Name: Fritzi Coop. It's the latest in chef Neal Fraser's Fritzi casual restaurant empire, which also includes Fritzi DTLA in the downtown Arts District. Fritzi Coop replaced Fritzi Dog, Fraser's hot dog stall, at the Original Farmers Market in October. Fraser is also the chef-owner of BLD and, No. 43 in Jonathan Gold's latest 101 Best Restaurants list: Redbird.
Concept: Fried chicken in the form of wings, pieces and sandwiches. Because as much as we are in the age of vegetables in Los Angeles (see Jonathan Gold's latest review here), this city's love for towering fried chicken sandwiches is eternal. You can also order potato waffles.
Is that chicken naked? It sure is. If you order the wings or a couple of pieces of fried chicken, you'll notice there's no breading. Instead, the chicken is brined for 24 hours, then heads straight to the fryer. The skin is almost translucent, creating a thin, bubbly sheet of crisp coating for the chicken. If done properly, no fried chicken should taste heavy, but this naked version feels especially light. Translation: You have an excuse to eat that last piece.
That FCS: Now we come to your new obsession, the Fritzi Coop fried chicken sandwich, also known as the Classic on the menu. In what could perhaps be an attempt to make up for all that naked fried chicken, this piece of chicken is triple-battered. All that coating creates a powerful crunch factor, with little bits you can easily pick off around the edges. It's the perfect activity for when you're looking for a table in the crowded market. And the sandwich bun, one of those delightfully soft, glowing golden brioche buns, is slathered with Fritzi Coop's own pimento cheese. If you'd like to go the Buffalo chicken route, order the Stinger, which comes coated in Buffalo sauce, with greens liberally covered in blue cheese dressing.
What's up with that waffle? It's a waffle made with shredded potatoes. It tastes like giant hash browns, only in the shape of a waffle. And all those squares make for extra crispy edges. Pass the ketchup, please; no syrup required. If the thought of a giant hash browns waffle doesn't sound like the best idea ever (did you get the part about it being giant hash browns?), you can also order regular fries or tater tots. (Wimp.)
I ordered fried chicken, but I'm trying to be healthful: In addition to the potatoes three ways, you can order sides of Brussels sprouts, roasted beets, cauliflower or sous-vide carrots. There's even a kale salad on the menu, so just add a piece of fried chicken on top.
6333 W. 3rd St., Stall No. 742, Los Angeles, (323) 936-9436, www.fritzicoop.com.
I was born a fried chicken queen. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram @Jenn_Harris_