Saturday, May 3, 2008

Pollo a la Brasa

(213) 382-4090
764 S Western Ave
Koreatown, CA 90005

Adequately Fed: $5
1/4 Rotisserie Chicken*****
(Out of Five Stars)

From a block away, you can smell the smoky stacks of the Pollo a la Brasa Peruvian chicken hut. It is among the least accommodating restaurants in Los Angels; it's even connected to a car wash. But beyond the decor and location (an island in between Western and 8th), the chicken is exemplary. The sides were terrible, but the chicken makes it all worth it.

Seeing the stacks of wood piled high against the side of the building, you know that Pollo a la Brasa actually uses a wood-fired rotisserie to cook their chicken. The wood gives the chicken a deep flavor that's juice and tender all the way through. My quarter chicken was the leg and thigh portion and none of it felt try or any less seasoned. The accompanying green sauce dared to be spicy. Considering the clientele are Latinos and Koreans, they know to make their sauce extra hot. It went well with the chicken, combining to make a flavor two-punch.

Unfortunately, the salad and french fries were dismal. The fries came out soggy and flaccid with no flavor or nutritional value. The salad was not fresh and the Italian dressing was disturbing. Of course, this isn't Ensalada or Papas a la Brasa so I won't complain.

If they cleaned up their restaurant a bit, they could give Zankou a run for their money as rotisserie top billing in LA. But I'd rather pay cheap for good chicken without all the thrills like clean tables and wall.

Recommendation: Because it's so cheap ($13), I'd consider just buying a few whole chickens to share with a group.

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