Last week, I was finally able to go to a restaurant that I’ve always wanted to visit. I first learned of it back in the day from 90s hip hop. This is what first peaked my interest. And Will Smith always talked about it on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.Then one of my favorite movies, Swingers, talked about it. I’ve been to Southern California a bunch over the years but timing was never perfect. Well, this visit was different; I was finally able to have dinner at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles.
And it was awesome. First off, I have to thank our dinner companions for wanting to go. We were in West Hollywood and had a vast number of opportunities to have dinner at any of LA’s fine dining establishments, but they were game to have fried chicken and waffles. Thanks TJ and Tyler! We had a great time.
The idea of chicken and waffles is a bit unusual. But if you were to take a step back and think about it, it makes perfect sense. The waffles serve as the starch component. It’s no different than having the chicken with biscuits or potatoes. Then there is the salty-sweet balance that is so cherished with food. You have the salty, savoryness of the fried chicken dancing perfectly with the sweetness of the waffles and maple syrup. I first discovered how sweetness could enhance fried chicken by a fun place in Seattle called The 5 Spot. They serve theirs by drizzling honey over the chicken. Delicious. Alton Brown has even touched on chicken and waffles on an episode of Good Eats.
We were finally able to go to Roscoe’s and had a great experience. The place was packed! The energy of the room was great, and a shoutout goes to the staff. They were attentive, friendly, and managed the tables very well. The place did get a bit noisy. Loud, but not so much you have to yell at your dinnermates. It’s like a really fun party at Roscoe’s, because you get the feeling that everyone is having a good time. And why wouldn’t they? Amongst friends and family and a massive portion of comfort food in front of you. I’d be jubilant as well. And I was.
The fried chicken at Roscoe’s was really, really good. Most of us ordered the straight up chicken and waffles, while I got the chicken and waffles with gravy. The skin on the chicken was crispy and had great texture even under the ladle of gravy that mine got. My tablemates liked that the skin didn’t just fall off when you take a bite. That says to me that Roscoe’s chicken had a good dredging and was fried at the right temperature. And the chicken was tasty! Moist, but not greasy at all. You can choose either white or dark meat, and you get a massive portion! Mine was a thigh and two drumsticks. Couple this with the two waffles, the mound of butter and the syrups, you get a ton of food. All for under $11!
That was my first visit to have chicken and waffles. Able to check something off my list of food places to visit. Roscoe’s has lingered in my mind as a place that lived in nostalgia, something that Snoop Dogg and the Notorious BIG talked about, and now I was able to have it! I do love fried chicken, now I love it with waffles. Will need to do this more often, it also looks like Gladys Knight has a chain of places. Hmm, will need to make a trip down south.
I do look forward to going back and visiting Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles again. There are a ton of other exciting things on the menu that I want to try; grits, sweet potato pie, cornbread… I love all those things, will need a bigger appetite next time. Who knows, maybe there will be a celebrity sighting! At least you’ll get a great meal.