Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles is an L.A. institution. Stars dine there, politicians dine there (even President Obama), locals dine there, and yes… even the staff dines there. I discovered Roscoe’s when my friend Mark and I took a trip up to Hollywood when I was up there to photograph the band Chickenfoot. We were hungry and he recommended Roscoe’s and I quickly agreed. I’ve been so hooked that every time I go near L.A. I plan a meal there.
That’s exactly how I wound up there on my latest trip. I was in Hollywood for a Fashion Photography workshop and posted on my Facebook page inviting my L.A. friends to join me for some food and photo hi-jinx. Not surprisingly, a few accepted.
Claudia was first to arrive, about 10 minutes before I did. We put our name on the list and were told the wait was around 20 minutes. With about 25 people gathered outside, I wasn’t so sure but the list went quickly and in 20 minutes they called our name. Unfortunately, Michael, being Michael, was late. Also unfortunately, Roscoe’s has a policy that they won’t seat you until your entire party is present. Since it was 90 degrees out, and the blazing summer sun was beating down on the front of the restaurant with no shade to speak of, we were quite thirsty by the time we got to the table. When Michael arrived, he brought us a gift in the form of a new friend. I love it when I meet someone and instantly feel like we’ve been friends for a long time, and such was the case with Yvonne. The four of us went inside and proceeded to have an amazing experience.
We took our seats and our server Marlon came by to take our drink orders. Water for Yvonne, Coke for Claudia, iced tea for me and an Arnold Palmer (half tea, half lemonade) for Michael. We immediately started chatting and forgot all about the menu, but Marlon was patient and waited until we were ready to come and take our order. I was so engrossed in conversation that I failed to take note of what everyone ordered but me! So, I just took note of what was on their plates as we ate. It seemed like only about 10 minutes before Marlon brought our food out. And as servers go, you couldn’t ask for a better one than Marlon. Our meals came out exactly as ordered, he kept our drinks topped off without having to ask, his service was as prompt as you can get and with a smile on his face. Very well done, man.
Yvonne ordered breakfast, two eggs, a waffle, and two chicken sausage patties. A stark contrast to her usual healthy, mostly vegetarian diet, Yvonne actually enjoyed the sausage, and loved the waffles.
Michael ordered a plate that consisted of a leg and thigh of chicken, macaroni & cheese, greens, and cornbread. It’s kind of hard to judge how Michael liked his food, as once it arrived he didn’t say another word until it was gone. After that, the descriptions were just variations of the word “awesome”. When I asked about his judicious use of the hot sauce he replied “I love hot sauce, what can I say? I view chicken, or any meats for that matter, as just hot sauce delivery vehicles.” As it became clear that Yvonne wasn’t going to finish everything on her plate, Michael eagerly jumped in to assist.
Claudia ordered a chicken burger. A all-white meat fried chicken patty with lettuce, tomato and onion, and potato salad on the side. At first Claudia was wishing she had ordered something bigger, but by the time she finished she said it was just the right amount, and delicious.
When dining at restaurants that I know and love (as is the case here) I will usually “over order” with the intent of taking home yummy leftovers for the next day. This time, however, since I was 2 hours from home and we had planned on taking to the streets of Hollywood after dinner to do some street photography I decided to take it easy and order the Carol C. Special. One chicken breast, one waffle, and I tacked on a side of mac ‘n cheese and a slice of cornbread. The chicken is some of the best in the state, lightly breaded and seasoned Southern style. The waffles are hands down the best I’ve ever had. Golden waffles, served with butter and syrup (which I didn’t seem to need), just melt in your mouth. Seriously, you don’t even need teeth with these babies. The mac ‘n cheese is the best restaurant mac ‘n cheese I’ve had. I was always a fan of Marie Calendar’s cornbread, but Roscoe’s is the new king of cornbread in my book.
If you ever find yourself in the Los Angeles area, head over to Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles and see for yourself how good a waffle can be. There are six locations, with a seventh opening in Anaheim soon.