Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles has five locations in southern California—among them:
However, the first Roscoe's (known affentionately as 'Scoes by "the family"), situated in Hollywood on 1514 North Gower street, is by far the superior, with consistently quick service, fluffy waffles, and the occasional R&B star sighting.
Relatively easy to spot despite its hole in the wall characteristics (look for the dancing red, blue, and white chicken), parking can usually also be procured with ease on the many side streets of the area. Bring quarters. Give your name to the man outside with the clipboard; if you come here enough, he will recognize you just like the swollen and satisfied customers who call Roscoe’s their daily haunt.
Yes, the Gower location is popular, so while you are killing time during one of Roscoe’s legendary Sunday afternoon waits, hike up the block on Gower and turn left on Hollywood—window shopping and the chipped granite celebrity stars are too close to miss. (Five dollars to anyone who finds Lucille Ball’s.) Dodge the inevitable Sunday theatre walking traffic and Scientologists and peek inside the Wiltern theatre on Wilshire and memorabilia stores. The waits prove to be a blessing when you can explore simultaneously hilarious and hideous place that is Hollywood.
Inside, Roscoe’s is smaller than one might expect—dark, mirrored, and cramped, with as many formica and wood tables as possible squeezed into the restaurant. Look up and you might spot the Shaq, Destiny’s Child, and Luther Vandross signed promos among a bevy of others…it wouldn’t be rare if you see the Shaq attack in person that afternoon.
Generally genial and efficient, the wait staff wastes no time, keeping the water glasses filled and the customers from getting too ravenous. For such a wait, food usually arrives to one’s table hot and ready to eat in less than fifteen minutes. From the menu, newbies and vegetarians alike are safe with the classic #7 Natalie’s Special, named after a member of the "family," Natalie Cole—two fluffy golden waffles doused in half-melted butter and warmed (!) pure cane syrup, one of the cheapest dishes on the menu at $4.60. For those craving to dig into the other half of the Roscoe’s legend, the #13 Carol C. Special, a portion of fried chicken with the aforementioned waffle now degraded to side, is a good bet for $5.60.
Feeling adventurous? Roscoe’s is no shrinking violet in meeting your Chix ™ and Waffles needs. Friends swear by the #5 Jeanne Jones chicken and cheese omelette with a side waffle, prepared with plenty of butter and syrup as well. Even at $6.30, the #5--much like most of the dishes--gives you one of the cheapest meals outside Rambo’s Taco Truck in southern California.
Side dishes are nearly as spectacular. Okra, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, smothered potatoes, red beans and rice, and the recommended grits with butter all are available to accompany your meal at a cheap price. Leave room if possible! Warmed sweet potato pie is a required accompaniment to your meal.
Drinks are not so adventurous, with a small selection of pink and white wines for cheap; for caffeine addicts, the usual Coke and coffee selections are offered. Also, the Sun Rise, a combination of orange juice and lemonade, or Lisa's Delight, black tea with lemonade, can wash down the grease.
Enjoy yourself, don’t forget to tip Mama—you’ll know her soon enough—and buy a Roscoe’s shirt to support the Roscoe’s empire. With such new upstarts as “Gladys and Ron’s Chicken and Waffles” straight outta Atlanta, GA, one may wonder if Roscoe’s is loosening their grip on the Chicken and Waffles market.
Try to walk back to the car; after such generous portions, this may be difficult to do.
To paraphrase Swingers: Roscoe’s brings people together.