Recession Obsession: Peruvian Chicken

Lunch at Pollos El Brasero

The Official Recession has enveloped us for fifteen official months. It’s still no reason we can’t enjoy life. This is LA — we have a million inexpensive options! A Recession Obsession is somewhere fantastic, whether times are good or bad, because it's that damn good. We last loved on Leimert Park's Papa West and Santa Monica's Tacos Por Favor. Today, we...

Los Angeles knows Peru for two chief exports. One, Peruvian Marching Powder, is illegal and dangerous. The other, Peruvian Chicken, is nutritious and delicious. Peru's wood-fired bird is significantly less expensive than their nasal fuel — only part of the reason it's LAist’s latest Recession Obsession.

Marinated in a variety of spices and roasted delicately, Peruvian Chicken is as much a feat as it is art. Complimented by a highly addictive green chile sauce called aji, and a variety of sides, it's a delicious and hearty meal. As California unemployment has passed 10%, this taste of South America is welcomed at $5-$7 per person.


Barbecued by a team of rotisserie cooks, each tender, juicy bite packs a smoky wallop. The chicken’s near-crisp skin seems to guard the flavor which sets this meal apart from other nation’s efforts of poultry.

Pollo A La Brasa

My two favorite Peruvian-style chicken joints are Koreatown’s (un-Korean) Pollo a La Brasa (Chicken on a Spit) and Pollos El Brasero, found in the Pico Union neighborhood. Should the Manhattanization of Downtown continue, Pico-Union may one day be Downtown.

If you have trouble locating Pollo A La Brasa then you’re missing the building-high pile of wood which surrounds the eatery. If that visual clue doesn’t help, your nose will serve as guide. This all-value, takeout-friendly joint is densely aromatic. It's also one of the most wallet-friendly meals on Jonathan Gold’s 99 list.

Pollos El Brasero

If you park more than a few feet from Pollos El Brasero’s door, you may not make it inside. This stretch of Pico offers a strong variety of alluring Mexican food. Duck your head, ignore the Oaxacan birria-rias, steaming hot tamales, and taco trucks. Pollos El Brasero is worth your while. For $6-$7 a quarter-white meal can be had. Expect a full tray as combos feature a side of beans, salad, soda, and choice of french fries, white rice, or tortillas (as pictured above.)


  • Pollos El Brasero 2281 W. Pico Blvd, Los Angeles 90006 | (213) 381-6060
  • Open: 10 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. Everyday except Monday
  • Pollo A La Brasa 764 S. Western Avenue | Koreatown | Los Angeles 90005 | 213-382-4090
  • Open: 11 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. daily | 'Til 8:30 Sat+Sun

Photos by Caleb Bacon for LAist

What do you think about Peruvian Chicken? Comment below