In Search of Golden, Crispy, Delectable Fried Chicken - Farmshop, Pann's, Jim Dandy's, Terrine, The Brentwood, Flores & Sons, Honeybird, Howlin' Ray's and more!


You’ve been skewered for complaining about Bouchon’s service or about the filtered tap? Perhaps someone will provide a compelling reason to explain othewise, but I think I’d be really peeved if I got charged $7 for a bottle of filtered tap water. :frowning:


The not explaining that the filtered tap water is $7.00 shows a certain carelessness to their service.


[quote=“Chowseeker1999, post:119, topic:4255”]
I think we might just mention it to them next time we go back (about the salt levels).
[/quote]I’ll mention it when messaging them :wink:.

We will definitely order the greens. We both :heart: greens and my cousin will love that they’re cooked with pork belly! And we’ll go early :relaxed:.


Don’t get me wrong. We’ve never had a bad experience at Bouchon. It’s just, sometimes I think the waitstaff isn’t on par with a restaurant of that caliber.


[quote=“Chowseeker1999, post:119, topic:4255”]
[/quote]We had another dissapointing experience. I sent a message, but we’ll see.


Update 4:

It seems with the rise in popularity of Howlin’ Ray’s, new Fried Chicken and Hot Chicken places have been rushing to open up in L.A. to cash in on the “craze.” Just when you thought we couldn’t have more Fried Chicken in L.A. some more places have opened up recently and it was time to go on a journey again… :slight_smile:

Sweet Chick

From New York City, with its greatest claim to fame being that rapper Nasir “Nas” Jones is an investor, Sweet Chick opened up its first L.A. branch recently, along the popular Fairfax corridor, near Animal, Golden State and a few other notable places.

Power 106 was blasting music outside, and upon entering, it was packed with the local hamster clientele. But if it was packed, hopefully the Fried Chicken would be great, right? :slight_smile:

Mac and Cheese (Gruyere, Fontina, Aged White Cheddar, Ritz Cracker Crust):

The Mac and Cheese arrived first. This is the extremely creamy variety - not very cheesy (despite having 3 types of Cheeses) - but it was delicious. :slight_smile: Piping hot, luscious, if you were in the mood for a creamier Mac and Cheese then this would be worth an order.

Sweet Chick Bucket (3 pieces Fried Chicken, Buttermilk Biscuit, with Kohlrabi Slaw):

Visually this looked OK, but inconsistent. Some pieces were consistently battered. Other pieces had barely any batter, or it had fallen off.

The Dark Meat Fried Chicken was a salt bomb. :frowning: Extremely salty, it was one of the saltiest Fried Chicken we’ve had on this journey. (@TheCookie if you thought our last experience at Stevie’s Creole Cafe was salty, don’t even try this.) :cry: We couldn’t even finish the Chicken.

The White Meat portion was better, because of the larger amount of meat, it tasted less salty than the Dark Meat, it was slightly moist, but overcooked and dry in parts.

Kohlrabi Slaw:

This tasted OK. Not overly heavy, there was a slight crunchiness, and the chilled Slaw helped with the hot weather.

Housemade Biscuit:

This looked gorgeous. There was a crunchy outer layer, with Cheese baked into the Biscuit crust. It started pretty tasty, but the actual Biscuit was too dense and bready. :frowning: If it was a bit lighter, airier, this would’ve been great.

Sweet Chick feels like massive hype with mediocre, extremely salty Fried Chicken. But it has a full bar, has hip decor and that seems to be good enough to make it popular.

Sweet Chick
448 N Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tel: (323) 592-3423

Poppy + Rose

(picture courtesy of Poppy + Rose)

Poppy + Rose has been open awhile, but we never got a chance to visit until recently. The last 3 times we tried going were unsuccessful (the first time we couldn’t even find it (it’s a tiny spot), and parking is awful in the area). Located deep in the Flower District in Downtown L.A., when we arrived on this 4th attempt, there was a massive line down the block(!).

It ended up being about a 2 hour wait. :tired_face:

Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Waffle:

From the online buzz or the view from most tables, their Fried Chicken is the “must order.” Taking a bite of the Chicken Breast, it’s nice and crunchy (expected with a Buttermilk crust), but then you just get pure Salt (and a bit of Pepper). :sob:

This was saltier than Sweet Chick! :frowning:

Their Leg & Thigh portion was strangely less salty, still juicy and crunchy, but still heavily salted.

The Waffle was downright awful: Rubbery, warm (not even piping hot), and considering it took another nearly 30 minutes from order to get our food (after the ridiculously long wait outside), it’s disheartening to see a kitchen that can’t even make their Waffles fresh to order. Or if they did, they need to rethink the recipe.

