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Dino's Burgers

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Does Dino's still exist? I saw an earlier thread and the chicken sounds great.

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  1. I think Dino's will be around for decades to come.

    The chicken is excellent. The pastrami dip is superb. The burgers are OK. The atmosphere - 0

    The french fries are very good, a result of preparing them by the same original method McDonald's used before they began using frozen fries. Fresh, whole potatoes are peeled, cut, quickly blanched and allowed to air dry before they are deep fried to a finish. The only difference is that McDonald's was using beef tallow for frying then. Dino's uses vegetable oil like everyone else nowadays.

    My only complaint with Dino's is the way they serve the fries on a plate underneath the chicken. It just makes the french fries soggy. Easily solved, though. Just ask for the fries to be served separate.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Sam D.

      Um... i'm not so sure about that vegetable oil thing, unles you've asked and had confirmation from the owner/kitchen staff. Last time I went to Dino's, I saw them put a big solid block of white (I was assuming either lard or tallow) substance into the fryer and letting it melt into the fryer. I've never seen vegetable oil in a solid white brick, but I admit that i'm no expert.

      edit: I like the soggy fries and always ask for extra sauce with my chicken plate. My fingers turn bright orange from eating everything, but it's worth it!

      1. re: Devourer

        Vegetable oil comes that way. Think Crisco in the can.

        1. re: Devourer

          It's solid from the hydrogenation. Fast-food fries haven't been made in tallow for years. Tallow must be changed daily while hydrogenated oil can be reused for weeks. Vastly cheaper.

          Campanile might make fries with tallow. Dino's, no.

        2. re: Sam D.

          if that white block of stuff is vegetable oil, it is HYDROGENATED vegetable oil.

        3. Dino's Burgers
          2575 W Pico Blvd - Los Angeles, CA

          I have to say that while it is true, (as the poster below notes) that putting the fries under the chicken makes them a little soggy, it is a great thing because they are getting soaked in the iridescent red/orange garlic flavored sauce that comes down off of the chicken. The taste is incredibly good, and while this is a dive, it is a chowhound dive for a nirvanic taste treat. Just to encourage you I have added a link to the msn map locator page for Dino's.

          Link: http://mappoint.msn.com/(02osod45ebz1...

          2 Replies
          1. re: WLA

            I am usually a crispy-fry-guy, but I have to agree...the Dino's soggy-style is truly amazing. I devour those spuds and sauce with greasy abandon, never missing my beloved crispy-fry..

            1. re: WLA

              Since roast chicken is just about my favorite dish, I plan to check it out soon. Thanks for the info.

            2. There is another Dino's that may or may not be affiliated with the one on Pico being discussed here.......
              But they have the same type of chicken dish being described the "irradescent orange" w/ garlic flavor etc.......same bottom fry treatment as well......
              also with -0- atmosphere.....
              It's on Main St. btwn. Daly & Thomas in Boyle Heights just northeast of downtown L.A.....I always thought their burgers were pretty good at this location though.....and if you buy 2 'burger specials' it's only 5 bucks for both!

              1 Reply
              1. re: slowrider

                I'll give that one a try and hope for the best. It's a lot closer to me than the Pico location.

              2. I used to live in LA and loved Dino's. A few years ago the LA Times did a review of their chicken and that weekend the place was packed. All the regulars were grumbling about the place being "discovered." When i lived in LA - only about 4 years ago - the chicken was about $4. And it was heaven.

                  1. re: AppleSpam

                    Yup. Mr. Gold LOOOOOVES the fries underneath the chicken BECAUSE they're saturated! He really does make it sound like a good thing, and ya know what? He may be right. Hey, we don't all demand that our fries be crackly-crisp every time; there have been occasions when I was happy to have them dripped on, considering this to be another variation on the theme of potatoes and gravy.

                    Having said that, now I want to go check out Dino's!

                  2. this place is great. just get the chicken plate. the soggy fries are awesome. sometimes i order them on there own. good place to go after a game at the staples center.

