Chef Richard Blais Bringing The Crack Shack to LA
Los Angeles’ dining scene continues to heat up with the opening of the gourmet fried chicken concept, The Crack Shack, at the Westfield Century City Mall on July 21. Brought to you by founder Michael Rosen and renowned culinary team Chef Richard Blais and Culinary Director Jon Sloan, The Crack Shack will be the first Los Angeles location for the brand. The restaurant will showcase a modern and accessible menu of high quality, locally raised, antibiotic-free fried Jidori chicken, eggs from Eben-Haezer Ranch and Gone Straw Farms, produce from local boutique farms, and the city’s very first Moët & Chandon vending machine.
“It has a been a dream of mine for a long time to bring The Crack Shack to Los Angeles and I am thrilled to share my favorite food with the city’s chicken lovers and foodies alike,” says Chef Richard Blais. “Fried chicken is such an American classic and at The Crack Shack, our goal is create an environment for our guests to enjoy and experience this awesome cuisine. That starts with everything from the menu, to the drinks, to the ambiance, and we are excited to bring that to this market.”
Culinary Director Jon Sloan brings years of culinary experience to the brand, including his position as chef de cuisine and culinary director of Juniper & Ivy, and has had strong role in developing the batters, coatings, and marinades that are exclusive to The Crack Shack, with a unique SoCal spin. Working in tandem with Chef Blais, Chef Sloan has curated a menu replete with delicious chicken and all the fixin’s.
“Creating the perfect fried chicken is a true science and one that we have really worked to perfect over the years with our special spices, batters, and rubs,” adds Chef Sloan. “What I’ve noticed is that many people don’t realize that chicken is actually more complex than one would think. At The Crack Shack, we have really perfected our fried chicken, and most importantly, creativity in the kitchen.”
The Crack Shack’s SoCal spirit shines through into the overall experience for customers with a menu replete with reimagined classic comfort food with fine dining flair. The Crack Shack will offer a chef-driven menu utilizing its own “crack spice” – a proprietary blend of spices from Le Sanctuaire in San Francisco. Unique to any fried chicken tasted in Los Angeles to date, the spice blend elevates each chicken dish with notes of smoked chilies and old bay.
The Crack Shack will offer a little something for everyone with a selection of five and 10-piece fried chicken, sandwiches served on freshly made breads, chicken oysters and poutine, as well as bowls, salads and made-to-order biscuits. Those going the sandwich route can choose options like the Double Clucker, a Los Angeles exclusive item made with two ground chicken patties, cheddar, bacon, avocado, burger sauce, pickles and fried onions on a potato roll; the Firebird made with a spicy fried chicken thigh topped with cool ranch, crispy onions and pickles on a potato roll; the Señor Croque made with crispy fried chicken breast, a runny fried egg, white cheddar and miso-maple butter on a brioche bun; or the signature California Dip made with pollo asado, schmaltz fries, guacamole and pickled jalapeño served on torta bread with pozole broth and the option to add jalapeno cheese wiz, made in house. Lighter signature options like the Anti-Salad Power Bowl made with smoked chicken, soft boiled egg, quinoa, chato’s salsa, avocado and arugula; or the Border Slaw with papaya, mango, jicama, coconut, chili and pineapple; and the Matzo Ball Pozole made with braised chicken, lime schmaltz and all the fixin’s; provide creative healthy options for diners. To top it off, The Crack Shack will also be serving signature milkshakes from Salt & Straw.
To wash it all down, the beverage program will feature a full bar with a selection of craft cocktails made with SoCal spirits and freshly made tinctures and juices that include the Scramble, a blackberry mule made with vodka, crème de mure, lemon and ginger, or the Hot Mess, a take on a smoky margarita made with mezcal, Ancho Reyes, honey, lime and grapefruit. Alongside the expansive cocktail list, the restaurant will also carry a top shelf selection of champagne available by the bottle that, upon purchase, will include 10 pieces of fried chicken, biscuits and fries. The Crack Shack will also house the city’s only Moët & Chandon vending machine where guests can insert a signature branded token to retrieve their personal sized bottle to complement their rich fried chicken meal.
At The Crack Shack, experience is everything. From the food to the ambiance, The Crack Shack will embody a rustic farmhouse chic aesthetic with a sophisticated feel. The atmosphere will feature a welcoming space for friends, business colleagues and families to congregate and share a meal. Conceptualized in partnership with Blue Motif Architecture, the 5,186 square foot restaurant will allow diners to order at the counter and take a seat at one of 118 seats inside, or in true California spirit, opt for sunshine dining at one of 55 seats on the expansive 2,129 square foot patio.
“Los Angeles has one of the most thriving dining scenes in the country right now, so it was a natural fit for us to bring our brand to this market,” says founder Michael Rosen. “We’re excited to be a part of the fried chicken movement here and to bring a new experience to the table for Angelenos.”