What: "The Blvd" (crispy fried chicken, spicy slaw, dill pickles, chipotle-honey sauce; added: avocado).
Where: Hollywood Burger (6250 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood).
How Much: $7.50 ($1.25 for avocado).
Why: A mere three months old, Hollywood Burger is already making a name for itself with its delicious, affordable Harris Ranch 80/20 chuck burgers, not to mention their optimal people-watching front patio (on Hollywood Blvd, facing the Pantages no less). Oft overlooked though: their blue-chip fried chicken sandwich, The Blvd. Due to a light batter, it's not an overwhelming proposition like some of its adversaries. The bird itself comes out juicy and flavorful. The house chipotle-honey sauce and spicy slaw provide a nice, unexpected kick and you really can't go wrong with the spongy-yet-firm resilience of a a Martin's potato roll.
What: Chick 'n Shack (crispy chicken breast, lettuce, pickles, buttermilk-herb mayo).
Where: Shake Shack (8520 Santa Monica Blvd, WeHo).
How Much: $5.95.
Why: Maybe you somehow missed it: Shake Shack opened in LA recently. Yeah, there's a Shake Shack here now. After waiting out the wait, I finally braved the lines a few weeks back. Having indulged (and highly enjoyed) the burger in NYC before, I decided my inaugural LA SS experience would be via the poultry route. If the normal fried chicken sandwich presents a crispy outer coating, I'd describe the Chick 'n Shack's exterior layer as Magic Shell-like. The thick casing provides a rather unparalleled crunch for a fried chicken sandwich. Especially of the thrifty variety. All around a pleasing, tasty breast. Then you've got that same toothsome Martin's potato roll holding things together.
Conclusion: They're both really good. Eat both of them. Sorry.