Monday, May 18, 2009

Zankou Chicken - Pasadena

One evening several years ago, shortly after I had first moved back to the San Gabriel Valley, I left to go to the gym, and came back with...

...a whole chicken from Zankou Chicken in Pasadena. :P

Zankou Chicken - Pasadena 1

"Huh?" said a confused lil' sis, when I woke her up from her nap to eat. "I thought you went to workout?"

I couldn't find the gym, but I did find Zankou Chicken and who knew when I'd be in the area again? I just haaad to stop in. I had seen Elmo of Monster Munching's review of their Anaheim location long ago and remembered him waxing poetic about the garlic paste.

The parking here is pretty bad. Small lot in back or street parking in front.

Zankou Chicken - Pasadena 2

They offer other grilled and spit-rotisserie meats, not just chicken, but when a restaurant names itself after a particular item...

Zankou Chicken - Pasadena 3

...I get that item. So I got a whole chicken with pita bread and the famous garlic paste for $8.49. I spread the garlic paste on the pita and tore some chicken to put into the wrap and was underwhelmed. Maybe the garlic paste would taste better heated up? So I tried that too. Nope, still not getting why people went crazy for this stuff.

Zankou Chicken - Pasadena 4

The chicken itself was too salty. That's all I remember from that trip.

Zankou Chicken - Pasadena 5

So there my pictures languished for several years since neither the chicken nor the garlic spread did anything for me.

Try it again. Get the tarna, I remembered the folks on Biggest Menu telling me.

So more than a year later, I found myself in the neighborhood again. This time, I ordered the tarna which came with a side of pickled turnips and chili peppers for $4.99. A little more and I could have gotten a whole chicken.

Zankou Chicken - Pasadena 6

Better. Crispy chicken pieces and the tomatoes helped temper the garlic paste. The wrap was a bit on the small side though.

Zankou Chicken - Pasadena 7

So in the end, if I happen to be in the neighborhood again, I might stop in for a wrap, but I'm really not getting all the fuss?

Other chicken restaurants:
Pollo ala Brasa - Los Angeles
Pollo Mania - El Monte

Zankou Chicken
1296 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91106
11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

1 year ago today, Ca Tho To (Vietnamese Braised Catfish in a Claypot).
2 years ago today, an American classic - the Coke Float.


  1. That weird passage way from the back lot. Wow, memories! We used to call it 'heart burn chicken' but in a good way.. Gotta love that garlic. I also really liked your newspaper spread, hehe..

  2. I am totally laughing at the thought of attempting to go to the gym and then coming home with Zankou instead!

    I love all the wraps. We usually split a tarna, shwarma, and falafel. We're so lazy that building our own little wraps with a whole chicken is just too much work. :P

  3. I think I was at the Anaheim location years ago, but don't remember anything remarkable. I'm not sure I even remember what I'd ordered!

  4. Dennis,
    Haha. That passageway was a bit creepy. And I only use the fanciest table linen. ;)

    Weezer Monkey,
    I knew you'd get me! And that's a little too lazy, yeah?

    It was fine. Just not something I'd go out of my way for. But I've heard the garlic paste varies and that I should go to a location that sells it fresh, not already packaged.


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