Lewellyn’s Fine Fried Whole Chicken, Cheddar Waffle, Spiced Watermelon $62
Free-range, Jidori Chicken brined for 27 hours, one brine ingredient being pork fat. The chicken is not actually deep fried, but pressure cooked with very little oil. I was afraid we were going to get an overly brined, salty, pork fat greasy bird. Nope. It was flavorful, crispy, tender, juicy, not salty and not pork fat greasy, just little crevices of natural juices under the skin and in the flesh. It is an f-ing delicious bird!
Surprised again. If I had known this waffle was going to be so good I would have taken better photos. I normally like my waffles plain without cheese, herbs or anything else, just spread w/butter and syrup… until I had Yardbird’s waffle. You only get a little taste of cheddar - and that shiny, egg-y, brioch-y looking interior is actually from swiss cheese! Again, you can’t really taste the cheese, but it gives the waffle a good consistency, texture and flavor. This is seriously one of the best chicken and waffle dishes I’ve ever had. I had to stop myself from just tearing off pieces of hot sauce splashed chicken and bourbon maple doused waffle and eating it with my fingers. The watermelon was tossed with lemon, spices and mint, something I would definitely make at home or for a picnic.
Crispy Brussels w/Spiced Local Honey
There were a few bulbs, but it was mostly like eating crispy brussels sprout chips, in a good way.
Southern Street Corn w/Chipotle Creme, Farmer’s Cheese, Fresno Peppers, Bacon
We ordered this without bacon, as you can with most of their dishes, including the collard greens. The charred corn was sweet and firm in a nice creamy dressing with a decent kick.
Honey Hot Sauce & Bourbon Maple Syrup
Thankfully there wasn’t too much honey in the hot sauce - both sauces were tasty.
We were too stuffed for dessert, but were told the executive pastry chef, Hedy Goldsmith, is a 2 time James Beard winner and I think an Iron Chef winner.
Mismatched antique cutlery and cute touches abound. The service is almost comically good. The waiters knew the menu well and were so happy and proud to describe any and everything, like they personally designed it. Very endearing. One steered me away from a peach drink that was “too sweet”, and sensing I still wanted the fresh white peach juice, made me a nice bellini. I don’t think the “too sweet” peach cocktail was the only heavy handed drink. My husband’s applewood smoked old-fashioned was overpowering.
We had no plans to eat at Yardbird. We were shopping and got hungry. I heard they had opened a locale at the Beverly Center, but not much else. Everyone is doing fried chicken right now, most with average results, so we weren’t expecting much. But I must say, we thought this was better than the buttermilk fried chicken at the now shuttered Bouchon in Beverly Hills. Aside from the cocktails there is very good balance in the dishes and we enjoyed them very much.
The space is very large with a bar and lounge, high tops, booths, private room and outdoor seating. It is a good place for after work, after church, group dining and taking out-of-town guests and the visiting folks (if they’re ok with slightly loud rock music).
I think Charlie “Yardbird” Parker would be very satisfied with this delicious yardbird.
Our meal for 2 was $133 + tip. We over ordered and had enough for a full meal the next day.
Happy Yardbird Eating!