Monday, August 16, 2010


Many years ago when I ran a fancy little humor magazine, I wrote the following, in reference to "mythical places" that ought be explored by Leonard Nimoy and his "In Search Of..." crew:

Chick Fil-A: This chain of restaurants, referenced in Ben Folds songs, supposedly even sponsors a college bowl game, yet a thorough search of any Bay Area phone book is fruitless. Where are they? What do they serve? Why does it sound like the name of a South Indian porn star? Chana Masala and Chick Fil-A star in Dharma Does Delhi. But I digress....

Racism aside, I can happily say that this is one mystery that has been fully explored by myself without any assistance from Leonard Nimoy or his army of elf fetishists. I went to Chick-Fil-A, specifically its new location that opened up last weekend on Figueroa down by USC.

This was an unique opportunity to experience a cult fast food phenomenon as an outsider. California is home to most pilgrimage-worthy trashy cuisine, pizza and bagels aside, and my visit to Chick-Fil-A reminded me of my earliest pre-expansion visits to In-N-Out Burger, when they were still confined to Southern California and family trips down I-5 always meant several stops for burgers and fries.

Just like In-N-Out, Chick-Fil-A is a hyphenated, quirky family-oriented fast food restaurant (though not family-run, it's a franchise) with mildly off-putting but innocuous religious undertones offering a limited menu. Chicken breast, fried plain or spicy, or grilled.

It was pretty good. The chicken was very moist and had the texture of an honest, plump chicken breast as opposed to the airy chicken-flavored sponge quality that other sandwiches have. The breading is light and crisp. The bun is nondescript but not bad and the not-too-sweet pickles were a good addition.

The sandwiches are accompanied by cross-cut waffle fries, which had good texture and were clearly cut from whole, skin-on potatoes, and an array of dipping sauces. Honey mustard was good and the secret "Chick-Fil-A Sauce" was odd and intriguingly addicting. The buffalo sauce worked well to amp up the heat on the spicy chicken sandwich. Additional sides are available, including carrot and raisin salad, cole slaw, fruit cup and chicken soup, but I don't much see the point: the sandwich and fries make a pretty perfect combination.

Will I make Chick-Fil-A a habit? Nope, but I see the appeal.

Chick-Fil-A USC
3758 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, Ca 90007


Zack said...

Man! Hate this place! It's in Del Amo, or at least it used to be, but it's closed on Sundays. It's a mall place that's closed on 1 of 2 weekend days. SO DUMB.

David J.D. said...

It's part of the franchise agreement to allow employees to "rest, spend time with family and friends, and worship if they choose to do so."

I never thought about the impact that would have on a business that, until relatively recently, was only in shopping malls.

David J.D. said...
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