When we last left Plan Check in mid-June, the popular Sawtelle home of chef Ernesto Uchimura was busy building out their next iteration on Fairfax. Well, after the tenderest two-day soft open (République, by contrast, was soft open for somewhere between two weeks and a decade), Plan Check Fairfax is finally here.
The newest location, slammed inside the short-lived former Vodvil board-game-as-night-club space, begins serving tomorrow night, Friday, Dec. 13. The dimmish lighting, reclaimed wood and chalkboard menu signs are all in place, and the building itself is almost twice as large as the original location on the Westside. That's good news for centrally-located eaters who couldn't stomach the thought of crossing under the 405 curtain for a fried chicken sandwich, even if it's been smoked, buttermilked and perfectly fried, as Plan Check's certainly are. See? Hold out long enough and all the fun stuff comes to you.
It's finally here. The food collaboration you didn't know you were missing out on -- streetwear and chicken & waffles -- is hitting L.A., thanks to clothing brand Popular Demand. The young and hungry (in more ways than one) L.A.-based streetwear label, known in, let's say, more youthful circles as a proprietor of hip and casual clothing, has managed to score one of the year's biggest collaborations, with Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles.
Ludo Lefebvre is opening a fried chicken stand at Staples Center. The stand, called LudoBird, will serve roughly the same menu as Lefebvre's LudoTruck, with a few tweaks.
"The menu will be similar to that one the LudoTruck, but not the same, Krissy Lefebvre, Ludo's wife and business partner explains. "We will feature both a white meat and dark meat of the Provençal chicken (original recipe) that can be ordered as just chicken or on a sandwich. We will also have the garlic honey wings. There will be house-made potato chips and a new potato salad. In addition, Ludo has created a sweet and salty ice cream sandwich, which is a brioche bun with homemade caramel and ice cream. Finalizing the ice cream flavor later today, actually. Of course we had to keep the honey lavender biscuit on the menu."
If any food obsessive were to make a bucket list of regional American dishes she ought to try in this lifetime, Nashville hot chicken would certainly be an important entry. Hot chicken, and particularly the hot chicken from Prince's Hot Chicken, was a cult food item before cult food items were common. Served simply on white bread with pickles, it takes the glorious combination of chicken and crispy coating one step further and adds heat. A lot of heat.
Now at the Hart and the Hunter, the modern Southern restaurant in the Palihotel, you can get chefs Kris Tominaga and Brian Dunsmoor's take on Nashville-style hot chicken at lunchtime. Their version also comes topped with pickles and on white bread, albeit a semi-sour bread with a chewy crust. The bird is marinated, fried and tossed in hot sauce. You can opt for dark or white meat.
Just when you thought the Southern restaurant trend had jumped the shark, someone comes up with a Southern-Japanese hybrid fried chicken joint and everything seems right with the world once more. Tokyo Fried Chicken Co. had its soft opening recently in Monterey Park, and will be holding its grand opening over Labor Day weekend.
The restaurant's namesake dish, the fried chicken, is similar to Japanese karaage chicken, flavored with soy, ginger and garlic, but is also Southern-inspired in its style of batter and fry, as well as being served with honey. It's served as a chicken dinner set for $12.50 per person, with one side, chicken rice and house-pickled ginger cabbage.
Combine all of the biggest dining trends including food trucks, locally-sourced fare and pop-up restaurants and you might end up with an experience that looks and tastes something like the "Downtown Brunch Up" happening at Daily Dose this Sunday. Nomadic chef Dante Gonzales will leave his namesake food truck behind at this stationary pop-up, where he'll serve his Sock-It-To-Me fried chicken and coconut honey biscuits in the ivy-covered, brick-lined alley of Daily Dose Cafe.
Daily Dose, which exists in a narrow courtyard off appropriately-named Industrial Street in the downtown arts district, will balance out Gonzales' chicken-and-biscuits menu with their own locally-farmed scrambled eggs and fried heirloom fingerling potatoes. The Sunday feast, which runs from 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., is RSVP only and BYOB.
If you're not in the habit of doing either of those things, try these three other arts district brunch spots where you can get a beer on draft, a table without a reservation and ample free street parking on the weekends.
Like egg rolls and gyoza, fried chicken is one of those dishes that your mother probably makes better than everyone else, because no one else's version is quite as crispy, or quite as juicy, or made with quite as much love. That said, when Mom isn't around and the craving strikes, there are quite a number of places, both down- and upscale, where you can find comfort in chicken that's almost as good as your mom's. Turn the page for our list of the ten best fried chicken in Los Angeles.
Leading up to this year's Best of L.A. issue (due out Oct. 4), we'll be counting down, in no particular order, 100 of our favorite dishes.
51: The Southern Fry at Plan Check Kitchen + Bar.
While the centerpiece of Plan Check Kitchen + Bar on Sawtelle is undoubtedly its dripping, concentrated burgers -- head chef Ernesto Uchimura was an ex-corporate chef at Umami Burger, after all -- there seems to be a populist swell in favor of the restaurant's smokey fried jidori chicken. Could the fried chicken sandwich could be the new burger?