I wasn’t planning to write about Dino’s originally, because Will had brought up a good point re: it not meeting my criteria for reviewing since we took it to-go. However, I realized that in my craving for ink.sack (opened yesterday), it wouldn’t have been eligible for review either, since there is no area for dine-in. And furthermore, I also realized that my review for Hole in the Wall shouldn’t have counted either then, since we got there at closing and had to take it to Alex’s apartment. So I decided to alter my criteria a little, accounting for “group takeouts.”
Having recently had a very good chicken dish at A-Frame last week, I began to wonder: what chicken dishes have I had lately that were memorable? This is much harder than you think, as I don’t order chicken at restaurants often. And the only thing I could think of was the chicken from Dino’s. It’s a fiery-red, greasy mess of chicken, heavily flavored in a salty, somewhat tangy sauce, which the bed of fries soaked up rather beautifully. For a place that has the word “burgers” in its name, I don’t think I’ve ever seen or heard anyone ordering the namesake item. It’s all about the chicken, and rightfully so.
I used to make fun of Will, because he swore by Dino’s food (and still does, even from the Bay Area). I’ve driven by the location on Pico plenty of times before trying it finally while in college. Before that, I thought it was just some piece of shit food stand-esque place that people with horrible palates flocked to. But over time, I found myself appreciating the depth of flavors that coat the well-cooked chicken (can be a little dry at times, but never a detriment to the meal). The chili cheese fries, however, are just okay. The same fries that are served under the chicken is topped with loads of chili and cheese (the container was really heavy), which in my opinion made the fries way too soggy. But stick to the chicken, and you won’t be disappointed.
Chris Hei grade: B
Dino’s Chicken and Burgers
2575 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006