Up until last week I hadn’t much knowledge of Pollo Campero. In retrospect I recognized the burgeoning restaurant chain’s franchise located at Olympic and Union upon my arrival to it last night because my friend and fellow Blogging.la contributor and IAAL*MAF member Spencer pointed out the place out as we passed it last fall on one of our night bike rides and mentioned that the chicken is excellent there.
But it wasn’t until a coincidental combination of events on either side of last weekend — both as a result of mass-transit commuting — that brought the eatery to the forefront of my mind. The first was on the No.2 bus on the way home from work Friday night. Many of the MTA’s lines now feature monitors that display “Transit TV” programming bites in between various commercials for debt consolidation, and starting your own business and such. One such ad came on voiced over by a perky-sounding female who touted the excellence of one Pollo Campero. I wasn’t paying it much attention until her overly enthusiastic throw-away tag line of “Come find out for yourself why some people have waited up to seven hours for our chicken!” and I got intrigued.
Why would some people wait up to seven hours for their chicken? I asked myself. I mean, WTF’s up with that!? I woudn’t wait seven hours to throw a rotten persimmon at Duhbya with his permission. Six maybe, but no way seven.
But since I’d never seen a Pollo Campero (or recalled Spencer pointing it out in passing six months ago) I figured the nearest one was out in Rancho Cucamonga or Lancaster or some such distant land (Sonic, anyone?) and thus the drive to find out the answer or more info simmered down into the bottom of my brain pan… until this Monday morning on the southbound Blue Line when I happened to look up for no good or real reason and what fell into my line of sight as if by density or design but a brand spanking new Pollo Campero at a corner of Washington Boulevard and San Pedro. Whoa!
Now I was hooked and I went online to their website and found the even closer to home Olympic/Union location, and by yesterday afternoon I was trying and failing to come up with a good reason why I shouldn’t deviate the extra mile or so on my bike and pick my wife Susan and I up an inaugural eight-piecer ($12.99) to enjoy while laughing at the utter ridiculishness of Pat “This just in from the newsroom” O’Brien and The Insider (the funniest show on TV) before lathering ourselves all over with some more of that American Idol goodness: On Jordin! On Blake! On Melinda! On LaKisha!
So I did so deviate and after a normal few-miute wait in a short line I exited the crowded place and stuffed the bulky container into my backpack for the last three-mile haul home, getting there just in time to stop my baby from making her patented delectable chicken tacos.
So enough with the rebop and how was the chicken, dammit? While I wouldn’t wait an hour for the stuff, much less seven I do deem it weeeeell worth my side trip and would totally recommend it. With chicken that is tender, juicy and crunchy and flavorful, Pollo Campero is a place worth going back for… and helps make mass-transit commuting all the more worthwhile.
The things you learn when you get outcha damn car.