Menu Mining: Garlic Chicken at Versailles

I gave up most* fast food about ten years ago after reading “Fast Food Nation.” I loved my Mickey D’s french fries and quarter pounders, but it only took a very short time to adjust and I don’t miss them at all.

How could I when there is Versailles garlic chicken so nearby! I started calling it my new fast food as ordering and pick up are a snap. They have so much ready to go all day that it takes no more than five minutes from ordering to walking out the door. But unlike a bag of fries sitting in your passenger seat, you can’t start digging in until you get home. And it is torture to smell that garlicky garlicky chicken as you drive.

I started going to Versailles’ Venice Blvd. location in the early 90’s when I started working at Sony. Culver City was a backwater then (hard to believe these days) and so the options for a close lunch spot off the lot were Versailles, Bamboo and the Sagebrush Cantina. The chicken or pork lunch specials at Versailles were cheap (probably about $5.99 back then) and speedy. And I’ll be honest and say I’ve never, in all these years, tried anything other than the chicken and pork lunch specials. Ever. It’s crazy, I know. There is a two page menu and I’ve heard tell of delicious ox tail platters and squid ink rice but I’ve never strayed.

When I was single, the lunch was basically two meals in one. I mean look at all that food! You’d eat your incredibly satisfying meal at lunch, then take the rest home for either lunch the next day or dinner the next night. What a bargain. Today’s lunch special is $8.99 on week days only. I ordered this on Sunday and it was $12.99. However, for the $13 you get a half a chicken, rice, beans, plantains and grilled onions. The lunch special is usually just a quarter chicken, but still plenty of food for two meals.

And there is something in that garlic sauce. My husband swears he just doesn’t like it–too salty, too garlicky. And yet…I’ll come home, salivating at the thought of my leftover chicken for dinner and when I get to the fridge, it’s gone. GONE. I was planning three meals out of the above box of food this week. But I’ll only get two as the hubs asked politely if he could have some after all…it’s that good.

Versailles is in five locations around the southland. Check out all the details here.

*I still eat at In-N-Out occasionally as well as Poquito Mas…

8 Replies to “Menu Mining: Garlic Chicken at Versailles”

  1. I strayed from my usual order of garlic chicken last weekend and went with the BBQ chicken. BIG mistake. It tasted like they just drenched in KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce and I LOVE BBQ sauce.

  2. There’s another dish that’s something like a quarter chicken and an enormous heap of hypergarlicky pulled pork. Ordering it gets you free membership into Team Jacob.

    OK, that was a long way to go for a pretty bad joke.

  3. Oh The DEADLY lunch combo!!! I’d forgotten all about it in my desire to “be more healthy” and have just the “light” chicken…!!!!

    (my mouth is watering.)

  4. Their beef stew is awesome. The garlic chicken breast is awesome. Their bread is awesome. Their food is awesome. I miss living near Versailles (the Encino location). Not that I live all that much farther (Woodland Hills, damn is it hot here), but I don’t go as often anymore.

  5. A lot of folks have never eaten anything but the chicken at Versailles, but I can’t say enough good things about their oxtails. I still like to go with a group so I can hopefully raid someone else’s chicken for a bite, but I’m an oxtail man now. Their tongue is pretty good, too.

    Although their food seems pretty consistent across the chain, I had the most over salted meal (ropa vieja) I’ve ever had in a restaurant at the Manhattan Beach location a few years back and haven’t been back since. I was in a party of about a dozen people, and everyone, no matter what they ordered had the same experience. Maybe they’ve changed chefs since then, but be warned.

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