Unless you started a chain that sold nothing but ramen and tacos, it's hard to think of two foods under one roof more likely to thrill Los Angeles eaters than doughnuts and fried chicken. And that's just what Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken will be bringing to downtown L.A. in early 2017. (Yes, we know, it isn't the first, even in downtown L.A.) The D.C.-based company is planning to open its first West Coast location (indeed, its first outside the D.C. area), on Sixth Street, between Olive and Grand, early next year. The project is in partnership with Art Levitt, who was the founding president and CEO of Fandango, president of Hard Rock Cafe and president at Disney Regional Entertainment, where he launched ESPN Zone.
“We have been thinking for a long time about when, where and how to expand beyond our home in the D.C. area,” co-founder Elliot Spaisman said via email yesterday. “We knew we needed the right opportunity, the right neighborhood, the right city and the right partner. Art has been a fan of Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken for a while, and given his background, we thought he would be the right partner to help us take the next step.”
Astro is known in D.C. for its creative doughnut flavors, including a creme brûlée doughnut that has become a favorite in the city, as well as rotating monthly special flavors. In L.A., the menu will be similar to the D.C. locations but will have some regionally specific creations. They're also promising “doughnut sandwiches,” meaning there's likely to be a way to get both fried chicken and a doughnut by ordering only one item. According to press materials, “Fried chicken lovers will have a choice of bone-in fried chicken, chicken fingers, fried chicken sandwiches and wings available by the half-dozen or larger party packs.”
In terms of the space, the press release describes a 400-square-foot dining room with “limited indoor and outdoor seating … reclaimed wood with industrial metal accents, quartz countertops and a show kitchen where customers can watch the frying magic happen.”
When asked why Astro chose L.A. in particular, Spaisman responded, “Los Angeles makes sense, in part because it is Art’s home base, but also because of the dynamic culinary scene in so many different parts of the city. We're starting in downtown Los Angeles because our location there has a lot of the same qualities that made our flagship restaurant in D.C. so successful. There are nearby office buildings, a strong residential community and a thriving arts and entertainment scene.”
And also, presumably, because we're mad for fried chicken and doughnuts.