Golden Bird (at Porky's) vs. Honey's Kettle
Well, I clogged my arteries just a bit and ate Golden Bird on one day and Honey's Kettle the next to test out which is best. The verdict ...
The chicken was juicy, and while the counter service is not so great, the management is wonderful. Bought 20 pieces and a slab of pork ribs (St. Louis style). The chicken was moist in the center and crunchy and delectable on the outside. Ribs were great as well. Meaty and moist. Manager said to make sure that you don't put the cooked chicken in a plastic bag but leave in paper bag open. Now, while the chicken and meat are superior, the sides had something left to be desired. Mac and cheese, collard greens, cole slaw, and yams were all not great and wouldn't order again, The breads were not great as well.
Honey's Kettle Chicken was a bit dry for my taste. It needed the honey and hot sauces to make it good. However, I enjoyed the buttery biscuits. My friend said the pancakes and chicken are the best.
When it comes down to it, it is all a matter of taste...for me,
Shin sen gumi beats Santouka and Daikokuya
dinah's beats roscoe's
tacos baja ensenada beats el taco nazo
babita beats la casita
AND Golden Bird beats Honey's Kettle.
I tried Honey's Kettle for the first time yesterday. I had one of those 2 for 1 coupons from the Thursday L.A. Times Calendar supplement sections, so I visited Honey's Kettle in the mid-afternoon and parked in the structure around the corner. I had read many posts on this board applauding Honey Kettle's chicken but decrying its slow service, but I bought a four-piece meal X two (one for there and one to go) which set me back $9.30. I then waited, and waited. The flatscreen TV on one wall had sports when I walked in, but was blank shortly after. The girl who took my order and gave me an ice-water was nice enough, but it was another tall guy who followed up and kept me apprised on the status of my order.
I got my eat-in four-piece, and noticed it lacked a biscuit. After checking the board to make sure it was included, the tall guy nicely and apologetically got me one, and informed me the other half of my order was still being prepared and would be waiting. I first tried the wing, which had a lacy delicate crust and a meaty white-meat bite or two from the breast. Those that describe the Honey Kettle crust as tempura-like have the right idea, though it is saltier. The wing was hot, meaty, moist -- a fine rendition. The thigh (normally my favorite piece) was good but not as excellent as the wing. The fries were ok but not a crackling crisp as I'd prefer from a frying specialty establishment. Wish they would omit the pickle slices or package them better so other stuff isn't contaminated by pickle juice.
Ate the other two pieces rewarmed in the oven later that night. The crust on the drumstick suffered, but the meat was juicy and succulent. The breast was also good, considering it was reheated.
Fries, much thinner at Porky's but much more crispy and crunchy. Golden Bird chicken a bit crustier than the lacy Honey's Kettle. But service, sides, other offerings, and most important value -- Porky's hands down.
Honey's Kettle is at 9537 Culver Blvd. in Culver City.
I was there Wed. for the 5th or 6th time. I've had breasts and wings and they've always been moist and crunchy. Don't care for the fries. I ordered wings for there and to bring home and re-heat and they were very good. I like their cole slaw and chocolate malts too.
No matter what time of day I've been there, it's never been very crowded and the wait is usually 10-15 min. I like Honey's Kettle and can't complain except that Wed. they were out of napkins.
Never been to Honey Kettle but Golden Bird is my favorite fried chicken by far. I don't plan on ever trying Honey Kettle because of the numerous comments about their horrible service. Why would you want to patronize a place that treats their customers that way? Might as well go there and then head over to Sweet Lady Jane for dessert if you want to torture yourself. Normally the service at Porky's is friendly and the chicken is very very good (plus you can get some great ribs while you're over there).
I've only been to Honey's Kettle in Culver City twice. Had pretty good food, Fried Chicken, Biscuits and Pancakes. I will go back. I've had to wait for them to fry my stuff but to me that's a plus - it's fresh. I did have to smuggle in some real maple syrup though! My 2 cents, at least give em a try. As much as I love this board, I for one don't always agree with the 'general concensus'!
But even though I haven't been for a while, I've always had good to at least decent service at Sweet Lady Jane so the posts here won't stop me from buying one of their magnificent Lemon Merangue Tarts and a French Press Coffee to go with it!
Oh and Porkey's/Golden Bird has been on my list for far too long, I'll go soon, maybe tomorrow!
Last I checked, Porky's had a 2 for 1 special on their BBQ dinners on Tuesdays -- that may not still be going on now that summer is here and their slow period is over. They also have had signs up advertising a piece of Golden Bird for 99 cents with the purchase of any BBQ dinner or sandwich -- also not sure that is still the case, and it may not include a breast. When you do go, be sure to order the pulled pork sandwich -- spectacular, and a great value. Brisket is much more moist than it looks going by, and if you want ribs, definitely go for the spareribs (St. Louis-style) rather than the baby backs or the beef ribs.