Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken is a fitting title. The restaurant’s two namesakes encompass literally the entire menu, and thankfully each of them are done quite well. It may take a few minutes to get the chance to order, since Astro Donuts and Fried Chicken has caught fire among the LA food crowd and there’s often a line out the door at this small downtown establishment. But if you’re looking for a little afternoon indulgence, this is certainly a cultural hotspot to add to your list.
Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken originated in Washington D.C. and established a cult-like following, and looks to be doing the same in DTLA. The place really is quite humble in both its looks and its food, emphasizing the quality of both that much further. A few minimalist tables and barstools at the counter and window make up pretty much the entire seating arrangement, though much of the food at this fast-casual spot is taken to go.
The fried chicken here is as solid as anywhere you’ll find outside the deep south. Crisp and golden on the outside with just the right amount of flakiness and crunch. Tender, juicy and flavorful on the inside. Their customizable chicken sandwiches are certainly where it’s at—the cheddar biscuit bun was heavenly, and their many dipping sauces add character. It would be nice to make them bigger though, as one sandwich was tough to justify as a meal.
Donuts here certainly ride the food trend wave of fun flavors that integrate nostalgic with new-age. Maple bacon, PB&J and chocolate mudslide were among the seasonal favorites. And while each creation released vibrant flavor, it is admittedly hard to justify paying more than $3 for a single donut and nearly $40 for a dozen. Worth trying to say you did and feel like you’re part of the ‘in’ crowd? Sure. For repeat visits, I’d stick with the chicken.
To end on a good note, though, you've gotta give credit to their beverage program. Nitro coffee takes it for breakfast, and their Boylan cane sugar soda fountain owns lunch...where else are you going to get birch beer and cream soda on tap?!?
Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken is located at 516 W 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014. Donuts ~$3.50, chicken sandwiches ~$9 and chicken entrees ~$13. Open Mon – Fri 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Sat 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Closed Sunday. For more information call (213) 622-7876 or visit them at AstroDoughnuts.com.
Benjamin Brown is a seasoned restaurant writer and hospitality consultant, serving up SoCal's hottest food news and reviews.