Fried Chicken Sandwich (Buttermilk-Brined Chicken Thigh, House Aioli, House Pickles):

We still remained hopeful for the Fried Chicken Sandwich. Considering they use Chicken Thigh meat (juicier, fattier, more flavor than Chicken Breast meat), this could be an exciting entry: It was a salt bomb as well. :cry:

It had the same Buttermilk batter crunch, but it was really salty with some Pepper notes. The Bun was sturdy enough not to fall apart, but the flavors and salt-level made this unfinishable.

I’m not sure why there’s a 2 hour wait for Poppy + Rose, especially considering the line is in the sun in sweltering heat, and the Fried Chicken was a disaster, and the parking situation doesn’t make this any better.

Poppy + Rose
765 S. Wall Street
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Tel: (213) 995-7799

Dave’s Hot Chicken (Pop-Up)

We had heard about Dave’s Hot Chicken when they were just getting started from some friends and then the Eater LA article mention happened. But after hearing friends relay what it was - it’s Chicken Tenders, not really “Fried Chicken” - we weren’t really in a hurry to go try it.

But after some more hype / buzz started building, we decided to finally make the drive and try it out.

First, as @PorkyBelly mentioned the whole operation is just flat out gross: We’ve eaten our fair share of street tacos, and even enjoy relaxing with the Morales family at Tacos La Carreta (open inside of an Auto Shop), and none of those places come close to the filthy feeling you get when walking into Dave’s Hot Chicken.

First off, all of their food is in open containers. The Cole Slaw, the Fries, even the Raw Chicken and the Batter to dredge the Chicken were all sitting out in the open. And with this being Summer…

Flies were crawling all over the Cole Slaw, the Fries and the Raw Chicken. :nauseated_face: :face_vomiting:

But we pressed on and ordered. There’s really just one thing to order: Their Chicken Tenders, and a choice of Mild, Hot or Extra-Hot spiciness.

Chicken Tenders - Mild + Hot:

First to be clear, this isn’t “Fried Chicken” in the sense of what one might expect when they want Fried Chicken. Dave’s Hot Chicken serves Chicken Fingers / Chicken Tenders, boneless, aggregated bits of Chicken Meat machine-formed into long strips.

If the people on Yelp believe this to be great “Fried Chicken” then we might as well call Chicken Nuggets “Fried Chicken” as well.

Mild Chicken Tender:

Their “Mild” is nearly the same crimson color as their “Hot” :open_mouth:, it had some sweet notes, some Paprika, some heat and was probably already a Level 3 Medium-level of spice if comparing to Howlin’ Ray’s scale of heat.

It a was juicy and spicy Chicken Finger / Strip, but that’s pretty much it.

Hot Chicken Tender:

As @PorkyBelly said, this was totally one-note. :expressionless: All we tasted was just “Hot.” It was spicier than their Mild, but it wasn’t the nuanced (and extremely crazy, interesting, but spicy) Level 4 “Hot” from Howlin’ Ray’s (which uses Ghost Peppers), but just bland, one-note Hot. :frowning:

French Fries (Costco):

We saw them ripping open giant bags of Frozen Fries from a brand we see at Costco. They were generic, bland, and not worth the calories.

Cole Slaw:

We skipped the Cole Slaw, since as aforementioned, the thought of eating Fly Eggs wasn’t appealing. :stuck_out_tongue:

Dave’s Hot Chicken had a backorder of about 30+ orders when we arrived (early in the evening). We saw kids, skateboarders, hamsters, and everyone inbetween, sitting around, waiting for their food, and all of them sat far enough away to be oblivious to the fact that flies were crawling all over their food.

They were so backed up, they had Fried Chicken ready on some plates (all open containers, sitting out in the open), that flies were crawling all over them, and they couldn’t close them or call out the customers’ names fast enough to distribute.

For us, we eyed our container (with our name on it), and sat by the cash register. As soon as they plated our Chicken, I made a mad dash to ours and grabbed it quickly to prevent the fly infestation from touching the Chicken.

I’m happy that 3 fellows using an open deep fryer can create a buzzing pop-up in a parking lot in Hollywood, but Dave’s Hot Chicken is basically one-note, overhyped Spicy Chicken Fingers / Tenders, using mediocre ingredients (some from Costco), but apparently the smash hit on Yelp.