                    1. Well, there's nothing quite like a J. Gold review to point me toward Pico and Normandie, or thereabouts, which is exactly what I did this past Saturday morning. I ordered the aforementioned chicken plate. I decided to take it home but somewhere between the La Brea Ave. exit and the 405 fry. on the 10 I started picking at it. Whew! Hot and exhausting there wasn't much left of the bird by the time I hit Lincoln. As for the fries, I started off disliking them and then found myself enjoying them in spite of myself. An iced orange Izzy's (that's Clementine to you) and a shower later I was quite satisfied.

                      1. Dino's chicken does not travel well, which I consider a plus.

                        Making you have to eat it there helps discourage dilettantes.

                        The ill-advisendness of take-out and the (to me, and I live in Hollywood) remote location are almost enough to have be apartment-hunting in the Pico/Vermont area.


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Muskrat

                          Actually, I wasn't totally slumming it having been born and raised in L.A. with the occasional visit to El Taurino (favorite tacos and hot sauce)at 11th and Hoover among many others. It's just that I was finishing my morning Peet's latte in Brentwood when I read Jonathan's review, had to try the chicken and wasn't willing to miss Paula Dean. It was her holiday show! And it's not that it doesn't travel well (Pie 'n Burger's banana meringue pie with whipped cream doesn't travel well), it's that it doesn't eat as well while you're traveling. You don't want to have to worry about all that grease running down your fingers while you're changing lanes.

                          I'm probably in double hot water on this but here's a chicken worthy of that Zankou rep. The fries are some sort of scary hybrid that I'm already wanting more of. I'm tempted to try the burger next time as well even though Gold was much less enthusiastic about it.

                        2. I said, and meant, nothing about "slumming." And the bit about not travelling well -- learned from experience -- was for the benefit of anybody who intends to take it more than a block or so away.

                          That said, there are darned few seats available to eat it on the premises much of the time; the last time I was there, I ate the chicken in my car; at least I'd landed a spot in the parking lot!

                          I'm terrified that someone (one of those "dilettantes", perhaps) will read Gold's piece, buy the place, and Pinkberry-ize it until it turns into another Koo-Koo Roo or El Pollo Loco.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Muskrat

                            Sorry. Just having a little fun along with the analyses. Nice report. One interesting thing about going in the morning is that they do quite a breakfast business.

                            1. re: Muskrat

                              instead, i'm praying that one of the chains will start turning out a bird that's more like dino's

                            2. I heart dino's...I love to wrap the chicken, drenched fries, AND coleslaw in the tortilla and eat it all together...mmMmmmmmm SO good!!!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: olivexjina

                                YES! That's exactly how I eat mine too. That coleslaw just makes it for me.

                              2. I love Dino's chicken plate.

                                But, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT look into the back kitchen area.
                                The french fry processing is a bit scary to look at.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Curt the Soi Hound

                                  I too love Dino's and the front kitchen area is none to appetizing either with the mountain of chicken.

                                2. Went to the one in Lincoln Heights today....awesome....nice, strangely orange chicken that was vinegary and had some kick....served atop soaked fries (should have let them soak more), beans, rice and coleslaw....came with a drink.....a 1/2 chicken for under 6 bucks!!!!!

                                  great greasy comfort food.....so bad for you but so good.

                                  11 Replies
                                  1. re: Xericx

                                    There is a newer location in Azusa. Loved that sauce (I got extra X2!). So good!! ;-)

                                    1. re: Xericx

                                      I thought the story with the Lincoln Heights Dino's and the Pico Blvd. one was that they're brothers, but had a falling out? Probably because Pico brother wouldn't give him the chicken recipe. I don't think the Lincoln Heights chicken tastes the same as the place on Pico, I think the Pico place is much better.

                                      1. re: bigtums

                                        Dunno....the chicken was pretty good......I'll have to try to the Pico location.

                                        1. re: bigtums

                                          Abby asked when we went and the owner said that he has three daughters and wants them each to have a location.

