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Mar 9, 2010 03:02 PM

Honey Kettle fried chicken for your lizard-brain

It's interesting. I don't think Honey Kettle is as *fine* as Flossie's. The chicken isn't quite as good quality. The batter isn't as finely spiced, and the crispiness isn't as shattering. I don't sit and inhale it with quiet contemplation. Also: Pann's. I admire Pann's more. Their chicken is the more skillfully fried, more perfectly crisp, most intensely chicken-y.

But I want Honey Kettle more. A lot. Often. All my friends I've taken there, we go back a lot. It gets under your skin.

From which I conclude: Honey Kettle has soul. Maybe it's some subconscious wrangling of elements. But Honey Kettle: I crave it. I kind of start driving there automatically when I'm sad.

Maybe: Pann's: finest, most appealing to the high-conscious sensibilities. Flossie's: perfect in every way, but a clean, and a fairly refined chicken. Honey Kettle: straight for the gut, straight for the lizard brain, down-home crunchity satisfaction.

At Pann's and Flossie's, I eat quietly and am spending my forebrain studying and admiring the chicken in all its delicacy. At Honey Kettle, I go with friends, we talk over the chicken, it doesn't call for perfect attention and focus, but I always leave just totally, totally happy.

Also: good macaroni salad.

(I took a Southern girl here, who warned me she had very high standards for fried chicken. On the first bite, she said, "This isn't bad. It's actually pretty good." Grudgingly. Then she fell completely silent, and by the end she was covered in batter fragments, with honey and grease dripping out of her mouth, rubbing her belly and burping. It gets to you, this chicken.)


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  1. "here" means the Compton HQ, yes?

    1 Reply
    1. re: TonyC

      Sorry! You are very good to point this out. "Here" means the Culver City branch. I have heard that Compton HQ is better, but haven't had the time to hit it down.

    2. that is exactly how i feel about this place. Not the best i've had but sometimes i just NEED it.
      I can go without the sides there, not a big fan of any of them. Just give me a bottle of Louisiana hot sauce and i am a happy girl.
      Even cold it's tasty, eating it in front of the open fridge door in the middle of the night when no one sees me. what?! otherwise the kids swipe it all!!

      1. You had me at "...she was covered in batter fragments, with honey and grease dripping out of her mouth, rubbing her belly and burping". Bet she could use a sweet tea bath, afterwards ;-)

        1. I get the Honey's Kettle cravings too...I want a couple of wings with some hot sauce and a biscuit now.

          4 Replies
          1. re: annapurna7

            It's the *craving* that's really interesting. I really think that some restaurants speak to your forebrain, and some to your hindbrain. (The greatest appeal to both.) We tend to write the best reviews out of the stuff that appeals to our forebrain. But sometimes that hindbrain wants some lovin'.

            It's like the music that you can write a long and interesting review about, and then the music that makes you - I mean *makes* you - start shakin' that ass.

            1. re: Thi N.

              Count me among those that don't get it. We went to the same Culver City branch about 2 years ago. This is based on one visit.

              The chicken was greasy, the seasoning completely bland. And the annoying high school students behind the counter made it a trifecta.

              Mr Taster

              1. re: Mr Taster

                i wasn't a fan either of the fried chicken, too greasy, i believe. i wish i liked it, because it would be much closer than other fried chicken spots.

                1. re: kevin

                  Won't deny the taste test issue - proximity may make it more important, but do not go JUST for the food, you will be dissappointed.
                  Fairly bland, unless that is the way you prefer your chicken, but then you could just go to Costco for $5.43 or so and get a 3lb roasted version that serves at least three.

          2. Never had it, but boy do I want it now!!!

            1 Reply
            1. re: JEN10

              Again: this is not a temple. Do not go alone, hoping that it will be the All and the Everything. Go with friends. This is food to talk over. I don't mean that in a bad way. I mean, this is food that will Make The Good Times Better with your friends.

              God, I wish they'd let me bring beer into this place.

              God, I wish I had some *right now*.