Adam Fleischman – the man behind Umami Burger and 800 Degrees pizza – has never been known for health food. The newest restaurant in his rapidly growing empire does nothing to change that. It capitalizes on the fried chicken craze, but with a twist: chocolate is mixed into the batter, along with a mix of spices.
"The result is a complex bite that bursts with sweet, salty and savory flavors, along with that indescribable 'crack factor,'” according to an official press release.
The first ChocoChicken location will open in the South Park District of downtown Los Angeles at 403 W. 12 St. (at Grand) 11 a.m. Thursday, May 29. The restaurant will have first come, first served table service only but plans to eventually add counter service for take-away and delivery service.
A second location is planned in Santa Monica.
Eater calls ChocoChicken one of the most highly anticipated restaurant openings in Los Angeles:
Taking over the former CorkBar space on the corner of 11th and Grand, the chicken plus chocolate idea isn't possibly the most novel in the world. Mexicans have been using that combination for many years.
But what's different is that ChocoChicken combines fried chicken tastefully with cocoa powder and a super-thick savory chocolate sauce that's not incredibly different than mole. Throw in sides like white chocolate mashed potatoes, duck fat fries, butter and bacon biscuits.
Fast Company says ChocoChicken will be very different than mole, and in typical Fleischman bravado, he tells the magazine he plans to do nothing less than reinvent fried chicken and take it global:
The odd concoction isn't based on obvious reference points like mole sauce or soul-food combo chicken and waffles, Fleischman insists. Instead, it's something totally new. "In 70 years, nobody has completely reinvented fried chicken," he says. "There are more-upscale versions of it, but it's still very recognizable. So we said, 'Hey, why don't we take fried chicken and turn it on its ear?' When you taste it, you're like, 'Oh, that's what chocolate chicken is.'"
Fleischman certainly isn't resting on his Umami laurels. Aside from launching ChocoChicken and expanding Umami, he's been busy opening two very different concepts in recent months: Roadhouse L.A., a BBQ located inside the Improv in Hollywood, and smoke.oil.salt, which serves Spanish food on Melrose.