Black Restaurant Week And The Nisei Week Japanese Festival Return To L.A.

The fourth annual Black Restaurant Week in Los Angeles will take place starting on Saturday, Aug. 19, and run through Monday, Aug. 28. The “More Than Just a Week” campaign aims to re-stimulate local economies within the Black community by promoting Black-owned culinary businesses and professionals who can’t afford costly marketing campaigns. 

The week will celebrate the flavors of African American, African, and Caribbean cuisine with a series of regional cultural events. Participating restaurants include Belly Sliders and Wings in Gardena, It’s Curry Time LA and Axiom Kitchen in Long Beach.

“Since 2016, we aspired to set ourselves apart from similar organizations,” Falayn Ferrell, Black Restaurant Week LLC’s operations managing partner, said in a press release. “BRW is solely guided by business owners and operators. They are in the trenches every day and experience the ebbs and flows of running a business during one of the most difficult periods in U.S. history, as 500,000 restaurants and bars face an uncertain future due to lost revenue and increased debt over the past two years.  Additionally, 1.1 million minority-owned businesses often face heightened challenges and disparities when securing business funding.”

Pepsi Dig In is bringing back Pepsi Dig In Day, covering $100,000 in meals at 25 Black-owned restaurants across the country. On Saturday, Aug. 19, Los Angeles residents can get free meals at Stevie’s Creole Cafe, Wah Gwaan Jamaican Kitchen, as well as Mr. Fries Man and Fyrebird in Gardena (while supplies last.)

Free dishes include:

  • Mr. Fries Man’s BBQ Bacon Ranch Chicken fries: BBQ and ranch sauce, cheddar cheese with an option of fried or grilled chicken
  • Wah Gwaan Jamaican Kitchen’s Jerk Chicken with rice, cabbage and plantains
  • Stevie’s Creole Cafe:  Smokey Fried Chicken with two signature sides
  • Fyrebird: Fyrebird Chicken Sandwich with a drizzle of your choice of Fyrebird Flava like Bayou, BBQ or Buffalo and fries

On Saturday, Aug.19, and Sunday, Aug. 20, during Nisei Week celebrating  Japanese-American culture, MoMo Paradise and Guzzu Bento-Ya plan to take center stage as first-time participants.

Shabu Shabu hotspot MoMo Paradise will bring a chicken sukiyaki bowl to the festival,   with tender chicken, crisp vegetables, and an aromatic broth.  Guzzu Bento-Ya will offer a variety of bento boxes, its Yakitori chicken bowl and matcha yuzu tea from Kuro Koffee. Co-founders and brothers, David and Anthony Hayashi’s creations are designed to blend nostalgic tastes with contemporary twists. 

Black Restaurant Week

Yakitori Chicken (Courtesy Guzzu Bento-Ya)

The 81st Nisei Week Japanese Festival takes place Saturday, Aug. 12, through Sunday, Aug. 20. Here’s the full schedule: 

Nisei Week Coronation

Saturday, Aug. 12, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. | Aratani Theatre

The 2023 Nisei Week Queen and Court are officially presented in an exciting program and production at the Aratani Theatre.

Grand Parade

Sunday, Aug. 13, 4 p.m. to  7 p.m. | First and Second Street, between Central Avenue and San Pedro Street

Stop by and visit one of the largest Japanese American parades in the country. The streets of Little Tokyo will be filled with Japanese dancers, displays of vibrant colors, festive music, talented musicians, floats, and more. 

Nisei Week Awards Dinner

Monday, Aug. 14, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. | DoubleTree by Hilton

The community of Little Tokyo will recognize community individuals who go above and beyond – including Frances K. Hashimoto community service honorees, inspiration award honorees, grand and parade marshals.

Nisei Week Pioneer Luncheon & Spirit Awards

Wednesday, Aug. 16, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. | Omni Hotel

A gathering to honor our friends and leaders in the Southern California Japanese American community.

Nisei Week Plaza Festival & Beer Garden

Saturday, Aug. 19 and Sunday, Aug. 20, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. | JACCC Plaza

In partnership with the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, gather at the plaza and enjoy live music, acts, Japanese delicacies, and more. 

Nisei Week Taiko Gathering

Sunday, Aug. 20, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. | JACCC Plaza

Take a front seat and enjoy the art of Taiko drumming by groups from Southern California.

Nisei Week Closing Ceremony and Ondo

Sunday, Aug. 20, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. | First Street between San Pedro Street and Central  Avenue

The public is invited to join Nisei Week’s finale – the Japanese tradition of dancing in the street with live entertainment to close out the annual festival.


Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles


For more information on Nisei Week, visit

To learn more about Go Little Tokyo, visit

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