sandwich, and see how they make them. Konbi opened in the fall of 2018, and it was immediately a success. Sure, the sandwiches certainly are eye-catching fodder for Instagram, but somehow they taste even better than they look. Konbi specialises in three main sandwiches: the omelet, the katsu in both pork and eggplant, and, of course, the egg salad. Akira Akuto and Nick Montgomery are the brains behind the operation. The pair are Momofuku alumni who wanted a change of pace from the slog of New York restaurant life.

Nick: The first day, we were were like, “Oh, my god.” Akira: We had just us and two other people, no dishwasher, no server. Nick: No other cooks. We were the only line cooks. Akira: We hired a new person every day for a week until we found that eight people is what it takes to run this restaurant.

Nick: We just expected a lot slower growth. Akira: I think it’s really great that people are appreciating something that is higher-quality ingredients, made really well, but we don’t have to tell them that, so that they’re noticing it on their own, essentially. I think it’s awesome.

It’s always so good.

They do one thing, and they do it very well.

Someone brought me a Konbi pork katsu sandwich, and it was so good, and I live in the area, and we came back for the first time and sat down. A sandwich that looks that minimal but also tastes that bomb, it just kind of blew me away.

Sydney: This is gonna be one of those days where I eat everything that’s in front of me. They go through over 2,200 eggs a week. Each egg has to be painstakingly peeled by hand and seasoned with scallions, salt, and a homemade mixture that Akira and Nick hilariously call potato salad dressing. It’s actually a pretty accurate description. Greg: My mum used to make me egg salad all the time ’cause I liked it so much as a kid, and I definitely got made fun of at lunch for it, for when I opened up my lunch bag and it smelled like eggs. It’s pretty perfect. It’s egg salad. Syndey: Then there’s the omelet. These eggs are blended with dashi, mirin, and a white soy sauce for a sweet and savoury balance. And finally, the prized porky goodness that is pork katsu. The fried pork cutlet is dressed in Bull-Dog Sauce, a little mustard, and cabbage. It’s so beautiful. Almost too pretty to eat, but I’m definitely about to get down.

I go to the convenience store a lot in Japan, and these sandwiches, they pretty much remind me of those sandwiches. It’s just pure deliciousness. Sydney: And how many times have you been here? I wanna say at least 10 times. Sydney: We’re gonna start with the egg salad, the premiere sandwich here. Having a soft-boiled egg on the inside of the sandwich gives it not only an extra textural element, but it looks so gorgeous. You can’t help but wanna take a bite into this jewel of an egg. At home, I just mash my egg salad with a fork, but here they use this really fun little egg slicer, so every piece is perfectly uniform, and you can tell when you’re chewing it, it’s not mushy. There’s some bounce back there. There’s some texture. The bread they get made specifically for them, you don’t get this in a bag. It has the perfect kind of like squish, like it’s a little squishy. It’s really fun to kind of like hold in your hand. You’re holding, like, a little, a little package, a little present, and it’s delicious. It’s heavenly. I’ve had this before, and it’s just as good every time. The second course. It’s like a little, little egg baby that I’m gonna devour. Dude. This is delicious. I’m tasting dashi. I’m tasting soy sauce. I’m tasting this kind of delicious mayo-y condiment that they put on the bread. They toast this bread, so it gives it a little bit of crunch. I’ve been to Japan like three times, and this takes me back. This is not something that is easy to get in the States, like a really well-made tamago sandwich like this, and uh, it’s divine. Other sandwiches are garbage, and this is all I wanna eat. I wish you could try this right now.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.