Huckleberry Cafe & Bakery: Thursday Night Family Dinner + KCRW

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Restaurant Santa Monica

Huckleberry teamed with another Santa Monica favorite, KCRW, for a fried chicken and pie fundraiser.

Some people bike or run hundreds of miles to raise money for a cause. I enjoy contributing to fundraising efforts, but tend to take a less agro approach. As part of their “Thursday Night Family Dinner” series, Huckleberry Cafe & Bakery recently featured fried chicken to help benefit KCRW’s 4th annual “Good Food Pie Contest.” Huckleberry? Fried chicken? Pie? Only $33 per person? Yes, yes, four times yes!

Huckleberry Cafe, the massively popular Santa Monica cafe and bakery from restaurateur Josh Loeb and chef Zoe Nathan, typically has a healthy line from breakfast through lunch, and one of the great things about their Thursday night dinner series is full service, which increases enjoyment even more than usual by wiping lines clean.

I also didn’t have to deliberate between the dozens of enticing options on the counter and in the adjacent display case. I’m occasionally happy to avoid the paradox of choice.

Nuts Los Angeles

Huckleberry spiced nuts like almonds, pistachios, walnuts, macadamias and pecans with a sweet and savory blend of cayenne, cinnamon, butter and sugar.

Crostata Los Angeles

Nathan clearly has a handle on crust, and I enjoyed two versions throughout the night, beginning with flaky Heirloom Tomato Crostata plated alongside tangy Drake Family Farm goat cheese and an arugula thatch.

Here’s hoping that Nathan never enters the KCRW “Good Food Pie Contest” herself, because the competition would be in for a war.

Nathan changed her Free Range Fried Jidori Chicken recipe since I named Huckleberry’s bird to my Top Fried Chicken in Los Angeles list.

Fried Chicken Los Angeles

Buttermilk brined bird wears a thick flour coat seasoned with cayenne and hot sauce. For summer, the juicy chicken came with a sweet Brentwood corn, purple runner bean and fava bean succotash.

Pie Los Angeles

Dessert consisted of Old Fashioned Peach Pie with a streusel top, buttery crust and sweet stone fruit near the peak of the season. A classic scoop of vanilla ice cream from sister establishment Sweet Rose Creamery served as the topper.

I devoured my share of seasonal fare and left satisfied in knowing that at least partly due to our contribution, KCRW could once again pit hundreds of pies against each other.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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