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Amber's Chicken & Donut -Encino (broasted chicken - yummy!)

  • w

Making a rare road trip deep in LA County yesterday, I had an opportunity to pick from many of the restaurants that I've found out about here on Chowhound. My only limitation in choosing was picking something relatively close to one of the major freeways so that I would not go too far out of my way just to get something to eat.

Scanning my 20+ pages of my restaurant list combining OC and LA, one item popped out at me from the list. Broasted chicken. The decision was easy to make.

Because boasted chicken is relatively hard to find, and there are so few restaurants that serve it, it wasn't too hard to pick a restaurant from the short list. Once I checked how far they were from the major freeways, the choice became easy. I would dine at Amber's Chicken and Donut for lunch.

Tucked away in the corner of a strip mall, Amber's was relatively easy to find, with a big enough sign on the outside.

Inside, it's a tiny little shop that more resembles a donut shop than a chicken restaurant. Since I was planning on eating ribs for dinner, I decided to just get the two piece chicken lunch combo, with sides of coleslaw and macaroni salad. Pork ribs were available as a combo, but I hesitantly passed on the ribs.

Just a bit of info first: my experience with broasted chicken is relatively brief. I've had fried chicken for most of my life, and the first time I've ever tried broasted chicken is at Zubie's Chicken Coop in Newport Beach in the past year. After getting my first taste of broasted chicken, I vowed to always order it over fried chicken if it were on the menu.

Here at Amber's, the broasted chicken, which takes 15 minutes to prepare after you order it, was absolutely spectacular. The skin was delightfully crisp and crunchy. The chicken was piping hot, and I burned the inside of my mouth as I tried to take the first bite, but I didn't care. It was like heavenly chicken, almost as good as chicken can ever get to tasting as sweet as duck or pheasant. I gobbled up the two pieces so quickly and debated as to whether to order another 2 or 4 pieces. If it wasn't for another 15 minute wait, I would've ordered more pieces.

As for the sides, the coleslaw was delightfully sweet (not sure what it was, as I'm generally not a fan of coleslaw, but it was really tasty here), while the macaroni salad was just OK.

For a price of $4.99 for this 2-piece leg-and-thich combo, this was an absolute bargain for the meal. I envy those who live close to this place to sample this food at least once a week.

Thanks to the other Chowhounders who mentioned this place earlier. It lives up to the hype, and I hope others in search of broasted chicken will enjoy the food here.

Amber's Chicken & Donut
16900 Burbank Blvd
Encino
daily 6:30AM-8:45PM

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  1. i'm so there, that is if it isn't too greasy, i'm not really a fan of fried chicken or broasted when it stays with you for hours, hate that feeeling.

    if it's not too greasy and heavy , i think that does sound good, wonder if any of the donuts are good too.

    sounds like a true chowhound place.

    4 Replies
    1. re: kevin

      That's why I prefer the broasted chicken over the fried chicken, because it isn't as greasy. It's crispier and tastier without feeling like you've got a pound of lard in your stomach.

      I was also thinking of getting a donut, too, but I didn't want to fall asleep in my business meeting afterwards. :-)

      1. re: Wonginator
        r
        Reality Check

        If you want broasted chicken in Orange County, the Chicken Box in La Habra and Pittsburgh Chicken in
        Los Alamitos are your two options.

        I prefer Pittsburgh Chicken but both will satisfy your craving for broasted chicken.

        Pittsburgh Chicken and Taters
        3671 Katella Ave. (just east of the 605 freeway)
        Los Alamitos, CA
        (562) 594-0140

        Chicken Box-
        330 Whitter Blvd.
        La Habra, CA
        562-691-1701

        1. re: Reality Check

          Thanks for mentioning them. I had already known about these two places and plan to visit them sometime in the near future.

          1. re: Wonginator

            i was once at chicken box in la habra but it was too greasy, good while eating (though not great), but afterwards not so good.

            i think they have watermelon on the menu here. too.

