Son of a Gun – Another Chicken Sandwich Falling Short

30 Jul

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I’ve been wanting to try Son of a Gun since it opened, when glowing reports of the fried chicken sandwich emerged. Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo have been open about ripping off Bakesale Betty. Unfortunately, they didn’t make it an exact copy.

I didn’t take a picture, so you’ll just have to picture it in your mind.

Although they cite Chick Fil-A as an inspiration, SOAG’s fried chicken sandwich is just another version of Bakesale Betty’s platonic ideal of a sandwich. Fried chicken, vinegary-based slaw, pillowy bun. Here they use buttery brioche instead of the Acme torpedo roll used at Bakesale. They also add an aioli and a bit of sliced pickle.

Unlike the other Bakesale Betty clones, this was a delicious sandwich. The fried chicken was excellent, the slaw was pretty good, and overall it was a good sandwich. It’s also one of the very few items on the menu that isn’t ultra tiny. Unfortunately, the tweaks were OK, not great. While the brioche was good, the buttery-ness was an unnecessary addition. Same with the aioli and pickle.

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The lobster roll is the other signature dish at SOAG. First off, let me say it is delicious. The buttery brioche is a nice complement here to the wonderful lobster salad. It’s topped with chives and a single potato chip. It’s pretty, it’s clever, it’s delicious.

It’s also bite-size.

Maybe they would argue it’s fun-sized.

On the one hand, you think, hey, it’s only $8! On the other hand, you think, where’s the other eight bites? It’s deceptive to sell a quarter of a sandwich. But maybe I should just be grateful they didn’t charge me a full-size $32.

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Last was this dish of cucumbers, buttermilk, soft herbs, and crispy onion. Continuing on a theme, the dish was delicious – light, well-seasoned, flavorful – but left you with the distinct feeling that you had paid $12 for 80 cents worth of groceries (you had). That said, I do think it was an impressive dish, showing the kitchen’s skill with vegetables.

Overall, SOAG was a bit of a letdown, despite having some pretty great food. Any time you invoke the name of Bakesale Betty, my expectations go through the roof. This was by far the best version I’ve had in LA (although I’d rather eat Plan Check’s non-Bakesale Betty version), but still not as good as the original. And not enough to make me drive again out to 3rd Street just to eat here. The other food was also very good, but not so much to smother the laughter from such puny portions.

You kind of leave feeling like this small plates moment in restaurants may have gone too far.

Son of a Gun
8370 W. 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 782-9033

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