In case you hadn't heard the news, the parent company behind L.A. institution Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles announced that it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week. The shockwave that followed on social media was swift: What's going to happen to our Scoe's Special?
The good news is that Roscoe's — which has been serving soul food out of Long Beach (and six other locations) since 1975 and has fed celebrities ranging from Snoop Dogg and Magic Johnson to Larry King and Barack Obama — probably isn't going anywhere just yet.
The chain's parent company, East Coast Foods Inc., is restructuring its debt after being ordered to pay $3.2 million to a former employee who sued the chain in 2013 for wrongful termination and racial discrimination. Filing Chapter 11 typically means debtors will be paid out so that the business can continue operating for the time being.
If you're still worried about Roscoe's, though, it's probably a good time to remind yourself that L.A. has other options when it comes to the fried chicken-waffle combo. Here are a few standouts in case you decide to diversify your assets.
If you wanted to design the quintessential L.A. greasy spoon — as romanticized by Quentin Tarantino — the half-century-old Pann’s is pretty much a spot-on blueprint; many customers mistakenly credit it as the diner from Pulp Fiction. No matter what your thoughts are on Googie architecture, high-test black coffee or gray-haired waitresses, it’s hard to overlook the appeal of the crispy waffles and golden brown chicken wings that seem to land at every table. To their credit, the short-order cooks behind the ticket-strewn pass are equally proficient at gooey patty melts, Cobb salads and gravy-smothered pot roast. Is there any better way to gird your rumbling stomach before a long-haul flight out of LAX? —Garrett Snyder
6710 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester; (310) 670-1441, panns.com.
The Serving Spoon
If it's chicken and waffles you're after — and you'll have to dig through a lengthy menu to find them — then you should order “the Cookie.” It comes with five fried chicken wings and a waffle, and when asked if you want to add cinnamon to the waffle, you should definitely say yes. The place itself has an updated yet old-school vibe, and super-sweet servers will make you feel like a regular. Butter pools up on one side of the thin waffle, and the fry comes off the wings in geode-like formations. Several Yelpers claim the Serving Spoon is better than Roscoe's, and it's easy to see the comparison. But you'll have to decide for yourself. —Skyler Okey
1403 Centinela Ave., Inglewood; (310) 412-3927, theservingspoon.net.
Poppy + Rose
Chef Ryan Lamon and his wife, Diana, opened this cozy, Southern-style diner in the Flower District back in 2014. Soon after, it became the go-to breakfast spot for those who found themselves hungry after stocking up on rose bouquets at the nearby flower markets. The signature dish here is probably the buttermilk-brined fried chicken served with crispy vanilla waffles, which arrives with a dollop of smoked honey butter on top. The whole package manages to perfectly balance sweet and salty, and though we usually prefer our fried chicken bone-in, we're willing to make an exception for the extra-juicy boneless thighs that Poppy + Rose cooks up. –G.S.
765 S. Wall St., downtown; (213) 995-7799, poppyandrosela.com.