Friday, November 2, 2007

The Fried Chicken Report (LA)

And now my little chickadees, what you've all been waiting for...the outrageous, crispy, crunchy and sometimes spicy

Fried Chicken Report
(also known as the not-too-thorough list of my top fried chicken spots in Los Angeles, because a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do)

But wait! Before we dive into the Los Angeles chicken scene, you should know about my earliest treks into fried chicken land, started when I was a wee girl back in the N.J. then taken over the river to the big city (and Harlem and Raleigh/Durham)...

Early Life

1. Honey Bee Chicken in Somerville, NJ on the Somerville Circle (think they are now closed) was the favorite of my family. Honey was put into the batter for a touch of sweetness, and it was really good, probably my sister's favorite to this day.
2. Roy Rogers Fried Chicken - Sadly this chain is in a few locations back East. Too bad too, because this chicken is super awesome. Since we can't get it out here I think it's only fair to provide a copycat recipe for y'all to try at your leisure.

Adulthood East Coast
1. Sylvia's of Harlem, famous for their Sunday Gospel Brunch with an order of fried chicken and grits. (Best to arrive before the busses.)
2. Mama Dip's in Raleigh/Durham has to be one of the best ever. If you are in this area, RUN DO NOT WALK.
3. Jacques Imo in New Orleans still reigns as my ultimate favorite today, even tho I've only been to the NYC location (I've got a date with them in December, don't even think about talking me out of it!) Note: Subsequent to this post, NYC location now closed :(.

Los Angeles
Ok it was a bit of a challenge to find the best fried chicken in Tinseltown, probably due to all those skinny people suppressing the demand. That is why this Report has been so delayed. And because I didn't want to gain too much weight. So without further ado, here is the list, in order of my least favorite to the best:

8. The Prince - Written up in food blogs and given a big OK by my chiropractor Dr. Lee, Prince is a dark, atmospheric Ktown bar that serves standard cocktails and Korean snack food. Tried 2 times, the 1st = cut-up whole fried chicken and the 2nd = deep fried spicy chicken, both with a big fat ruling of "eh". Sorry Dr. Lee. And to everyone else, you can totally skip this one.
7. Pollo Campero - An important part of the Guatemalan culture and located right on Olympic Blvd. and Union, I blissfully skipped to Pollo Campero and ate the chicken and really wanted to love it but it was just ok.
6. Dinah's Fried Chicken - On San Fernando Rd. in Glendale, this place is a favorite of many and reminded me of the Honey Bee a little, however it's lower on this list simply because I'm a fan of the crunchy 3-D style of bird skin and Dinah's boasts a thin, shellacked sweeter skin. Great biscuits though Dinah!
5. Popeye's Chicken & Biscuits - Call me Jersey white trash but there's something about this chicken, especially the spicy fried variety, that is pretty awesome. When I couldn't find places good enough for this list, I ended up resorting to Popeye's.
4. Pioneer Chicken - Neil took me to the Pioneer on Sunset, and there isn't a lot to write because perhaps I was a little distracted by the company? ;) Ok though when I did try the chicken it was fairly tasty, with a point on for good slaw and two off for stale biscuits.
3. Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles - Also tried 2 times (the Hollywood location is better) and the 1st time not so good because the chicken sat in the car on top of a waffle for 30 minutes before I sunk my teeth into it. Alas, on the 2nd try, eating chicken with red beans and rice, cornbread and hot sauce at the restaurant, I was in Roscoe heaven.
2. Zeke's Smokehouse - This down-to-earth BBQ place by the La Brea Target should be on people's radar more than it is. The discovery here is surprisingly awesome fried chicken. Does it matter that it's boneless? You know at one time I thought it did but it does not matter, it's awesome chicken, and n.b. the sides and atmosphere also rock. Note: Subsequent to this post, La Brea location closed and the only location in Montrose changed the chicken recipe not for the better.
1. Louisiana Fried Chicken - Zeke's had the #1 spot for a long time but I couldn't shake that guilt about the #1 chicken needing to be on the bone. Then just last week the Lousiana Fried Chicken on Adams crossed my car Kenny's path and lo and behold... No they don't have any good sides and you may take your life into your hands if you arrive on this doorstep late at night. What's important is the fried chicken, which is hot, moist, and flavorful with a hint of spice. It really is that good, in fact great, and that's why it's my #1.

Note: The findings of this report are final, until other fried chicken places are discovered and taste-tested. Challenge me if you dare!

Other area spots I didn't get to that are worthy of checking out
Honey's Kettle - The place for fried chicken & pancakes in Culver City
The Ivy - Heard they serve fab fried chicken with a side of paparazzi
Stonehill Tavern - Popular west coast chef Michael Mina's ritzy spot in Orange County features an apparently wonderful whole-fried organic chicken for two

And with that dear readers, I lay down the greasy gauntlet to take the higher path of cholesterol-resistance. The real reason being, of course, to save some of my arteries for Germany.

:) Marly


Mom said...

Re: the Xmas cookie list: I vote for both of the "maybes" and you can eliminate two of the definites if you have to. Really love the apricot bars, though.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Marly can talk about the mean collard greens at the KFC in Trenton someday?

CresceNet said...
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