“It’s coming along ... it’s looking good.” Jerry “JJ” Jaksich sounds as positive as always. He’s appraising the embryonic greenery outside his restaurant in Meiji Park. But he could just as well be talking about Baby J’s, his newly launched California fried chicken operation.

It’s a major understatement: Baby J’s is already hugely popular. In fact, from the moment the doors opened in late April, right across from the curving, low-slung facade of the Olympic Stadium in Sendagaya, there has been nary a gap in the line for Baby J’s.

And with very good reason: Tokyo has never before seen or tasted a fried chicken sandwich of comparable quality. Which is exactly as you’d expect from Jaksich, as an alumnus of Chez Panisse, the pioneering farm-to-table restaurant in Berkeley, California.