COMFORT FOOD WITH A SOUTHERN ACCENT
There was a lot of buzz when Sweet Chick first opened on trendy Fairfax Avenue. The Southern chicken joint with four locations in New York, including Brooklyn, Lower East Side, Prospect Heights and Queens, is co-owned by rapper Nas—a hip hop guru—so expectations were high. Would Sweet Chick be legit? Would it be all flash and no substance? And the answer? Sweet Chick delivers with good eats and tasty drinks.
According to the powers that be, their philosophy is simple: offer great food with a cool vibe and interesting cocktails at a great price. They serve what they like to call American cuisine with a Southern accent; rustic but modern American comfort food and twists on classic dishes and cocktails, plus home-baked desserts that aim to make you feel like a kid again.
You can’t talk about Sweet Chick without talking about the chicken and waffles. The Fried Chicken and Waffles with your choice of waffle is the most popular menu item. Chicken dishes include General Tso’s Chicken; Fried Chicken Parmesan; Nashville Fried Chicken; Buffalo Fried Chicken; Salted Caramel Chicken; Mike’s Hot Honey Chicken; and the Sweet Chick Bucket, which comes with three-piece fried chicken, buttermilk biscuit with your choice of mashed potatoes or kohlrabi Slaw. The fried chicken is legit so you won’t be disappointed. It just depends if you want it sweet, spicy or savory. The choice is yours.
But the chicken is not the only star on the menu as I found the Shrimp and Grits with smoked paprika and bell pepper sauce, scallions, cheddar grits, and poached egg absolutely fabulous. Pricey at $24, it’s a meal all on its own with guaranteed leftovers or consider it the perfect shareable dish to go along with your chicken.
The $10 Mac and Cheese with gruyere, fontina, aged white cheddar and Ritz cracker crust is another great dish to share, as is the Beef Cheek Pastrami with potato knish, pickled kohlrabi, and horseradish mustard, and the Pork Belly Nuggets with kimchi, blueberry balsamic glaze, and pickled watermelon.
I found the vibe at lunch to be chill and relaxed, but at dinner the music gets louder and the joint starts to jump and you’ll probably want to start with cocktail. The Tiger Tiger Wood, Y’all with bourbon, cognac, black honey tea and lemon juice is a favorite, as is the Christopher Wallace made with 5-year aged rum, blended scotch, maple syrup, and whiskey barrel bitters. The Purple Drank Icee with gin, Welch’s Grape Soda, lemon and lime is a fun one.
With a good drink, start off with a shareable dish before you dig into your chicken dinner. And if you save room for dessert, the Donut Ice Cream Sandwich is popular for good reason.
While some folks may have been hesitant about an East Coast rapper bringing his popular chicken joint to Cali, the results are in and Sweet Chick delivers. Squash and East Coast vs. West Coast nonsense as Nas and his Sweet Chick brand are a welcome addition to the L.A. food scene.
Sweet Chick is located at 448 N. Fairfax Avenue. Call 323-592-3423.
Story by: Jose Martinez
Photography Courtesy of: Sweet Chick