South Korea’s Favorite Fast Food Restaurant Opened Its First U.S. Outpost in Gardena

Fried chicken joint Mom’s Touch lands in an area known for yummy international offerings—and more locations are in the works

Every week a new fried chicken sandwich seems to fly into our lives. The latest crunchy chicken to land in L.A. has traveled all the way from Seoul. Mom’s Touch, a South Korean fast food franchise with over 1,300 stores in Asia recently opened their first American location in Gardena.

Fresh white- and dark-meat filets are marinated for 24 hours and dipped in batter before getting fried and plopped on a brioche bun. Extra-crispy types can order the thigh meat sandwich, which is fried with the skin on. Chicken fingers are also on the limited menu, along with wings tossed in sauces like soy garlic, cheesy onion, and Hot Apple Zing Wings. The space is industrial with polished concrete, open trusses, and barn wood finishes and indoor dining options are limited to a couple of four-tops and bar-like counters with stools.

This corner of Gardena is a classic L.A. fast food geyser, with dining options from around the world. You can take a tour of the Pacific Rim without leaving the intersection. Hong Kong Express, Hiccups Teahouse, and longtime Hawaiian favorites Rutt’s and Bruddah’s are all within sight of the newly remodeled Gardena Plaza, where Mom’s Touch is tucked in between a Jersey Mike’s and a Habit Grill.

“We are extremely pleased to begin our journey in the city of Gardena,” said spokesman Mike Lee, in a statement. “A community with a unique mix of history, diversity and an authentic feeling of belonging.” The company, in a partnership with Waba Grill, is planning their next locations in Long Beach and City of Industry.

The menu at locations in Korea offers delicacies like bulgogi burgers and crispy cream cheese balls. Perhaps those items will migrate to the U.S. later. Tiny Hangul characters on the bottom of the wrapper warn “It’s hot. Eat it immediately.” We imagine many will be taking them up on that soon.

Mom’s Touch, 1400 W. Redondo Beach Blvd., Unit 120, Gardena.

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