In the past few years, Neal Fraser has gone from opening the fast-food style hot dog stand Fritzi Dog to opening his flagship fine-dining beauty Redbird. His latest project in downtown L.A.'s Arts District — simply called Fritzi — falls somewhere in the middle. Yes, his beloved hot dogs are available — but this time it's chicken that's the star. The modernist, industrial-chic space is conveniently adjacent to Arts District Brewing and centers around a giant wood-fired rotisserie that gyrates with pre-brined chickens and baskets of multicolored cauliflower. The result is tender, savory chicken meat with delicate crispy skin.
Though the menu seems straightforward in the style of most fast-casual restaurants, choices abound. The decision to order the signature rotisserie chicken is followed by three additional multiple-choice questions: Do you want charred Brussels sprouts or cauliflower? Which type of potato? And which sauce?
Crispy potato waffles (literally mashed potatoes pressed into a waffle maker) are obviously the most exciting option, up against fries and tots. The sauce is the hardest decision as the green harissa, romesco and yuzu citrus aioli are all worthy and important dips. But the chicken is best with harissa or romesco, and fries with aioli, so finding a way to order all three is imperative. There is, of course, a burger too, available in three varieties: bacon, beef or turkey. At four ounces of juicy meat to a patty, these petite burgers emphasis the importance of quality over quantity.
Lighter fare such as forbidden rice and quinoa salad, tossed with baby winter squash, blue cheese and hazelnuts, is available, along with steak or iceberg salads. But leaving without Fraser's new-wave take on chicken and waffles might be missing the point.
The main perk of Fritzi's brewery-adjacent locale is, unsurprisingly, the beverages. In addition to a variety of craft cocktails (how about a nitrogen-carbonated mai tai?), wines, and beers brewed in-house, you'll find house-made grapefruit soda and cold-brew coffee. And since Fritzi is decidedly “elevated” fast-casual, employees will happily take additional food or beverage orders tableside after you've ordered from the counter and been seated. No need to shuffle back and forth.
After 5 p.m., drinkers hanging out at Arts District Brewing can order from a a limited Fritzi menu at a walk-up window inside the beer hall. Above the window, a large neon sign reads “Don't Forget to Eat,” reminding drunk cornhole players to find sustenance into the wee hours of the morning. In this case, though, the late-night grub is Chef Fraser's thoughtful and delicious fare — lucky cornhole players.
814 Traction Ave., downtown; (213) 537-0340, fritzidtla.com.