Monday, March 7, 2016

LA's Best Meal Under $7? Probs.

Let's get this out of the way: I know I'm not reinventing the wheel by claiming Dino's aptly-monikered "El Pollo Maniaco" is somehow even more revelatory than it's remarkable thriftiness. It's the sort of dish LA food bloggers noted for excellence in the seventies for God's sake. What's that? There was no internet back then, therefore no food bloggers? One, super annoying you pointed that out. However, I refer to the Original Food Bloggers. You know, that local gent who just always knew where to go, way before Yelp. 

Dino's fiery red-hued chicken is the frugal lunch or dinner that the cool, bearded LA uncle of a girl you went to college with always takes her to when she visits. It's like that because -- as I found out when I posted the above picture on Instagram -- it is. A girl I went to college with immediately commented her cool, bearded uncle always takes her to Dino's when she populates Los Angeles. 

All this being said: until recently, I HAD NEVER BEEN. I also assume if it somehow slipped through the cracks for me, it has for many of you as well. It had been on my "list" forever. (Yes, there actually is a list. And no, I won't share it on the blog. Or maybe I will one night when I'm drinking. Who knows.) I'm not exactly sure why it took me so long. After all, I love chicken and I absolutely adore good cheap chicken. Now I have. And I want to go back immediately. Simply put: there's not a tastier, filling, pleasing meal in town at this pricepoint (under $7). You get half a grilled chicken, atop in house fresh cut fries, homemade peppery slaw and tortillas

Six dollars and change!

I'm a big eater and I didn't even touch the coleslaw or the corn tortillas. The chicken/fry combo was all I and anyone needs. Truth: the serving size is probably big enough for two, maybe three if you really, really stretch it. So, what makes the chicken so darn special? Well, like all good chicken, it's the marinade. And, also like most good chicken, it's a laundry list. Which includes: lemon, lime, garlic, red pepper, Fresno/Serrano pepper, parsley and paprika. The result is a succulent, juicy, smoky bird that rivals any in town, many of which are three to four times the pricetag. And where do all those delicious peppery-citrusy-garlicky-paprika-y chicken juices go? They get sucked right up by the fresh cut fries! Okay, this shit is making hungry as I type and I'm seriously pondering driving across town to Dino's and must end this post now. 

Five Local Locations, including 2575 W. Pico Blvd, LA.


  1. One of my favorite cheap meals. I get mine with extra "sauce." Tear strips from the tortillas and put a couple soaked fries, some torn chicken, and a bit of slaw for a couple of perfect bites.

    I do believe the chicken at the main Pico and Brenda branch now is $7, but I think that may include tax.

  2. Pico and Berendo -- darn auto-correct.

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