Where To Eat Now 


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Phillips. For many of us, Phillips is a Saturday-night ritual: the called-in order, the drive to the south end of the Crenshaw strip, and an hour in line outside the restaurant. A small-end slab from Phillips can hold its own with any barbecued spareribs in the world. The extra-hot sauce, tart with vinegar and so crowded with whole dried chiles that the ribs occasionally look as if they have been embellished with Byzantine mosaics, has tempted better men than you and me to gnaw the flesh right off their fingertips. 2619 S. Crenshaw Blvd., (323) 731-4772. Mon. 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Tues.– Thurs. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.– mid., closed Sun. 1517 Centinela Ave., Los Angeles, (310) 412-7135. Tues.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–mid., Sun. 11 a.m.–6 p.m., closed Mon. 4307 Leimert Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 292-7613. Mon. 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Tues.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–mid., closed Sun. No alcohol. Lot parking. MC, V. Barbecue. JG H *

El Pollo Inka. Beyond the roasted chicken that earned the chain its reputation, El Pollo Inka’s menu is filled with the seafood dishes typical of Lima’s industrial port suburb, Callao: hotly spiced ceviche; crisply fried catfish fillets garnished with a sort of Peruvian pico de gallo; and noodles tossed with various tentacles. 15400 Hawthorne Blvd., Lawndale, (310) 676-6665. 1425 W. Artesia Blvd., Gardena, (310) 516-7378. 23705 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance, (310) 373-0062. 11000 Pacific Coast Hwy., Hermosa Beach, (310) 372-1433. Lunch and dinner daily (some locations close late on Fri. and Sat.). Beer and wine. Lot parking. AE, CB, DC, MC, V. Entrées $5–$17. Peruvian. JG ¢ *

Pollos a la Brasa. Peruvian-style chicken — pollo a la brasa, chicken on a spit — is the stuff to turn to when you’re looking for roasted chicken with lots of taste. The meat is remarkable, well-garlicked, slightly spicy, permeated with that pungent smoke. The flesh is juicy, the herbal flavor clear, the skin caramelized and crisp. 764 S. Western Ave. (also at 16527 S. Vermont Ave., Gardena), (213) 382-4090. Lunch and dinner Wed.–Mon. 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m. No alcohol. Takeout. Lot parking. Cash only. Food for two $5–$10. Peruvian. JG ¢

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Roscoe’s Chicken N’ Waffles. Why chicken and waffles? Is it a time-honored combination? Is there a particular methodology at work? Or do they just happen to coexist on the same plate, allowing for the occasional serendipitous splash of maple syrup on a succulent fried wing? We may never know. Drawing weekend crowds that spill out onto the sidewalk, Roscoe’s is the Carnegie Deli of L.A.’s R&B scene. 1514 N. Gower St., Hollywood, (323) 466-7453. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Beer and wine. AE, D, DC, MC, V. Entrées $6–$9. American Soul. JG ¢ *

Tasty Q. Around Thanksgiving time, this barbecue emporium may be best known as the home of the deep-fried turkey, a Louisiana delicacy that you can order here with a couple days’ notice even when it doesn’t happen to be November. Believe us: Turkey is not something you want to deep-fry at home, even if your cousin Lambert happens to think it’s a good idea. The rest of the year, Tasty Q functions as a genuine drive-thru barbecue stand. 2959 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 735-8325. Open seven days, 10:30 a.m.– 10 p.m. No alcohol. Lot parking. AE, MC, V. $9.25-$15.50. Barbecue. JG ¢ *

Taylor’s Steak House. The two Taylors are everything a steak house should be: dark, clubby, with red booths and frosted glass. The drinks are strong, and the menu’s long suit is meat, specifically steak, at very delicious prices. Never mind that you might be the only Democrat or Jew or nonwhite in the room. Get a culotte, the rib-eye, or the big fillet. 3361 W. Eighth St., Los Angeles, (213) 382-8449. 901 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada-Flintridge, (818) 790-7668. Lunch seven days, 11:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Dinner seven days, Sun.–Thurs. 4–9:30 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 4–10:30 p.m. Full bar. Lot parking. AE, MC, V. Entrées $12.50–$24.95. American. MH $

Zankou. The chicken sandwiches are good at Zankou; so are the falafel and the shawarma carved off the rotating spit. But the spit-roasted chickens are what you want. Such chicken really needs no embellishment, but a little bit of Zankou’s fierce, blinding-white garlic sauce couldn’t hurt. 5065 Sunset Blvd., East Hollywood, (323) 665-7842. 1415 E. Colorado Blvd., Glendale, (818) 244-2237. 5658 Sepulveda Blvd., Van Nuys, (818) 781-0615. 1296 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 405-1502. 10 a.m.–10 p.m. seven days (until 11 p.m. in Glendale). No alcohol. Lot parking. Cash only. Entrées $2.25–$7.50. Middle Eastern/Armenian. JG ¢ *

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