Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles with Skin

What is a person to do when they are torn between craving a buttery maple drenched waffle and a juicy piece of fried chicken? Well if you live near a Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles, you can have your artery clogging combo all on the same plate!

For a place that’s infamous for entertaining hordes of breakfast hungry patrons and soaking up late-night drunks, it’s took me some time to finally make it Roscoe’s. I always thought of it as one of those kitschy places you don’t make your destination, but more a place you stumble upon to magically, like a shining beacon of help when you’re hungry and lost in Hollywood.

This somewhat describes my visit this past weekend, when I was looking for someplace to eat a late breakfast before catching The Godfather at the Arclight on Sunset. Located surprisingly just a few blocks away, there was the waffle and chicken logo beckoning me to enter. Street parking was tricky, and its two entrances confused me, but I finally made my way inside.

The interior has a funky design with wood paneling, a bit of neon, and in one room split level floors. We were seating in a much more simplistic room with a basic table layout and graffiti-style art on the walls. Only a few people were spread around the room but everyone was clearly indulging in the restaurants signature offering.

I went with this as well, ordering the Carol C. Special which came with “one succulent breast and one delicious waffle.” My girlfriend went with the similar Country Boy Breakfast, which came with 3 chicken wings instead of the breast. Actually, there are quite a few combinations in the menu of bird and waffle. Some include gravy, some include biscuits, and there were plenty of other possible additions like mac n’ cheese or giblets.

Orders away my food finally arrived. One piece of fried chicken, one waffle with industrial strength butter plopped on top, and a small cup of syrup on the side. I was unclear how to go about eating it, so I started slowly dissecting each one.

For a place with the word “waffle” in the name I was expecting a lot, and frankly this waffle was just so-so. It would satisfy someone simply wanting a waffle, but this was a tad overly sweet for my taste. I prefer something lighter and milky, or even nutty, but this just didn’t do it.

The chicken on the other hand does deserve to be used in the signage. It was nice and hot with fantastically crispy skin and a wonderfully juicy bite. The chicken wings on the plate across from me were equally delicious, especially if you’re someone who prefers more skin then chicken.

Now I decided to get into a bit of mad science by combining chicken, waffle, and a bit of syrup on one fork. It sounded like it would work but it utterly failed. The flavor of chicken and waffle are not meant to be married. So I went simpler and tried just chicken and syrup. Unsurprisingly this was great, sweet glazes on fried chicken always works.

What’s left? Hmmm… I got it! Skin without chicken, waffle, and syrup! How did the frankenfried waffle fair? Wow. This was… wow. Ok if you go and order a waffle with fried chicken you have to do this. I practically rose from my chair and shuffled through the restaurant with outstretched arms in groans of delight.

In the end Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles is not a place I’d leave my driveway for, but if I’m in the area and hungry for chicken I’d be willing to brave the parking situation. Roscoe though should seriously consider renaming the place “Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles with Skin,” but that’d probably be a hard sell.
Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles
1514 N Gower St.
Los Angeles, CA

(323) 466-7453


jj said...

you missed one important component...gravy! you have to try chicken, waffle, syrup AND gravy!

next time try the omelet. I think it's called the jeanne's. my bf loved it!

Charlie Fu said...

Hey Mike,

Check out Angelena's in Alhambra, they have a pretty good Chicken and Waffles and it blows Roscoes out of the water!

Mike said...

@ JJ: This was my first time! I'll save the gravy for the return visit to allow myself proper artery flushing. Although I'll certainly give that omelet suggestion some thought.

@charlie: Thanks for the tip. I'll make sure to stop by next time I'm in Alhambra. The website certainly made it look a step above Roscoe's.