The Chicken Lady Café
Beverly Hills, CA
I received a letter from Francine and Michael Colmaire telling me that if it weren't for my reviews, they wouldn't have discovered some great little restaurants. And now they have become one of my terrific "finds."
The Chicken Lady Cafe is a little gem located on San Vicente at the corner of La Cienega. They have been a boutique caterer to the entertainment industry, and while their café is opened for lunch to the public the catering attracted corporate and social clients. Business kept growing, and now they cater to hundreds of TV shows, loads of movie "celebs," and of course homey things like weddings and baby showers. Because of their location, (near Cedars) their clientele also ranges from Cedars Sinai surgeons to local housewives, corporate executives and what is known as the cool 'in-crowd". From what I heard, out of town (and state) customers come back to The Chicken Lady everytime these folks return on their next LA trip. The little restaurant has been on CitySearch.com and in the June 2007 restaurant pull out section of the LA Weekly. But keep in mind that it's lunch only, from 11:00am to 2:30. They plan to open on Saturday soon.
I read something by Lindy Michaels referring to The Chicken Lady; "this recently (open to the public) catering café has whet the appetites of the great and near-greats of Hollywood, to casts and crews. In addition they have catered their delicious nourishments to TV and movie studios, and to all who hunger for tasty cuisine."
"The Lady" started in 1995, with Michael hailing from France and Francine from Chicago. And as the saying goes, "the family who cooks together, stays together. They did an unbelievable job of heating up the kitchen together, which followed with overwhelming success.
Their dining area is charming, small and intimate, with a patio under a blue awning for a lucky few. And one can't help but notice the hundreds of celebrity photos covering the walls. The "charmer" is spotless with a couple of crystal chandeliers, (personally made by Francine) and a large mirror reflecting the room. Although space is limited, everything is top quality, with dark furniture, flowers, and much creativity, This would be a marvelous place to show-off when entertaining an out-of-towner.
The history and background is a story in itself!
But it's the food that's memorable. There's a warm and cold menu; the warms ones are sided with a small green salad and choice of a side dish. The "sides" include macaroni and cheese; rice pilaf made with Basmati rice; a mixed green salad; BBQ baked beans or French Fries.
And there isn't anything priced over $7.25! I had the best chicken lunch, and it's still memorable. I don't know how it's prepared, but certainly one of the best! Not just the tenderness, but the extraordinary taste!
Some of the menu items are Chicken Tenders, one prepared and flavored a'la Mesquite Lime Cilantro; Chicken Thai Sticks; Chicken Caesar Baked Sandwich, or one made for the vegetarian; Chicken Rolled Tacos; Grilled Chicken Breast a'la Herbs Croissant; and Penne with Chicken, Italian style. When it comes to catering, they're famous for their chicken pot pies. The wraps are popular, using "no lard" flour Tortillas with avocado, lettuce and tomato; or BBQ style with smoked Gouda. In addition, there are daily specials, as well as vegetarian wraps with artichoke hearts, lettuce, tomato, cheese and honey mustard.
I had a wonderful Apple Walnut Jicama Salad with my entrée. All the salads are large, so think about sharing. There are several other choices, and you might want to check out the Pasta Italiana Salad.
416 S. San Vicente Blvd., at La Cienega, on a little strip mall; (310) 652-7487. Free delivery daily with $12 minimum within 2-miles. This is a good place to feed your inner child! Open Monday through Saturday, from 11:00am-2:30pm.