FRIED CHICKEN FANTASIA: THE HELP / PANN’S

Minny Knows Best

Minny’s secret.

In The Help, Tate Taylor’s heartfelt adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s novel, Minny Jackson, the outspoken maid played by Octavia Spencer, the role for which she won an Academy Award, claims that “frying chicken just tends to make you feel better about life,” and we agree with one caveat: eating fried chicken makes us feel even better.  Lucky for Angelenos, tasty options abound, from sweet and spicy Korean style at Kyochon, to the shattering crunch of Jim Dandy’s crust (number one according to LA Weekly’s Tien Nguyen) to the popular (if sometimes maligned) Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles and the heavy batter style of Honey’s Kettle and finally, to the venerable southern style joints (Bertha’s Soul Food Café, Flossie’s).  If forced to choose amongst the sizable list of winners, however, we gravitate towards the fried wings at Pann’s.

Opened near LAX in 1958 by George and Rena Panagopoulos with an award-winning (and world famous) space age design by Armet and Davis, Pann’s is a classic diner that serves large portions of high quality comfort food to a broad spectrum of locals and tourists.  Chowhounders in the know come for the elusive homemade corned beef hash (you have to ask), while burger mavens swear by the pattie melt (Pann’s spelling).  We come for the wings and biscuits.

Preternaturally large (or small, for a pterodactyl), the wings have a thin, slightly greasy, salt-peppery crust that gives way under light pressure to alternately tender and toothsome savory meat.  They are delicious, as are the crisp-topped, fluffy, buttery biscuits they come with.  A reasonable order might also include a waffle, where, as at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, the intrepid diner can experience the sweet and savory joy of butter and maple syrup intermingling with the slight gaminess of quality poultry.  In other words, it’s the perfect brunch.

We think the best way to approach a Pann’s/The Help combo would be to get a large take out order to share amongst a group of 4-6 friends, and plop down on the couch for a languorous movie afternoon, while alternating rich bites of salty chicken with tart lemonade or icy sweet tea.  An oversized slice of pie from Pann’s would be a lovely finish, but for this particular movie/food combo, you might want to skip the chocolate.

PANN’S

Classic diner with iconic Googie architecture serves up homey favorites.

RECOMMENDED DISHES

Fried chicken wings, biscuits, pattie melt.

PRICE

$-$$

ATMOSPHERE

Bright and bustling with comfortable booths and a long inviting counter.

SERVICE

Fast and professional.

SOUND LEVEL

A pleasant buzz.

LOCATION

6710 La Tijera Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90045 (323) 776-3770 www.panns.com

DETAILS

Mon-Wed, Sun 7am-9pm.  Thu-Sat 7am-10pm.  Private parking lot.  No reservations.  Credit cards accepted. No delivery.

Kyochon – 3833 W 6th St Los Angeles, CA 90020 (213) 739-9292 kyochonus.com

Jim Dandy’s – 11328 S Vermont Ave Los Angeles, CA 90044 (323) 779-5567

Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles – 1518 N Gower St Los Angeles, CA 90028 (323) 466-7453 roscoeschickenandwaffles.com, multiple locations.

Honey’s Kettle – 9537 Culver Blvd Culver City, CA 90232 (310) 202-5453

honeyskettle.com multiple locations.

Bertha’s Soul Food Café – 1714 W Century Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90047 (323) 777-3373

berthasoulfood.com

Flossie’s – 3566 Redondo Beach Blvd Torrance, CA 90504 (310) 352-4037.

THE HELP – (2011) Directed by Tate Taylor.  Written by Tate Taylor (screenplay) Kathryn Stockett (novel).  Starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard.

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