In the realm of casual dining, few commodities have ever rivaled the universal appeal of fried chicken. Evoking comfort, nostalgia, and a burst of flavour with every bite, it’s a dish that effortlessly brings people together. At the helm of this enduring love for fried chicken is Lucky Bird, an LA-based restaurant that has been consistently tantalizing taste buds since its inception in 2018. Spearheaded by chef-owner Chris Dane, the venue has carved out a unique identity through its unwavering commitment to quality and a daring culinary vision that boldly declares, “fried chicken solves everything!”
Rooted in the bustling Grand Central Market in downtown LA, Lucky Bird’s initial venture was nothing short of a leap of faith for Chris Dane. Yet, the venue’s authentic focus on fried chicken and its accoutrements, paired with Dane’s citrus-brined chicken recipe, soon garnered a cult-like following. This propelled Lucky Bird to quickly gain traction as a go-to stall in the iconic food market, establishing Dane’s first independent foray into the food industry as a hit.
Chris Dane’s culinary journey is deeply intertwined with Lucky Bird’s narrative. The self-made chef bypassed the traditional route of culinary school, instead honing his skills in the “school of hard knocks”. His humble beginnings as a dishwasher and prep cook, and his subsequent rise through various kitchens, fostered a deep understanding and respect for the inner workings of the kitchen. Coupled with invaluable experiences working under renowned chefs such as Michael Cimarusti at Providence and Connie & Ted’s, Dane was well-prepared to venture into his own enterprise.
Behind the success of Lucky Bird is also a heartwarming love story. Chris Dane’s journey with his wife, Christine, who co-founded Lucky Bird, has been anything but conventional. Meeting in college, parting ways due to distance, and reuniting after 14 years, their story is a testament to the enduring nature of love. Their profound bond is embodied in the Lucky Bird brand – a symbol of their luck in reuniting and a daily reminder of the joy they find in each other.
Opening in a century-old market like Grand Central came with its own set of challenges. Structural issues with the old building and learning the nuances of using pressure fryers were some of the initial hurdles they faced. Despite the odds, they persevered, committed to their vision of creating the best fried chicken in LA. This resilience is reflected in their product – chicken brined in citrus, fried lightly with Wondra flour, and served with a sprinkle of fresh lemon zest and maldon sea salt. It’s a dish that encapsulates their journey – layered, nuanced, and ultimately, fulfilling.
At Lucky Bird, the emphasis on local, quality ingredients and the dedication to homemade recipes are central to their business philosophy. Sourcing organic, free-range chickens from Pitman farms in San Joaquin Valley, every dish reflects Dane’s commitment to providing his customers with the freshest and highest quality product.
As we savor Lucky Bird’s offerings, it’s essential to recognize the support system that has played a pivotal role in shaping its journey. Chris Dane is quick to credit his wife’s unyielding support, his family’s encouragement, and the significant contributions of chefs who’ve mentored him throughout his career. Their collective influences have undeniably shaped Lucky Bird into the thriving business it is today.
So, if you’re looking for a modern take on comfort food, with the taste of LA fried chicken and an unbeatable story of love and persistence behind it, Lucky Bird is where you need to be. Here’s to many more years of success and buckets of scrumptious fried chicken!