Located at downtown Los Angeles’ historic Grand Central Market at 317 South Broadway, which has been supplying residents with culinary delights since 1917, Lucky Bird is a relative newcomer lead by Chef Chris Dane who has lent his expertise at Providence and Connie & Ted’s during his nearly two decades of cooking. Having opened in the summer of 2018, these fried chicken pioneers immediately set about changing the game where chicken was concerned. Danes version of elevated fried chicken starts with organic, free-range chicken, then adds in a medley of all-organic and aromatic herbs and spices, like garlic, thyme and bay leaf, as well as lemon, sugar and salt. The end result is a crunchy, crispy exterior with a juicy, moist, perfectly cooked center that may leave you wondering if what you just ate was indeed actually just chicken. Lucky Bird LA, the eatery’s name stems from the love-story between Chef Chris and his now wife and business partner Christine Andreocci Dane. The two met at one of their first jobs where Chris was a cook and Christine a waitress – they then began to date for over 2 years until they separated ways for college. After a 14-year hiatus of not being in communication, Christine got in contact with Chris via Facebook once he moved back to Los Angeles and Chris felt like the luckiest man on earth, hence the name Lucky Bird.
In addition to perfecting the basics, Lucky Bird has sought to innovate as well. One featured menu item, the Chicken n’ Buttermilk Waffle is served with a side of habanero honey and finished with fresh lemon zest and maldon sea salt to fortify that lemon flavor from the brine. Another staple, the Chicken Sandwich is presented on a “milk bun” and topped with a zesty smoked paprika aioli in a sumptuous fusion of classical and new age cooking styles. At Lucky Bird, every last ingredient is organic, made-from-scratch, or in many cases, both. Buttermilk biscuits are handmade fresh daily, and pickles are brined in-house from organic cucumbers. Local beers are now offered on tap, and breakfast burritos are available to “early birds”. “I wanted to go with a straightforward approach to fried chicken, negating to go with the trending “Nashville hot chicken”, and instead focus on a more traditional fried bird. I wanted our sides to be considered “picnic sides” or easily packaged sides to go and enjoy anywhere.” says Chef Chris Dane.
Lucky Bird takes pride on making everything from scratch, from their fermented hot sauce to their buttermilk biscuits. Organic, free range Mary’s Chickens are sourced from Pitman Farms in San Joaquin Valley and cut and portioned in-house to assure the best quality. Loved by many including Jenn Harris, Senior Food Writer of the Los Angeles Times Food Section we can expect to see Dane’s fried chicken recipes not only at Grand Central Market. Dane recently created the Chicken Juicy Lucy with Ian Asbury of Cheezus. Together the two created a cheesy chicken sandwich that was so visually delicious on Instagram, the Chicken Juicy Lucy sold out in a matter of a few hours when offered over two weekends. Angelenos are still asking if this special guest sandwich will live permanently on the Lucky Bird LA menu.
This Labor Day Weekend, the Line Austin Hotel’s restaurant Dean’s One Trick Pony will get lucky as Dane plans to pop up for four days at Deans. Dane plans to serve his hero menu item, the fried chicken sandwich & a two-piece fried chicken meal served with slaw and pickled vegetables. (served with pickled vegetables and slaw), Austin is in for a real treat. Dane has more plans in the work, so stay tuned into their Instagram @luckybirdla for all the juice.