From its unhealthy fly and bug infestation and open containers everywhere, to just a gross, uncleanly operation, we will not be going back. :frowning:

(Cash Only)

Dave’s Hot Chicken
5115 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Phat Birds

Thanks to an Eater LA mention a few weeks ago, we heard about a new Fried Chicken specialist called Phat Birds. With the 3 previous entries, we were so burnt out on these bad Fried Chicken places, we weren’t sure if we wanted to even go, but off we went for the final stop on this Fried Chicken journey.

Phat Birds started as a pop-up a few years ago according to the employee behind the window. They found this new storefront and have been trying to make it a full-time business.

Housemade Mint Lemonade + Seltzer (Fresh Squeezed Lemonade with Fresh Mint):

Their Housemade Mint Lemonade was a touch too sweet, but then the server mentioned they also make it with a bit of Seltzer to cut the sweetness. We asked for that, and it turned out much better, minty-cool, no longer too sweet, and slightly fizzy. :slight_smile:

Note that the one Achilles’ Heel to Phat Birds is that this is Outdoor Only Seating (with almost No Shade). :frowning: Yes, we sat in 100+ degree weather to brave this place, so take this review with a grain of salt.

Phat Fried Chicken (1/2 Fried Chicken - Traditional + Hot):

There’s an option to order their Phat Fried Chicken by the Quarter or Half, which was cheaper, so we went with Half.

The Fried Chicken Leg & Thigh “Traditional” (No Spice) features a dry dredge, and a nice crispiness (but very little crunch). It was juicy, moist, and not too salty! :open_mouth: Yes! :grin:

Not only was it not too salty, it was just delicious! It had a nice seasoning, and just tasted like great, classic Fried Chicken. :slight_smile:

Fried Chicken Breast - Hot:

Their Fried Chicken Breast “Hot” Style (they only offer 1 level of spice), was just the right amount of heat for us. It was about a Level 3 “Medium” at Howlin’ Ray’s, but Phat Birds’ heat is an immediate spiciness. They use Habanero Chili (and other spices) so it’s that type of burn you get from a good Habanero Salsa.

It’s not as nuanced as Howlin’ Ray’s but it has sufficient depth and interesting taste to it (better than Dave’s Hot Chicken for sure).

And the Chicken Breast was moist and juicy, although it was strangely small. We’re not expecting some GMO / abnormal sized Chicken, but the Breast & Wing portion definitely felt almost slightly bigger than a Cornish Game Hen as opposed to a standard Breast & Wing.

Hand Cut Phat Fries:

Their Phat Fries are Hand Cut In-House, Skin-On Fries, and they were pretty good. :slight_smile: They lacked the super delectable crunchiness (and airy interior) of the Double Fried Fries at Connie & Ted’s (which are amazing), but these were far better than mass-produced Fries we had earlier at Dave’s.

The Fried Chicken was so good, even sitting in the partial sun in 100+ degree weather, that we had to come back to make sure there was some consistency.

2nd Visit:

And this weekend, it hit about 99 - 100 degrees again as we arrived at Phat Birds, but this was all for a good cause: A Fried Chicken Journey for FTC! :wink: :grin:

Housemade Mint Lemonade + Seltzer (Fresh Squeezed Lemonade with Fresh Mint):

Refreshing again! This was a lifesaver.

Corn & Cheddar Fritters (Fresh Corn, Cheddar with Comeback Sauce):

This looked great, but sadly they were really dense and bready. :frowning:

Phat Fried Chicken (1/2 Fried Chicken - Traditional + Hot):

Spicy Slaw (House Spicy Dressing):

Their Spicy Slaw is surprisingly an Asian-style Slaw: Instead of Mayo, there’s Fish Sauce, Sesame Oil and the cool, crisp Cabbage and Carrots, etc. It was tasty, but only if you’re in the mood for that sweet, lightly pungent taste and aromatic Sesame Oil flavor. I was hoping for a traditional Cole Slaw, so this threw me off slightly. Still it was tasty.

Fried Chicken Breast & Wing - Traditional:

We decided to flip it this time and chose the Breast and Wing to be Traditional (No Spice). Taking a bite… juicy, crispy batter (barely any crunch though), nicely seasoned and not overly salty (again)! Yay. This was delicious! :blush:

Fried Chicken Leg & Thigh - Hot:

And this time, we had their Fried Chicken Leg & Thigh in their Nashville Hot-style. It was perfectly fried, crispy again, juicy, and just the right amount of heat.

This was delicious again! So good! :heart:

In our 2 visits, Phat Birds has delivered some very good Fried Chicken (probably our 2nd favorite in the city right now), featuring a dairy-free, crispy-style Fried Chicken that was tasty Traditional (No Spice) and with their Hot spicy level (not too spicy). And at $9.50 for Half a Chicken(!) the QPR is pretty good.

