Fowl, on a spit, over wood that's on fire, and, well, that's all I need, really
764 S. Western Ave. (@ 8th, in Koreatown)
Phone: 213-382-4090 | map
16527 S. Vermont Ave. (west of the 110, in Gardena)
Phone: 310-715-2494 | map
The Pollo a la Brasa Western is the last structure remaining on a strange triangular strip that divides 8th Street from itself. There is no parking, unless you find a meter.
See that stack of wood that walls this building on two sides? That, dear friends, is the fiery chariot by which meat on a rotisserie skewer ascends to Valhalla. The scent of wood and smoke and chicken blends in a trio of intoxication.
The inside is tiny, with brushed metal and fake brick, and five tables with yellow seats which fit four if the four are reasonably at ease with each other. All the doors are open to let in a refreshing crossbreeze.
The menu has a few things that aren't chicken--grilled rib eye steak and anticucho (grilled beef heart)--but you are not concerned with them. You want the rotisserie chicken: 1/4, 1/2 or the entire bird.
The cuarto. I am unsure of words to use here, because everything seems inadequate. I am a big fan of properly crispy chicken skin, and the skin is a scarred landscape of brown, crackingly sweet darkness, ready to be pulled away and crunched. The meat has that pinkish tinge that Peruvian rotisserie does--don't worry, it's done--and is softer than a 1970s easy-listening yacht rock compilation, practically collapsing away from the bone.
A few unself-conscious minutes later I eye the bones sadly, wondering if more is hidden somewhere. I should have gotten the 1/2; I could have blown through that and still been longing for more. It is chicken, and since a quarter chicken with a couple of extras is about five bucks, it's doable.
With this you can get a few sides, like rice, salad, or beans. The salad is an eclectic mass of cool, leafy, vegetably things to crunch, the fries are big pale girders, and the rice is white, sticky and stubborn.
The black beans are ladled from a vast pot; they're saucy and infused with meat, rustic and absolutely all right with me. They are, in fact, my current favorite batch of black beans. I am also curious about the aguadito, Peruvian chicken soup, since the chicken here is so brilliant.
The aji is an airy green sauce with a tongue-bashing bite. The chicha morada is more clovey than most, and I like it.
( Categories: Cuisines (by Region), BBQ, Peruvian, Mid-City/Koreatown )
|« Hugo's Restaurant||Cruzer Pizza »|