Q: Ever since the demise of the much-missed Ship’s, I’ve been wondering: Where can I find that chicken potpie I’ve been dreaming of for so long? I’m talking about thick chunks of chicken, creamy filling, and pastry crust above and below. Note: No vegetables, please. I have tried the Grill, Dupar’s, the Newsroom, Kate Mantilini’s and Patty’s House of Pies to no avail. Please help!!!
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A: You’re right: Ship’s had the best, the quintessential chicken potpie, with a crisp, buttery crust, large, tender pieces of bird, yellow gravy that actually tasted like chicken, and no pesky vegetables to get in your way. It’s not the same, but the Musso & Frank Grill serves chicken potpie on Thursdays, and there’s something nice about having a guy in a red jacket carefully spoon the pie onto your plate — even if the filling is a little runny and the disk of crust at the bottom (originally the top) is a little tough and thin. It’s a classic pie, really, sort of an elegant version of the Swanson’s Hungry Man, with wrinkly peas and pearl onions and little cubes of carrot and potato, and a fine, stewy flavor to the bird. The classic accompaniment is — as, curiously, it seems to be to almost any dish at Musso’s — an extra-dry Gibson . . . the pickled pearl onion gives the drink a special symbiosis with the pie. Musso & Frank Grill, 6667 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 467-5123.