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Chicken at Kismet Rotisserie
Roasted chicken with all the fixings at Kismet Rotisserie.
Matthew Kang

15 Succulent Roast Chickens to Savor in Los Angeles

Whole chickens slowly roasted to juicy perfection

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Roasted chicken with all the fixings at Kismet Rotisserie.
| Matthew Kang

Roast chicken might be one of the culinary world’s agreed-upon truths (sorry, vegetarians!) — chicken on a spit is simply one of its optimal methods of preparation, dating back even to before when turnspit dogs were bred for the purpose of, well, running in a wheel contraption designed to turn a spit. The tradition is famous the world over, and with such a rich range of cultural representation, the healthy (and delicious) dish is nowhere more at home than Los Angeles where carnivores and the figure-conscious can all tuck in to one of the healthiest and affordable sources of animal protein. From Peruvian-style pollo a la brasa, to Armenian-style rotisserie, Los Angeles is one of the few cities in America that can justify the sheer demand volume required to run so many competitive rotisserie chicken operations. Here are some of the best places to get roast chicken in Los Angeles.

Pro tip for the uninitiated: Rotisserie chickens are best during the first peak lunch hours, when the first chickens prepared that morning are being moved off the spits and into the hands of hungry Angelenos. As the day progresses chickens are more likely to be reheated (and thus lose some of their tenderness and juiciness), though in many cases a second round of dinner chickens will be prepared.

A number of LA restaurants have resumed dine-in service. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the Los Angeles Public Health website. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Pollos El Incomparable

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The San Fernando Valley isn’t hurting for amazing roast chicken options, but even among those Pollos El Incomparable’s live up to its namesake. Whole chickens get the full lump charcoal rotisserie treatment out back, the fire and spit tended to by hand. The result is the slightly sweet-spiced chicken schmaltz married with subtle notes of charcoal smoke — capturing the true spirit of the Peruvian classic.

Rotisserie Chicken of California

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The birds at Rotisserie Chicken of California roll out with a salty, almost mahogany-tinted skin that balances out the juicy breast meat on its own. With a solid bird offering and Japanese touches including a salad with mustard dressing and the option to douse your chicken in Japanese curry (double rice on the side, anyone?), it's no wonder the place is almost always packed for weekday lunches.

Rosty Peruvian food

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Rosty’s glistening, fire-roasted birds are a juicy pollo a la brasa option for Highland Park residents. Also good is the copa nostra, a towering cocktail mix of ceviche and fried calamari that is as delicious as it looks.

Kismet Rotisserie

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Kismet Rotisserie’s juicy bird with a mild, roasted skin is certainly worth the (admittedly steep) price of admission. The vegetables, on the other hand, are a must-order. From the refreshing shredded carrots with orange and coriander, to the still-crunchy cauliflower in turmeric to the cabbage in yogurt, your supermarket deli case isn’t doing it like this. Pillowy soft pitas are an absolute showstopper. Dip it in the creamy, cool hummus, or make a sandwich dressed with excellent chile oil or the intriguing fennel tzatziki. There might not be a more varied or delicious way to get one’s roast chicken fix in the city.

Chicken at Kismet Rotisserie
Kismet Rotisserie
Matthew Kang

Ostrich Farm

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This Sunset Boulevard gem is still kicking with a killer online ordering system that comes replete with relatively affordable wine pairings. The classic half roasted chicken comes with fingerling potatoes and apple fennel confit.

Craft LA

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Tom Colicchio’s enduring Century City restaurant Craft bastes jidori chicken with butter and fresh thyme for a classic family-style meal served with roasted root vegetables and sherry sauce.

Alicia Cho

Pollo A La Brasa Western

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NYC-based celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson lost his mind over Pollo a la Brasa and called it his favorite place to have lunch in LA, but he's got a fair point. The chicken is roasted in a wood-burning oven and served up with fries and rice. The skin's not consistently crispy and the breast tends to run a little dry, but the shack nestled into an awkward corner off of Western has a spicy aji sauce that can cover a multitude of sins.

