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The Mysteries of Dinah's Fried Chicken

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When Alan Arkin freaks out in the beginning of Little Miss Sunshine, shouting, “Again with the fucking chicken! It's always with the goddamn fucking chicken!” all I could do was stare at the instantly recognizable bucket and think, “How could anyone ever get sick of Dinah’s?” The fried coating is so highly seasoned and crispy. The meat is so juicy and tender. Alan Arkin should consider himself lucky.

Dinah’s Fried Chicken has been a Glendale institution since 1967.

Los Angeles is also home to Dinah’s Family Restaurant in Culver City, which is more of a coffeeshop. The Culver City Dinah's is known for its gigantic German apple pancakes, but it also has a chicken take-out in a separate part of the building. With the exact same buckets. With the same fried chicken. There is quite a bit of speculation on the internet about the two Dinah's. Most people assume that the same family used to own both restaurants, but that they sold the Culver City location. Some people claim the exact opposite - that the Culver City Dinah's is the original, which has sold the Glendale location. There are even rumors that it was once a chain. Nobody is very clear on the real story.

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You only need to look as far as the pictures on the walls to see the authentic history of the Glendale Dinah's. It has clearly been going strong for two generations. The restaurant is now run by Dave Pearson, the original owner's son, and his wife Linda. So I decided to go straight to the source and speak to one of the current owners. Let me tell you, this was no easy feat because they certainly do get up early in the morning to get that restaurant humming.

So here we solve the great mystery of Dinah's. Straight from Linda Pearson.