Where to go for flavorful Asian fast food in Northeast L.A.? Look for the Bruce Lee statue

Beef, chicken and veggie plate at Ayta Grill/Photo by Valentina Silva

Beef, chicken and veggie plate at Ayta Grill/Photo by Valentina Silva

Ayta’s roof top icon. Photo by Martha Benedict

While pupusas, tacos, mariscos and Jumbo Jacks abound, vegetables are hard to come by on the strip of Figueroa Street where Cypress Park meets Highland Park. Enter: Ayta Grill. The small Japanese “Teriyaki House & Tea Room” (Note: I didn’t see any actual tea on my visit) opened last month, gaining attention for its roof-bound Bruce Lee statue, but the real draw is simple plates of meat, rices and fresh veggies.

The menu has zero frills. Choices include steak, salmon, shrimp and chicken, curry or no curry, vegetables or no vegetables. Portions are satisfying, the meat is well-cooked and flavorful, and the broccoli-carrot-squash-cabbage medley doesn’t have that over-steamed mushiness you’ve come to expect from Asian fast food joints—they’re actually some crispiness to speak of. Prices range from $5-$9.

If there’s any extravagance here, it’s their fruity drinks. We sampled all four flavors and settled on the sweet cantaloupe, which brightened up the whole meal. Ask for their green sauce, a creamy mix of Serrano peppers, cilantro, and potatoes that adds the perfect spicy kick to the teriyaki flavor.

Mount Washington residents will eat this place up.


Ayta Grill
4017 N. Figueroa St.

Story and Photo By Valentina Silva

Valentina Silva writes about food and restaurants. You can also find Valentina’s reviews and stories on her blog, Eastside Food Bites.

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  1. I hope Bruce up there doesn’t go after Chicken Boy all over the rooftops of NELA.

  2. Hopefully someone will open a KBBQ place soon. Tired of driving to Ktown or DTLA for that.

  3. Ha ha, only in LA could a place like this get any press. Any connection the food I ordered had with teriyaki was purely accidental. Potatoes in a salmon teriyaki bowl? The brown rice was of poor quality and the veggies were not cooked. Salmon was overly salty and not well seasoned. Paid for extra veggies and unless there are only two broccoli florets in the regular order I wasn’t impressed. Cute place though. Could be a good spot with more care and attention paid to the food. Staff was very detached and could not explain what I was or was not being charged for. As far as the Japanese aspect they are going to need more than a Bruce Lee statue.

  4. we were going to check this place out, but the yelp listing shows it as only open until 7pm on weekdays. i don’t know what kind of dinner crowd they think they are going to get when it seems like most people because of work and traffic don’t get home until 6:30 or later. They might as well just be a lunch spot and close at 3pm.

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