Bird n Hand – Maybe Check the Bush First

10 Sep

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Bird n Hand is a new chicken-centric place on Fairfax. There’s a lot of interesting ideas here: free range birds, harissa wings, tater tots, waffles. Add a great location, and you think, what could go wrong?

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Someone clearly spent a good chunk of change on decorating. Again, a lot of good ideas: a wall of concrete textile blocks, a wine bar, bird themed wall art, an open front. But it’s thrown off by the TVs hung around and the general lack of coherence.
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On to the food. I started with the Tall Boy, a fried chicken sandwich with a mayonnaise-based slaw and a slice of cheese.
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This was quite good. It’s similar to the failed fried chicken sandwich at the Sandwich Smith. That sandwich was a problem because it was supposed to be an homage to Bakesale Betty, but was nothing like the original. This sandwich wasn’t pretending to be something it’s not. Instead, it succeeds on its own merits by not being too heavy with the mayo or the cheese, but offering some interesting flavor that highlights the chicken.

I would definitely order this again.

Unfortunately, the meal went on.
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Next, I got them to split an order of the Szechuan and harissa wings. Let’s just say the flavors are weird. Obviously, the Szechuan wasn’t going to be anything like authentic Chinese flavor, but it was really off-putting and hard to place. You’d think the harissa would be better, considering the neighborhood. Maybe you could fool the locals with inauthentic Chinese, but bad harissa on Fairfax is a bad sign.
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Maybe because the birds are free range the wings I got were stringy and small.
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Lastly, I went with the chicken waffle. They offer fried chicken, waffles, chicken & waffles, and this — fried chicken pieces in the waffle batter. It was too interesting to pass up, but ugh. Honestly, how do you mess this one up? I can understand if it was just that the waffle wasn’t cooked right (it wasn’t), or the fried chicken lost any crispiness (it did), but the easiest thing would be to get the flavor right. Somehow they screwed that up. The chicken was super dry, the batter was mushy somehow, and the flavor was, again, weird.
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Anyways, I’m sad I wasted a calorie and fat laden meal on Bird n Hand. Especially when Plan Check is right next door, with one of LA’s best fried chicken sandwiches. Go there.

Eater’s coverage of BnH

Bird n Hand
339 N Fairfax Ave,
Los Angeles, CA 90048

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