Arcadia: Side Chick (@sidechickLA)

So, Side Chick is not easy to find. It’s in the Santa Anita Mall’s EAT area next to Nordstrom (the door is next to Monkey Bar) or inside the mall its to the right of Din Tai Fung in an enclosed small food area. Past the long line queuing to get into DTF, and to the right is a walkway that reminds you of the food alleys in Asia. Go through the glass doors and Side Chick is on the right, across the walkway from a raw seafood bar.

Without even looking at the menu, I knew I wanted the Hainan Chicken. It was about $9 and we also ordered the wintermelon tea (a large and a small) and I added on the chicken broth soup for a few bucks more. Total for the 2 of us was just under $30.

The presentation was lovely, with a plateful of the chicken, both white and dark meat (skin on), a huge dome of garlic rice, a dollop of pickles, and 3 dipping condiments: soy sauce, a ginger sauce, and a chili sauce. The chicken was done just right, and the white meat was moist and tender. The pieces were chopped a bit large, making it a bit hard to use chopsticks. I would probably use a knife and fork next time. The rice was a tad salty due to the garlic topping but overall tasty, and mixed well with the condiments.

The soup… oh the soup. Flavorful but too darn salty to even finish. I know chicken broth itself is bland, and salt enhances it, but I think it was just too salty for me, and I love salt! Or maybe it just didn’t mesh well with the Hainan Chicken’s rice? Whatever it was, the soup was no bueno and didn’t compliment my dinner.

Overall I’d come back but no soup. There’s not too many places to sit near the restaurant, but you can find places throughout the food court area, and even outside. So for my initial experience, a strong 4 star visit.

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