LGO Hospitality’s Arizona-style roadhouse has one of the most stunning settings in the Southwest. Chelsea’s Kitchen could easily rest on the unqualified success of the open-air patio and bar, but they also deliver solid comfort food, especially at brunch.
The pan-fried slab of striped bass was crisp-skinned and juicy, with a base of parsnip puree, some colorful red pepper sauce and a thatch of crispy onions up top. The accompanying leeks were good, but the carrots were undercooked.
Wood-Fired Rotisserie Chicken ($18) came with house-made spaetzle and chicken jus. The chicken was juicy, with crisp, smoky skin. The spaetzle was good at first, but these asparagus-loaded pasta squiggles have a short life span. If I lived in town, I could definitely see myself dropping by Chelsea’s to grab a whole chicken to go, a relative bargain for $11.
Each LGO Hospitality restaurant features complimentary cookies by the door. At Chelsea’s Kitchen, that meant shortbread.
At Chelsea’s Kitchen (and La Grande Orange Cafe in Pasadena), the only way to get one of the great cinnamon rolls is to order the Dixie pan-fried chicken. Thankfully, it was the end of the night and the kitchen was feeling generous. It’s clearly one of the better cinnamon rolls around, pull apart and balanced, with no sickly-sweet icing in sight.
Two days later, we returned to Chelsea’s Kitchen for brunch. This time we arrived early enough to score a prized table on the patio. On the weekend, it’s a great spot to watch runners and bikers pass by on the canalside path.
The Chilaquiles ($11) at Chelsea’s Kitchen were a marked improvement on the version we enjoyed just two days earlier at King’s Highway in Palm Springs. The classic Mexican casserole was layered with crispy baked tortillas, pulled chicken, cheese, a single sunny-side up egg and sliced red jalapenos. The concoction was blanketed with pico de gallo and flanked by smoky ranchero salsa and spicy salsa verde.
Chelsea’s Eggs Benedict ($13) was a big improvement on traditional eggs Benedict. The improvement began at the base, with a griddled house-made English muffin. The muffin was layered with sautéed spinach, crusty pulled and sliced pork cooked on a rotisserie over mesquite and flavorful grain-mustard Hollandaise. Some hog meat was too fatty, but overall the dish was a winner. There are some good brunch options at La Grande Orange Café in Pasadena, but none as satisfying as this dish.
Chelsea’s Kitchen is the kind of versatile restaurant that would play very well in Los Angeles. L.A. features plenty of outdoor restaurants that get mobbed just for of the setting. Chelsea’s Kitchen didn’t settle for scene.