                                          1. re: bigtums

                                            As I've posted previously, I work much closer to the Lincoln Heights location but, happily make the trek to the Korea Town location because it's that much better.

                                            1. re: bigtums

                                              bigtums, I think you may be right. The one interview I was able to find doesn't mention the Lincoln Heights location (see Pico place link).

                                              Dino's Chicken and Burgers
                                              2575 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90006, USA

                                              Dino's Burgers
                                              2817 N Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90031

                                              Dino's Chicken & Burgers
                                              843 W Arrow Hwy, Azusa, CA 91702

                                              1. re: DiveFan

                                                The Lincoln Heights location is owned by the brother. The owner (of the Pco and Azusa stores) told me his brother does not use the same spice recipe for his chicken marinade.

                                                1. re: Norm Man

                                                  then I better try the Pico one, posthaste!

                                                  1. re: Xericx

                                                    Actually, I like the Azusa location of Dino's Burgers better. I think t.he Azusa Dino's does a better job of cooking the chicken. The Pico location sometimes overcooks the chicken. And the Azusa location serves the chicken on a real plate while the Pico locations uses paper plates. Don't forget to order extra "Juice" for your Chicken Plate.

                                                    The last time I ate at the Azusa location I ate 2 orders of Chicken Plate and then went to Donut Man for a Peach Donut for dessert. What a Perfect Lunch!

                                              2. re: bigtums

                                                Hi this is the owners daughter of the Dino's on Pico. Just thought I would clarify everything up for you! My Dad, (the owner of the Pico and Azusa locations), created the recipe for the chicken awhile back. He gave the recipe to his brother years ago, but since then has changed the recipe......hence the different tasting chicken! The original chicken is at the Pico location, not the Lincoln Heights one. The Dino's on Pico and the Dino's in Azusa are owned by my family. The other Dino's, which is a completely different entity, is owned by my Uncle, however we are not affilitated with that locaton! Hope this helps!!!! =) Thank you to everyone for all their support!!! =)

                                              3. re: Xericx

                                                I hear ya - I like the one on Pico as well, but I think the one on Main is an all around better meal: taste and value.

                                              4. When I don't feel like going all the way down to Dino's on Pico I'll go to El Pollo Loco and get a chicken combo with a side of fries and coleslaw. They have a sauce in the salsa bar that's vinegary. All together with some corn tortillas and it'll do in a bind.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: bigtums

                                                  There is just some mystic sense about going to Pico between Vermont and Normandie.. Looking for the smoke billowing and the smell of sucess. I prefer it on the weekends when the Locals are lining up like they are giving it away.. Well almost, under $5 bucks for the 1/2 Chicken platter... Love the place albeit not in the best part of town.. and I look like a sore thumb eating there by myslef. I am not too proud of the journey I had just made from the Southbay for this Bird! While licking the Orange tint off my fingers on the 110 or 105 I wonder why some call it Crack Chicken!!.. I think back for a moment.. was that what was going on where I parked my car down the block??

                                                2. I'm a chicken plate addict. Here's a hot tip for all you loyalists. Order an extra chicken next time you go, bring that sucker home, and make up a nice batch of Chicken Salad. Strip down the chicken, mix in some mayo, Dino's salsa, a handful of diced fries, and enjoy it all week. Do it now.

                                                  1. All these years later, Dino's is still damn great. Had the chicken platter with fries, cole slaw, and tortillas today, with extra sauce for the fries. It was divine. And at $6.42, still an amazing deal.

                                                    Dino's is one of the most curious recent omissions from Jonathan Gold's lists. I went back today wondering if it had gone downhill. Not so--it is as good as ever. The chicken is perfectly cooked and seasoned, and combining the heavily sauced and soggy fries with that creamy, cold cole slaw remains one of L.A.'s most decadent, historic treats.

                                                    I'm also glad to report the place is still packed. I only get back here once a year or so, but it's always worth the drive. And if you're ever hammered after a night of drinking in the new and cool downtown L.A., this is the best alternative to a taco truck at the end of the night.