Zankou Chicken

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Not all Zankou Chicken locations are created equal, but this bustling location on Sepulveda at peak hours might put out the truest representation of what Jonathan Gold must have tasted when he proclaimed that Zankou’s “chicken really needs no embellishment.” At this point firmly a Los Angeles (and Armenian-American) icon, the restaurant’s famously intense garlic paste has built a cult following across the globe.

Maple Block Meat Co.

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Though Maple Block’s chicken is technically smoked, it’s certainly worth a spot in the rotation for lucky Culver City locals. In addition to a great cole slaw (and great barbecue options for those who aren’t white meat inclined), the chicken is extremely tender and singing with smokey wood notes.

Porchetta's not the only protein at the perpetually hip Venice bakery. Rotisserie chicken also gets a fair share of rotation, and Gjusta brings out more of the gamier qualities of the wood-oven roasted fowl while pairing with a trio of tzatziki sauce, chimichurri, and harissa that packs a surprising kick.

Great White Rotisseria

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Those out west will appreciate Great White Rotisseria’s solid menu of healthy hits to-go along with its herb-inflected chicken offering. The roasted tahini veggies maintain a great crunch and are a little turmeric-forward for those inclined. The crunchy schmaltzy potatoes are perfect for dipping in one of Rotisseria’s garlic sauce; a bit more runny than the garlic paste available at Lebanese/Armenian chicken spots around town, it’s subtle on the garlic flavor but no less addictive.

Whole roast chicken in a basket from Great White Rotisseria restaurant in Los Angeles
Great White Rotisseria
Brecht Vanthof

El Pollo Inka

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This South Bay mini-chain has been enamoring Angelenos with its comida Peruana since the original location opened in Lawndale in 1987. The namesake pollo a la brasa is no slouch, either. The chicken is subtly seasoned with soy sauce and aji and served with the restaurant’s famous cilantro-forward chicken soup — a classic in its own right.

Chicken Dijon

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Chicken Dijon doesn’t seem to have any mustard on its menu, but the oddly named South Bay original puts out healthy roast chicken options alongside a signature spicy lemon sauce in addition to a mellow garlic sauce. It’s a solid everyday option that’s affordably priced for South Bay residents lucky to live near one.

El Pollo Imperial

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One of the region’s most affordable and dependably juicy renditions of pollo a la brasa can be found in this small shack in Long Beach. Its riff on Peruvian chicken soup is a perfect precursor to a feast of tender white meat and french fries. Don’t forget to give it all a once-over with the green aji sauce — El Pollo Imperial’s version has enough kick to avoid being mainstream.

Poulet Du Jour

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South Bay legend Poulet Du Jour is by all accounts a sleeper hit, but don’t take its no-frills, strip-mall digs for granted. The longstanding rotisserie is firing up some of the Beach Cities’ juiciest birds at more than affordable prices. 

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Pollos El Incomparable

The San Fernando Valley isn’t hurting for amazing roast chicken options, but even among those Pollos El Incomparable’s live up to its namesake. Whole chickens get the full lump charcoal rotisserie treatment out back, the fire and spit tended to by hand. The result is the slightly sweet-spiced chicken schmaltz married with subtle notes of charcoal smoke — capturing the true spirit of the Peruvian classic.

Rotisserie Chicken of California

The birds at Rotisserie Chicken of California roll out with a salty, almost mahogany-tinted skin that balances out the juicy breast meat on its own. With a solid bird offering and Japanese touches including a salad with mustard dressing and the option to douse your chicken in Japanese curry (double rice on the side, anyone?), it's no wonder the place is almost always packed for weekday lunches.

Rosty Peruvian food

Rosty’s glistening, fire-roasted birds are a juicy pollo a la brasa option for Highland Park residents. Also good is the copa nostra, a towering cocktail mix of ceviche and fried calamari that is as delicious as it looks.

Kismet Rotisserie

Chicken at Kismet Rotisserie
Kismet Rotisserie
Matthew Kang

Kismet Rotisserie’s juicy bird with a mild, roasted skin is certainly worth the (admittedly steep) price of admission. The vegetables, on the other hand, are a must-order. From the refreshing shredded carrots with orange and coriander, to the still-crunchy cauliflower in turmeric to the cabbage in yogurt, your supermarket deli case isn’t doing it like this. Pillowy soft pitas are an absolute showstopper. Dip it in the creamy, cool hummus, or make a sandwich dressed with excellent chile oil or the intriguing fennel tzatziki. There might not be a more varied or delicious way to get one’s roast chicken fix in the city.

