Free Range LA Chef Jesse Furman started with a stand at the Sunday Melrose Place Farmers Market that is still going strong. Last year, he launched a truck that clucks. All manner of chicken and egg dishes are available for breakfast and lunch, often in front of either the West Hollywood or Palms branch of Coffee Commissary, which Furman’s business partner Tyler King owns. Furman, who I know from his days with MILK and Red Medicine, consistently serves some of L.A.’s highest quality comfort food, and not just for a truck, which would be a slight. His fried chicken sandwich, fully-loaded biscuits and avocado toast are textbook. I’d recommend them all, though I tend to ask Furman what dishes are in development, and haven’t been disappointed yet. He recently riffed on Nashville hot chicken, and last week, busted out a terrific Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwich ($11).
Furman used Tijuana’s most iconic dish as a starting point, capturing the salad’s pungency, acidity and crunch between a bun. The ingredients stray from Caesar Cardini’s original recipe, which was just fine by me. Free Range LA’s grilled chicken thigh is especially juicy thanks to brining and and a marinade of garlic, rosemary and olive oil. The seared results are served in soft Melrose Baking Company brioche bun with crisp romaine, umami-rich anchovy creme fraiche, tangy capers and panko for crunch.