Hot New Restaurant: Umami Founder Debuts Chocolate-Coated Fried Chicken Near Staples Center

ChocoChicken Chicken - H 2014
Courtesy of ChocoChicken

ChocoChicken Chicken - H 2014

Adam Fleischman has turned his attention to another Americana comfort-grub hallmark — this time, the not-so-secret sauce is cocoa at his straightforwardly named ChocoChicken, the first in a planned upmarket chain.

The Quick Pitch: Adam Fleischman, the impresario behind the now-national Umami gourmet burger phenomenon, which began in L.A. in 2009, plays culinary Christopher Columbus by rediscovering the ingenuity of Mexican mole at his new fried chicken concept. In his interpretation, applied to the crisp crust of his juicily prepared, free-range Jidori birds, chocolate similarly doesn’t dominate; instead, it acts as a subtle yet insistent background note. Much of the rest of the menu at the Staples Center-adjacent spot, from the duck fat fries to the mashed potatoes, quietly threads cocoa through just the same. Except for the s’mores, which are total chocolate bombs.

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The Insider’s Dish: Sean Robins, that dude who made headlines in 2011 for completing his quest to eat at every L.A. restaurant listed in the Zagat guide, helped develop the ChocoChicken recipe, and is one of the partners at the restaurant.

The Must-Order Item: It’s the impressively flakey biscuits, to be dipped in a separately ordered side of the “bee sting” house-made honey (given that moniker because it’s flecked with habanero ).

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The Industry Neighbor: ChocoChicken is three blocks west of the former Herald-Examiner building, 2013’s third-most-popular shooting location in Los Angles County. The historic Mission Revival structure lately has hosted the likes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Castle .

Choco Chicken, 403 W. 12th St., L.A., 213-403-1786