Chicken at Kismet Rotisserie
Kismet Rotisserie
Matthew Kang

Ostrich Farm

This Sunset Boulevard gem is still kicking with a killer online ordering system that comes replete with relatively affordable wine pairings. The classic half roasted chicken comes with fingerling potatoes and apple fennel confit.

Craft LA

Alicia Cho

Tom Colicchio’s enduring Century City restaurant Craft bastes jidori chicken with butter and fresh thyme for a classic family-style meal served with roasted root vegetables and sherry sauce.

Alicia Cho

Pollo A La Brasa Western

NYC-based celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson lost his mind over Pollo a la Brasa and called it his favorite place to have lunch in LA, but he's got a fair point. The chicken is roasted in a wood-burning oven and served up with fries and rice. The skin's not consistently crispy and the breast tends to run a little dry, but the shack nestled into an awkward corner off of Western has a spicy aji sauce that can cover a multitude of sins.

Zankou Chicken

Not all Zankou Chicken locations are created equal, but this bustling location on Sepulveda at peak hours might put out the truest representation of what Jonathan Gold must have tasted when he proclaimed that Zankou’s “chicken really needs no embellishment.” At this point firmly a Los Angeles (and Armenian-American) icon, the restaurant’s famously intense garlic paste has built a cult following across the globe.

Maple Block Meat Co.

Though Maple Block’s chicken is technically smoked, it’s certainly worth a spot in the rotation for lucky Culver City locals. In addition to a great cole slaw (and great barbecue options for those who aren’t white meat inclined), the chicken is extremely tender and singing with smokey wood notes.

Gjusta

Porchetta's not the only protein at the perpetually hip Venice bakery. Rotisserie chicken also gets a fair share of rotation, and Gjusta brings out more of the gamier qualities of the wood-oven roasted fowl while pairing with a trio of tzatziki sauce, chimichurri, and harissa that packs a surprising kick.

Great White Rotisseria

Whole roast chicken in a basket from Great White Rotisseria restaurant in Los Angeles
Great White Rotisseria
Brecht Vanthof

Those out west will appreciate Great White Rotisseria’s solid menu of healthy hits to-go along with its herb-inflected chicken offering. The roasted tahini veggies maintain a great crunch and are a little turmeric-forward for those inclined. The crunchy schmaltzy potatoes are perfect for dipping in one of Rotisseria’s garlic sauce; a bit more runny than the garlic paste available at Lebanese/Armenian chicken spots around town, it’s subtle on the garlic flavor but no less addictive.

Whole roast chicken in a basket from Great White Rotisseria restaurant in Los Angeles
Great White Rotisseria
Brecht Vanthof

El Pollo Inka

This South Bay mini-chain has been enamoring Angelenos with its comida Peruana since the original location opened in Lawndale in 1987. The namesake pollo a la brasa is no slouch, either. The chicken is subtly seasoned with soy sauce and aji and served with the restaurant’s famous cilantro-forward chicken soup — a classic in its own right.

Chicken Dijon

Chicken Dijon doesn’t seem to have any mustard on its menu, but the oddly named South Bay original puts out healthy roast chicken options alongside a signature spicy lemon sauce in addition to a mellow garlic sauce. It’s a solid everyday option that’s affordably priced for South Bay residents lucky to live near one.

El Pollo Imperial

One of the region’s most affordable and dependably juicy renditions of pollo a la brasa can be found in this small shack in Long Beach. Its riff on Peruvian chicken soup is a perfect precursor to a feast of tender white meat and french fries. Don’t forget to give it all a once-over with the green aji sauce — El Pollo Imperial’s version has enough kick to avoid being mainstream.

Poulet Du Jour

South Bay legend Poulet Du Jour is by all accounts a sleeper hit, but don’t take its no-frills, strip-mall digs for granted. The longstanding rotisserie is firing up some of the Beach Cities’ juiciest birds at more than affordable prices. 

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