Their one (huge) downside is the outdoor only seating, so during the Summer, sitting in direct 100+ degree heat might not be that great, but even with us enduring 100 degree heat, and sweating non-stop, we enjoyed the Fried Chicken at Phat Birds. :slight_smile:

The staff was friendly, and they were belting out old-school tunes from A Tribe Called Quest, Boyz II Men, Tupac and others which helped the meal go by in a more enjoyable manner.

If they can get covered seating and more parking, this could be a great place to get your Fried Chicken fix if you don’t feel like waiting for Howlin’ Ray’s (still our favorite). :wink:

(Note: Be sure to call ahead if you’re showing up later in the day. They will close when they run out of food.)

Phat Birds
4701 E. 3rd Street
East Los Angeles, CA 90022
Tel: (323) 943-9191


Glad you guys liked it, Phat Birds is good fried chicken. I’m especially glad that it’s close to me. I am very happy that we have this place in ELA


I’m so sorry I PM’ed you about that hot chicken.


Hi @Ns1,

No no, don’t be! I’m glad to have tried it; just to understand what the hype was about. :slight_smile:

I hope you get a chance to try Phat Birds, the QPR is really good there. :slight_smile:


The pix indeed look great.


Great chowsleuthing, as always. For a “control”, you should do Popeye’s or KFC. Just to be, you know, scientific or something like that. :slight_smile:



Had Popeyes the other day. It was one of those days where I just felt like being naughty… foodwise. I was driving down La Brea and there it was.

No pictures, but it was pretty darn tasty - moist (enough), greasy, crispy, crunchy, good heat, with the kind of salty you don’t notice until you find yourself gulping down that Strawberry Soda. We’re talkin’ fast food fried chicken, so… Anyway, I bet it was better than the seemingly gruesome Dave’s Hot Chicken (serious thank you @Chowseeker1999 for taking one for the team on that one, blech).

Cluck, Cluck!


Thanks @Chowseeker1999!

Phat Birds seems right up my alley!

We’ve been meaning to check out Sweet Chick. Last time it was for brunch and our group was too big for a no-rez place. Too bad it’s not up to par.

Sucks about your salt experience at Poppy + Rose. I thought it was a very respectable Fried Chicken. IIRC they slightly pushed the salt envelope, but didn’t find it unbearable. Then again, we were there on a weekday and it wasn’t as busy and maybe less careless. But still, I don’t get the lines for this place. Possibly the only cool spot for crafters and flower mart shoppers?

We finally escaped our war zone aka home aka 1st world problems and are comfortably ensconced in a nice loft downtown. Maybe we’ll pop over and try Poppy + Rose again.

P.S. Stevie’s finally emailed back and said they’d work on the problems. My husband went the other day and reported that it was lighter in color and the salt level was down.

Happy Fried Chicken Journeys!


Thanks @J_L. :slight_smile: I’ll see if I can bring myself to try one of those fast food places again. :wink:

Temporarily as a “control,” for this trip, I’d say Jim Dandy’s & Pann’s were much better than Sweet Chick, Poppy & Rose and Dave’s Hot Chicken.

Is there a Popeye’s that you’d recommend? (Or is the central kitchen / recipe so locked in now it’s always the same everywhere?)


Hi @TheCookie,

Thanks. :slight_smile: Glad to hear you’re away from the war zone for now. :wink:

Thanks for the heads up on Stevie’s; I’ll have to give them a try again, hopefully they turned a corner.

I’d say before you go to Poppy + Rose again, maybe give Phat Birds a try first. :slight_smile:


You Millennial, you…


Haha… I know, I know. We’re surrounded by them. But it’s actually my middle-aged cousin’s place. She told anyone who would listen, that when her boys (millennials) were grown and out of the house (OC) she was moving to a one room loft in DTLA. We just humored her. Everyone says they’re going to do mid-life crisis stuff when their kids are gone. Well… we just had a lovely dinner downstairs at Broken Spanish. Meanwhile, she’s off galavanting somewhere for the next 10 days. I :heart: this girl… and this loft.

Fried Chicken Necks w/Chile de Arbol, Lime Salt

I use chicken or turkey necks when cooking sometimes, but not as a dish! These were scrumptious - dusted with a rub of chiles & lime salt (maybe a tad too much salt), a good amount of juicy meat and perfectly crispy skin. The waiter said the sauce was kinda’ deadly and should be used sparingly, so we decided to pass as the chile rub had its own heat.


The one that you happen to see on a Tuesday


…and get the red beans & rice - my real reason for ever going to Popeyes. The biscuit is not bad either.


…and 2 packets of honey per biscuit, ya usually have to ask for them.