Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles

by arnold on November 20, 2007

If you ask me what my favorite restaurant in the whole world is, I will immediately say “Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles.” Aside from my parents, it’s the one thing I truly miss about living in Southern California. There are some places here in the Bay Area that have tried to capture the magic—Home of Chicken and Waffles in Oakland being the most prominent—but it’s just not the same.

The concept of eating fried chicken and waffles on the same plate sounds crazy to most people at first, but for some reason, the salty/sweet combination works. Like sex, it’s all about chemistry, and Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles is a 20-minute food orgasm on a plate.



Now I’ll be the first to admit that Roscoe’s doesn’t have the best fried chicken, but it’s very good, and I usually get mine smothered in gravy. The waffles on the other hand are really, really good…slightly crispy on the outside and served with LOTS of butter and warm syrup (a lot of people like to pour the syrup all over their chicken, as well). From what I’ve been told Roscoe’s syrup is their own secret recipe, and I actually think the syrup is the key to their success.

There are several ways to order at Roscoe’s. My old standby is the #2 Scoe’s Special, 1/4 dark meat fried chicken smothered in gravy with two huge waffles. I generally eat the chicken first and then have the waffles for dessert, but sometimes I mix it up a bit. When I’m with a large group of people, I like to order some of the sides, like red beans and rice, mac and cheese, smothered potatoes, and cornbread.

I’ve been a Roscoe’s whore since the mid 90′s and over the years, I’ve brought almost all my friends, coworkers when we were in town for trade shows (including our Japanese CEO who loved the food but was mad that they don’t serve alcohol), and I even took my parents to the more ghetto Pico/La Brea location. (They got over their initial fears and really enjoyed their food, and my mom asked “why haven’t you brought me here before?”).

It’s also the only place I’ve ever brought anyone where the food was so good, it reduced them to cursing after every bite, i.e. “Goddamn, this is muthafuckin’ good” or “Muthafucker, this is the best food I’ve ever had.”

If that’s not endorsement enough, then what is? :-)

INFORMATION
Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles
Hollywood
1518 N Gower St
Los Angeles, CA 90028 map
323.466.7453

Los Angeles
5006 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019 map
323.934.4405

Pasadena
830 N Lake Ave
Pasadena, CA 91104 map
626.791.4890

Inglewood
106 W Manchester Ave #F map
Los Angeles, CA 90003
323.752.6211

Long Beach
730 E Broadway Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90802 map
562.437.8355

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Susannah November 27, 2007 at 10:08 am

Wait a minute, did I hear you say that Roscoe’s DOESN’T have the best fried chicken? Now, whose fried chicken could top Roscoe’s? It’s pretty much at the top of my list as it’s juicy, flavorful and has the right amount of breading. I’m curious to know who’s been able to beat it out.

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Arnold November 28, 2007 at 2:38 am

Oh, Susannah… :-)

You must try the lemon-brined fried chicken at Ad Hoc. It’s the best I’ve ever had.

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Sooj November 28, 2007 at 10:47 pm

Fantastic write-up; particularly love the ending.

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Muhlyssa January 17, 2008 at 11:15 am

The chicken at Roscoe’s reminds me of KFC, which isn’t a bad thing. But you are right about the waffles, they are killer.

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Randall W-Sac October 8, 2008 at 3:46 am

Man, your article hit every button right on the head! I now live in Sacramento, where I miss Roscoe’s soo much, that I’m about to open a “King of Wings” Restaurant and feature, as one of my ‘Wings and Things’, my version of ‘Wings and Waffles’ on the menu. Most believe that I have duplicated or closely simulated it. Hope to Open early 2009. See Ya there!

R-Dub

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Arnold October 9, 2008 at 6:41 pm

Randall…good luck with the business. If we’re ever in Sacto, we’ll be sure to look you up. :-)

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Tina Goldberg September 28, 2010 at 9:28 pm

You really should figure out what makes a place “ghetto” before you use it. Your review is pretty sad.

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Melissa September 29, 2011 at 3:32 pm

I LOVE Roscoe’s. I found this post by trying to find out what it is in those amazing waffles that have me googling from Florida…where I recently moved to.
Great write-up.
@Tina…or whomever else reads this in the future…what makes it “ghetto” are the people sitting out in the parking lot selling cds. The men selling swap meet tees. And the clientele you may find in that neighborhood. But all in all, Roscoe’s on Pico will always be my fave.
It’s the Hollywood one, I believe, that is scary. The front is a tiny wooden door…you’d never guess. And it’s even smaller inside that tiny door. Still amazing food though.
Try the Big Momma Special. Great eggs.

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