By Keith Plocek
By Edwin Goei
By Edwin Goei
By Matt Coker
By Edwin Goei
By Dave Mau
By Gustavo Arellano
Chickens of the World, Unite!
1866 Newport Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627-2727
Region: Costa Mesa
The rotisserie-chicken plate offered by BC Broiler seems to combine all of the twirled-hen traditions of the world on one cheap Styrofoam plate. The cooks take lemon butter from the Mexicans, a dab of garlic from Armenians, and the sour hot sauce in plastic squeeze bottles that tastes like Cajun country. Lebanese influences appear in a side of plump white rice sprinkled with dill, the puny herb with the awesome flavor. And the pinto beans look and taste like the red beans of a great barbecue spread.
You know BC Broiler, even if you’ve never stepped inside. It’s that small place on Newport Boulevard, just before the start of the 55 North. It’s that restaurant where you glance inside while idling because the bright flames of BC’s roaring rotisserie pit, complete with spits attached to industrial-sized gears, is impossible to miss at night, even from 100 feet away. But I’ve long delayed reviewing the dive because it always left me underwhelmed. I’d try the ribs—too dry. Bought some tacos—ridiculously overpriced at $3.59, though their size and taste almost warranted such an outlandish price. Enjoyed the hamburger, but what kind of moron buys a burger at a chicken joint? Me.
Then I realized I had never tried what BC Broiler advertises—you know, chicken. Unadulterated pollo. On that level, BC Broiler is bueno. Here is a rotisserie chicken that appeals to the workingman and the gourmand, a hen with a gnarled skin that’s crispy but not blackened, covered with bits of garlic and butter, making the skin as scenic as a Van Gogh nightscape. The meat can get a bit dry sometimes, but that’s probably because all of its juices sweat into the skin and pool underneath whatever cut you ordered—quarter, half, whole, it’s all worth it. Combined with the lemon-garlic butter (and make sure to ask the cooks for an extra dose; they don’t skimp, but it never hurts to ask), the juices electrify your senses in a way few meat products do. Don’t bother with flour tortillas, as they couldn’t absorb water if you tossed them off the Huntington Beach Pier; ask for corn, rip off a piece, and swipe it through the juice to turn your palate into the flesh-and-blood equivalent of a blinking neon sign. With charbroiled-chicken king Juan Pollo down the street, Newport Boulevard just needs a fried-chicken place to become the clucker capital of Orange County—but in the meanwhile, take a seat and eat.
BC Broiler at 1866 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8080.
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