by TaradeLis - 392 Reviews - 18 List
Fried chicken is popping up in Los Angeles restaurants with such frequency that the city is starting to feel more like the Deep South than Southern California. Of course, for every crispy-skinned, soul food-style morsel, there are also higher-end and healthier options as well. From upscale Beverly Hills eateries to down-home barbecue joints in the Valley, find out where to get your fried chicken fix. (Photo: Fried Chicken at the Curious Palate by Tara de Lis)
Updated: September 26, 2011
Thomas Keller's Beverly Hills bistro is following in the footsteps of his popular Ad Hoc in Yountville, which is known for family-style, fried chicken dinners. The Bouchon bird is lemon-brined, then coated and fried, and finally served with sides like corn on the cob or mac and cheese. Right now it's a monthly event, but with enough interest, it may become a more regular feature.
Because of the name, many people falsely assume this is a vegan restaurant. While there are healthful options on the menu, such as the greens that round out the southern fried chicken salad, the meats aren't upstaged. The poultry comes from the organic Pitman Family Farm, where the chickens are raised in-pasture on a vegetarian diet. Chefs preps the boneless, skinless breasts in seasoned flour and buttermilk, and they're topped with salt and fresh sage after frying.
Forget everything you known about chicken chains--specifically El Pollo Loco and KFC. This wildly popular Latin American concept got its start in Guatemala in 1971 and has developed a cult following around the world. The cracklin' good skin is a great foil for the freshly made roasted tomato salsas, which pack quite the punch for American palates.
Chef Tim Morrill, a native South Carolinian, knows a thing or two about fried foods. Sourced from Petaluma Poultry's sustainably farmed "Rocky Jr." chicken, the bird is slow-cooked sous vide in buttermilk marinade, then breaded in flour and corn starch that's seasoned with cumin and mustard seed, and finally finished in sea salt, smoked paprika, rosemary and thyme.
Edna Lewis' Famous Dixie fried chicken is chef/owner Bob Lynn's tribute to his mentor, a matriarch of southern cooking. Made with organic Jidori meat, it's adapted from her cookbook, with minimal modifications, and cooked in a cast iron skillet. Note that orders can take up to 15 minutes of prep time.