I can’t believe it’s been around three to four years since I’ve had food from Zankou Chicken, considering how close it is to UCLA. Quite a few of my friends from UCLA consider the chicken from Zankou to be the best in LA. I always thought that while it was pretty good, the chicken wasn’t worth going out of the way for (or in this case, going fairly close but standing in line for a while). It just never came to mind when I was thinking of somewhere to eat in the area. However, I was seeing the world in a whole new light with my contacts on last Saturday, and walked by the place on my way back from the optometrist. It was my first time seeing that the line wasn’t out the door. Plus, I haven’t had Mediterranean food in a long time…
This was what I had for lunch that Saturday. Thought I’d take advantage of being there after such a long absence and order a variety, to see what I was missing out on. This shawerma, made with tri-tip steak, was pretty good. A little plain though, but at least it seems very traditional (from the little that I know about Mediterranean food). I heard that the the chicken version of the wrap (tarna) is better, but I was already getting the chicken by itself.
Like I said before, I know some people who consider the chicken at Zankou to be the best in LA. Given that I don’t order chicken much when I dine out, it’s hard for me to make that assessment. However, I will say that this might be my second favorite chicken of the year so far (behind A-Frame‘s, probably equal to Dino’s). Since I didn’t have this during the lunch I bought it, it might not be fair to make a judgement on the chicken as a whole. The skin wasn’t crispy by the time I ate it (obviously), but it tasted good. The dark meat was very succulent. The same, however, can’t be said about the white meat. It was a little dry. I don’t know why people love white meat so much. The accompanying garlic sauce aided in providing some moisture to the white meat though, along with a burst of garlic flavors. Side note: as much as I loved the sauce, I wish it didn’t come in these Pizza Hut ranch sauce-esque containers.
Seeing how busy the place is, I still don’t know if it’s worthy of such popularity. The food was pleasing, but didn’t amaze me. However, I do agree that the food there is good, and I probably will come back next time to eat the chicken at the restaurant for a completely fair assessment. It closes at 11pm, so maybe I can come here after basketball one of these days.
Chris Hei grade: B
1716 S Sepulveda Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025