    2. I always eat there when I go to the hobby store :) Good eats there!

      1. They use good quality chicken but most of the reason it is so good is because it is made to order. It is rare to get that anywhere else.

        1. Just a slight addendum to my review: I incorrectly listed that I had macaroni salad, which I had at another place on the same day. My order of 2 pieces of chicken came with the aforementioned yummy coleslaw and crinkled french fries, which were very good.

          The so-so macaroni salad was at Mom's BBQ, which I'll be writing a review on shortly.

          1. Thanks for reminding me that I need to stop by Amber's again soon. That chicken is SO good. And the owners are so nice too!

            1. Does anyone know if Amber's has closed? The number has been disconnected...

              5 Replies
              1. re: ReelMike84

                Doesn't look good. I stopped by the storefront on the way home tonight, around 7.30pm, and the place was dark.

                The menu board was still up but otherwise the place looked pretty bare.

                No signs on the window indicating whether this situation is temporary, nor any contact info. Another victim of the economy??

                1. re: ReelMike84

                  Oh no! I was just there 3 weeks ago for lunch. I would truly be sad if they closed. I don't live in the Valley anymore, but if I did I would drive there right now to confirm.

                  Would a local please do us the favor...?

                  1. re: Veggietales

                    that's sad to hear. but i'm not in the area, either so only been there twice, once for the chicken and sadly once for the donuts without the chicken.

                    anyone who has any info, then please post.

                  2. re: ReelMike84

                    What a loss! Amber's used to be on the corner of Ventura and Woodman many years ago. It was the best fried chicken. That was probably before many Hounds were born!

                    1. re: Kate is always hungry

                      My hubby, son and dad get their hair cut at Archie's across the street. I can't look at that corner without "seeing" Amber's and thinking of the countless times my dad would get it to go for us all for dinner! Sad!

                  3. Sad to read that Amber's has closed. Even though I'd only been there once (for the review that I wrote), it was a memorable meal, as great broasted chicken is hard to find. It's a sad day when small eateries that serve great food close up.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Wonginator

                      I 've lived nearby for years and haven't eaten there since I was a kid. Sadly, I did see a for lease sign on the building about 3 or 4 weeks ago. I guess its too late now.

                      1. re: compucook

                        Yes, I looked in the window yesterday, and the old menu board is the only thing remaining.

                        1. re: carter

                          Yep, it's dead in there. The menu is still up true and the donut display cases, but closed still. And there's is a For Lease sign out front.

                    2. I wish I had read this blog before driving out there just now. 26 mile round-trip for naught. The only thing left are the menu boards on the walls. And I really had a hankerin' for some broasted chicken. I settled for a nice plate of bangers and mash and a Fuller's ESB at the Robin Hood Pub instead. Tasty enough...SSZ

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: stevie666

                        Stevie, if it's broasted chicken you're after, I know of 2 places in the San Fernando Valley that serves it - Lulu's and Paty's. I don't know if they do it as well as Ambers, but it is broasted chicken.

                        Lulu's
                        16900 Roscoe Blvd.
                        Van Nuys

                        Paty's
                        10001 Riverside Drive
                        Toluca Lake

                        1. re: omakase

                          Also the Lamplighter in Chatsworth (surprisingly good broasted chicken) --
                          but if you are in Chatsworth - go for the FRIED and hit up Les Sisters instead

                          1. re: truefoodie

                            Also, the restaurant called My Brothers (Ventura blvd, a bit east of where Gorikee used to be) does an awesome broasted chicken. Their bbq chicken -- not so much. But their broasted bird is worthy ! And good porky baked beans and nicely greasy texas toast...

                          2. re: omakase

                            Doe's Paty's offer it every day now? Used to be, like once a week. Same with Lancer's in Burbank.

                            1. re: jackattack

                              I'm pretty sure that Paty's does serve their broasted chicken every day. I think the once a week thing is when it's served as a special.