This is a review from 2009.
I came across Los Pollos Hermanos by happenstance. I was traveling with my jazz band after a gig in the AB-Q and we were famished.
Los Pollos Hermanos? What the heck was this? I was familiar with El Pollo Loco, maybe this is was its sister restaurant.
There were few cars in the parking lot. As we we entered the establishment, four DEA agents exited. They were talking about how great the chicken was and how it was a New Mexico staple.
The interior was a little on the eerie side. When we walked in, around 130, there were 10 people eating quietly and two bald Latino twins seated side by side staring at a wall.
I felt safe though. Many security cameras watched and moved with every step I took.
From my experience with these kinds of fast food restaurants, a cashier no older than 18 takes my order, except if it’s Louie Anderson at McDowell’s (Coming to America…get it?)
This was not the case at Los Pollos Hermanos. A 40 something Hispanic man wearing the name tag of Gus was at the helm. He wore his own shirt and tie uniform and spoke in a very quiet yet concise tone. It seemed at times he was rushing me to order but also patient at the same time. I’ve never met someone like that in my life.
I ordered the #3 on his recommendation. He told me that his chicken recipe is the best and how many people even died over it. I was laughing when he told me that, but stopped when I soon realized he probably was telling the truth.
The rest of my band shut up too. We paid, received our food, and ate in an awkward silence with the rest of the patrons.
Every five minutes Gus would walk up to us and ask us if we needed a refill of our soda.
Los Pollos Hermanos might not have Baja Blast like Taco Bell, but they have Code Red Mountain Dew on tap which is hard to come by in Los Angeles.
The chicken itself was the best I’ve ever had. For white meat, it was as moist as dark meat. The thighs and breasts were as tender if not more so than the drum sticks. The skin wasn’t grizzly and not too salty. Just the right amount of kick. Nothing to run to the bathroom stall over.
Gus said to us that if we filled out a comment card, we would receive a 2 for 1 on our birthdays.
Our trumpet player, Liza actually went back a year ago to see her brother because he just moved there with his family.
She remembered the nice time we had.
When she reported back to us, she was a little bit disappointed. Though they honored the coupon, that nice owner Gus was no longer there.
“I wonder what happened to him?” she said.
Maybe there was another war over his chicken and someone wanted to control his chicken empire. Who knows? But if Los Pollos Hermanos is still around by the time I return, you better believe I’ll be back.