downtown los angeles, little tokyo

Seoul-Based Tom N Toms Coffee Coming to Little Tokyo in Downtown LA

A new Tom N Tom’s Coffee is coming to the Little Tokyo Shopping Center

Tom N Tom’s Coffee is coming to the Little Tokyo Shopping Center at 3rd and Alameda (home to Woori Market). The new location in Little Tokyo will be their 8th cafe with most of their other locations in Koreatown. It is currently under construction near the front entrance of the mall right off of 3rd Street.

With plans to open within the next few months, Tom N Tom’s Coffee is adding to a list of new businesses that have been opening at the indoor mall such as Manna Korean BBQ and a new bowling/entertainment complex (code named “X-Lanes”) that is set to open on the third floor by Jan 2013.

The Seoul-based coffee chain has 250 locations in South Korea according to their website. Los Angeles has been their point of entry into the U.S. market given the fact that LA has the largest Korean and Korean-American population outside of their respective country.

What I like most about this particular Tom N Tom’s Coffee is what it will do for the Little Tokyo Shopping Center. The cafe will have an open patio seating area facing 3rd Street that will help make this bunker-style indoor mall seem a bit more “transparent” by interacting more with the sidewalk outside. It is very important that these seemingly “little steps” be taken, so that collectively added up over the next few years, our long-term goal of creating a walkable and pedestrian-oriented urban center is achieved.

The dark tinted window facing 3rd Street will be opened up as part of the patio seating area for the new Tom N Tom’s Coffee

The new patio seating area will create a more interactive experience with pedestrians walking on the sidewalk outside, which will help make the mall a bit more transparent


  1. Chris Loos says

    These guys are taking over, especially here in K-town. If you’re standing at Wilshire and Western, there are THREE Tom N Toms within 2 blocks, and that’s not an exaggeration.

    • Yeah it’s crazy how fast they expanded in Koreatown. Have you tried them before? If so, better than their American rivals Starbucks/CBTL?

  2. Chris Loos says

    I think their coffee is comparable to Starbucks. The food struck me as a little strange at first as its all pretzel-based: regular pretzel, sweet pretzel, pepperoni and cheese pretzel, pretzel dog, etc., but its actually pretty good. Its not typical American soft-pretzel, its soft and fluffy, like white bread.

    I don’t think they’re going to replace Starbucks or Coffee Bean anytime soon, but its a nice alternative if you want to try something different.

  3. Lawrence says

    This is a great addition to this mall. I’m glad to see more businesses opening up here. Hopefully an external refresh will be on it’s way soon too – the structure is in dire need of a makeover. Agreed that the outdoor patio will do a lot for this stretch of 3rd street.

  4. aurorasky says

    I think a coffee shop is the perfect thing to go with the cream puffs and macaroons that you can already find across the mall. I’m very happy that it will be open to the street. Now if they can only find some other ways to bust holes in that mall.

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