Move over, Chick-Fil-A. There’s a new place to get a fried chicken fix – The Crack Shack. Despite its humble beginnings in a shack in San Diego, The Crack Shack has spread its wings, launching its first Los Angeles restaurant at the Westfield Century City.
Top Chef winner Richard Blais is the culinary brains behind The Crack Shack, emphasizing quality ingredients, including free-range chickens, in their food. Most of the menu is devoted to chicken sandwiches, salad bowls and fried chicken, of course.
The menu is listed alongside the line to the counter where you order your food. Once there, you’ll get an number to take to the table of your choosing. Food is served on a tray, with the sandwiches neatly tucked into a paper bag. The sandwiches are kind of messy, so that bag is a blessing, helping prevent food from falling into your lap.
After checking the spiciness level of the Firebird (yes, the name was a bit intimidating), I was told that the heat mostly came from the sauce. With that reassurance, I ordered the Firebird (easy sauce) – spicy fried chicken, cool ranch dressing, crispy onions and pickles on a potato roll. I really like that they used thigh meat, ensuring that every bite of chicken would be perfectly moist. My sandwich was missing the ranch dressing to help temper the heat (growing pains), but that was a First World problem that could be easily fixed by a visit to the condiment bar.
The only non-chicken sandwich is the Sea Señorita – seared rare tuna with pepper rub, mustard seed tartar, romaine, and pickles on a whole wheat brioche bun. The piece of tuna was pretty generous, perfectly seared and delicious. I’m a hardcore fried chicken fanatic, but I have to say that I enjoyed the Sea Señorita more than the Firebird – that’s how good it was. Knowing that they could pull off a seared tuna sandwich too, made me want to delve deeper into their menu.
The Crack Shack’s new digs are considerably more upscale, leading Richard Blais to joke that the Century City location was more like a “Crack Palace.”
A swanky bar anchors the middle of the restaurants, and in keeping with the Crack Palace remark, there’s even Moet & Chandon champagne available, via a vending machine, to help wash down your fried chicken.
The Crack Shack has a Happy Hour Monday through Fridays from 3pm-6pm, knocking off a few bucks from their beer, wine and cocktail menu, as well as some appetizers on special. So the next time you get that fried chicken craving, check out The Crack Shack at the Westfield Century City. Just look for the giant cock.
Location – Westfield Century City, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles 90067
Website – https://www.crackshack.com
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – Yes
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes
(Editor’s note: Crack Shack closed in June 2021.)