Cuchi Cuchi Pollo Dorado
When I got this week’s food assignment I had to think it was a setup, as the Cuchi Cuchi Restaurant was literally down the street from me. Already from the get-go this restaurant had garnered 10 points, and I hadn’t even stepped through the door.
Accompanying me on this quest were fellow foodies Rosalva and Ariel. When my krew and I reached the door, however, we were met with an unpleasant surprise: The Cuchi Cuchi was closed tight. Towering over us like a peach Chinois citadel, it mocked us: We were not worthy to enter on this day. [photo]
Unfazed and determined to finish a food article for the commanding officers at losanjealous, I needed to find a restaurant that would fill both my mind and my belly. And by golly, we did. Located on the corner of Hollywood and Edgemont, Pollo Dorado was open for business right across the street from the Cuchi Cuchi.
We sauntered in and cased the joint.
Pollo Dorado is fabulous in all its strip mall glory. It beams rays of mediocrity for the entire world to see. As we entered we were greeted by a morose looking Asian fellow working the register. Rosalva and I found it refreshing to see an Asian working at a Mexican restaurant. It’s as if we were in the land of topsy-turvy.
Me: Hi! How are you doing?
Me: What are your specialties?
Ariel: Maybe it’s their chicken? Just a hunch.
Thanks to the keen senses of my fellow foodie I was led to the best deal in the restaurant: $3.89 for a quarter chicken, rice, beans, tortilla and salsa. Salsa is a scarce commodity. There’s a complicated set of rules outlining how much salsa you get for your meal, concluding with the words NOT FREE.
Best of all, they had BANG! I love ordering BANG! because it gives me an excuse to yell at the cashier. After ordering we went to find a table, and this time it was Rosalva’s turn to yell.
Rosalva: Ms. Pac Man!
Rosalva: Tables! Ms. Pac Man!
Yes folks, Ms. Pac Man is built right into the table at Pollo Dorado. We bypassed a Galaga table because Ms. Pac Man is a lady, and she deserves respect. We played a few games as we waited for the grub. The chickens take time to cook. They’re slow roasted on an open-fire grill which dominates most of the kitchen area behind the counter. [photo]
When the food arrived we were greeted with a very simple arrangement with the obvious focus being the chicken. Ariel had the chicken and rice: literally a pile of shredded chicken on mexican rice. More than decent meal for the price. Rosalva had chicken flautas and unfortunately was the loser in this round of Deal-a-Meal. The flautas were overfried in “flavorful” oil, resulting in flautas tasting not only overfried but flavored with the essence of many previous fryings.
As for my Quarter Chicken, the rice and beans were pretty standard Goya fare, as were the tortillas. The chicken however was quite tasty, lightly seasoned with a crispy skin. I had forgotten how good crispy chicken skin is. I could’ve eaten a whole crispy skin sandwich if given the opportunity. I finished my plate, licked my fingers and called it a day.
Pollo Dorado has an odd place in the culinary world; it’s not great, but not horrible, either. What it does have going for it is the proximity to my house and the dirt cheap prices. So if you are visiting me, or alternatively are within walking distance and want to free yourself from a night of cooking and don’t want to break the bank, I’d suggest Pollo Dorado. If you live in Marina Del Rey, please stay right where you are unless your thing is to play Ms. Pac Man while sipping on some BANG! If that’s the case, by all means, this place is your Cibola.
4830 Hollywood Blvd