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Zankou Chicken Brings Its Garlic Sauce to Long Beach for the Very First Time

Plus, Taco Bell’s SoCal history, a Spoon by H pop-up, and more

MONTEBELLO CA – February 11, 2010 ––– Vartkes Marjik (Cq), 29, owner of Zankou chicken restaurant i Photo by Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

Local chain Zankou Chicken has expanded steadily throughout Southern California since its first opening, but the company has always left Long Beach behind — until now. Soon the southern LA County city will no longer be shut out by the iconic chicken and shawarma chain, with the company announcing an opening for the LBC this year.

According to Longbeachize, a company spokesperson says the Zankou Chicken at the former Spires restaurant on Lakewood Boulevard and Willow Street will open “hopefully by June,” though a formal date and grand opening party has not yet been scheduled. Regardless, it’s great news for garlic sauce-obsessed fans in the area who have been clamoring for a location for years. The first Zankou opened in 1983 and will have 13 locations when the Long Beach spot makes its debut.

More change coming to Long Beach

One of Long Beach’s oldest institutions, Haskell’s Prospector Family Steak House Cocktail Lounge, was recently sold, and now the building will be split into two businesses. The iconic space on Junipero Avenue and Seventh Street had been the ultimate dive bar hangout since 1965, but now the Long Beach Post reports that the building’s new tenants will include a bar and restaurant called Maz — from the family that operates Long Beach’s Mexican/Central American spot La Cieba — and a coffee shop.

Drama at an In-N-Out drive-thru

A road rage incident occurred at a Santa Clarita In-N-Out drive-thru recently. Occupants from two separate cars were caught on video exiting their vehicles, throwing unknown beverages around, and yelling at one another. According to ABC-7, deputies were called but no arrests were made.

Taco Bell’s connection to Mitla Cafe

Who doesn’t love a history lesson on SoCal restaurants? The popular TikTok account LA In A Minute outlines how the mighty chain Taco Bell started in San Bernadino, and may have taken its iconic hard-shelled taco idea from neighboring Mitla Cafe.

@evanlovett

ICYMI a Friday night classic. One of my personal faves. Mitla Café has been a community beacon for 85 years in San Bernardino. It’s also the reason Taco Bell exists. Whaaaaat!?! Let’s get into it! #tacobell #tacotia #eltacos #SanBernardino #CrunchyTacos #CulturalAppropriation #GlenBell #Route66 #lainaminute #taco #tacos #tacotuesday #downey #fastfood #fastfoodculture #fastfoodhistory #mitlacafe

♬ original sound - L.A. in a Minute

Where should one eat in LA? Ask Chat GPT

Los Angeles Times writer Jenn Harris typed in “I am hungry...where I should eat in Los Angeles?” into ChatGPT for a recent story. The results are a fascinating and somewhat disturbing look at the emerging technology, which is a language-processing tool driven by artificial intelligence.

A May pop-up from Spoon by H

For Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this May, the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) will host its rising chef series/dinner pop-up. There are plenty of notable names on the lineup, including Spoon by H’s Yoonjin Hwang. The $180 meal offers a rare opportunity to try Hwang’s food, as Spoon by H closed in 2021. Expect an intimate affair with only 22 spaces available per seating. Check the full calendar and find tickets on Eventbrite.