New Fried Chicken + Fancy Donut Shop - Open 24 Hours A Day on Fri & Sat - Birdies

From the ashes of Mabel’s Chicken & Waffles, the short-lived casual Fried Chicken joint that closed down in Downtown L.A., it appears the chef and owner have rebranded the concept into serving Fried Chicken and Gourmet Donuts and Intelligentsia Coffee, now known as Birdies.

I was excited to try Mabel’s last year, but had mixed experiences with it. The server today mentioned that the Fried Chicken recipe is tweaked a little, and they use a higher quality Free-Range Chicken.

Fried Chicken Breast & Wing:

I didn’t have high hopes after my experiences with Mabel’s, but wanted to try the new Chicken and recipe. One thing that worried me was that after ordering, the server confirmed the Fried Chicken would be ready in “5 minutes or less.” Clearly they’re not cooking it from scratch (which would probably take too long), but I was curious how crispy or fresh it would be.

The Chicken Breast arrived boneless, but surprisingly it was piping hot, and decently crispy. It also wasn’t too salty like my encounter last year at their old business. It was juicy, and the Free-Range Chicken tasted fresh. Not bad.

The Chicken Wing, however, was a disappointment: It was room temperature, and the skin was flabby, not fried very well. :frowning: It also wasn’t as crisp as the Breast. It felt like they pre-made the wings much earlier in the day and it sat.

Fried Chicken Leg & Thigh:

The dark meat portion was juicy and fresh and also relatively hot (not as hot as the Chicken Breast).

They also offered Free Samples of every single Donut on the menu today, which was nice. :slight_smile: After sampling all of them, we picked up a bunch for friends.

They make two types of Donuts (from scratch): Cake Donuts and Yeast-Raised Donuts. Disclaimer: I’m not a Donut Fiend like many of the FTC’ers here. I generally don’t eat them that much. :stuck_out_tongue: So I’ll leave final evaluation to the experts.

Cinnamon Toast Streusel:

It was still very fresh and slightly warm. Their Cinnamon Toast Crumble on top was also made from scratch according to the server. It was the sweetest Donut on the menu (too much for me), but the Cinnamon Toast crunch was pretty nice.

Horchata Twist with Dulce De Leche:

That was pretty awesome. I would’ve bought a half dozen to give away to friends, but they were sold out (they were dicing up the last one as samples to everyone). It was less sweet than the Cinnamon Toast, and more fragrant and delicate.

Blueberry Lemon:

The Blueberry Lemon was a Cake Donut, so it was more crumbly. But sadly, it was too dry (overcooked) and tasted like we were eating a dry cake with Blueberry Frosting on top.

Candied Maple Bacon:

Real chunks of Candied Maple Bacon on top of this fluffy Donut made it a win. :slight_smile: We’ve seen the combination of Bacon with Sweet before at Nickel Diner and Huckleberry and other places, but Birdies was also pretty successful. Definitely had to get this one.

Triple Dark Chocolate:

This was the least sweet Donut on the menu, in a good way. Rich, Dark Chocolate, with a nice bitter, cacao edge throughout each bite. I think I would’ve liked this better if I didn’t recently have Bulgarini Gelato’s ridiculous Dark Chocolate & Orange Gelato, which was so pure and resonated “Quality Dark Chocolate” that this paled in comparison. But it was still pretty tasty for Dark Chocolate fans.

Blackberry & Powdered Sugar:

This was filled with a fresh Blackberry Jelly. It was soft, fruity and a pretty good Jelly-filled Donut.

Lemon Thyme Pistachio:

Probably one of the most beautiful Donuts on the menu, it also tasted great. I loved the fresh, spring-like feel of the Lemon and Thyme, and the nutty Pistachio notes really completed it. It wasn’t as sweet as some of the other Donuts.

Strawberry White Chocolate:

My favorite of the Donuts, the Strawberry White Chocolate had a really fragrant fresh Strawberry flavor, and the White Chocolate went perfect with it. :slight_smile:

One other note: The server said Birdies is trying to make a fresh batch of Donuts every 2 hours, which is really nice. So they make small batches and try to keep fresh / warm Donuts on rotation throughout the day.

Birdies Fried Chicken won’t make me forget about Flossie’s (RIP) any time soon, and with Howlin’ Ray’s opening soon, I’d rather go there. If they can sort out their frying issues, and deliver a more consistent, crispy, hot product, I wouldn’t mind stopping in if I was in the area.

They will start serving their Fried Chicken 24 Hours A Day on Fridays and Saturdays, starting April 15, 2016.

314 West Olympic Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Tel: (213) 536-5720
Or, (213) 536-5714


The donuts don’t look that appetizing. :frowning: Glad to hear they tasted good (for the most part).

Tried this spot over the week and the donuts were solid. I actually thought the horchata was a bit too sweet and preferred the bacon/maple here to the versions I’ve had at Nickel Diner and Sidecar. Here’s a photo on mine from the back alley, ha.ha.

I had the chicken bites and they were great–cooked properly, nice crunch and a decent amount of spice. This is definitely going to become one of my post-Ace Hotel spots.

(also: feels good to post here w/ y’all again. Changed my ID from “the old site,” but definitely recognize some of the IDs! :slight_smile: )


Hi @paranoidgarliclover,

Yah, it might’ve been the lighting in the restaurant (sort of dark / off color). But in person they looked better LOL.

Besides that though, I’m seriously not a Donut expert, but with all the mixed reviews on Blue Star and Sidecar (and I just don’t really crave super sugary desserts :stuck_out_tongue:, so I leave that up to the experts.

@raihan welcome to FTC! Glad you found us. :slight_smile: What was your old ID from our old board?

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Oh wow those donuts look great. But I’m most excited about free-range fried chicken. It’s been my wish that more soul food or restaurants in general would go free-range.

I thought they looked great.

…Your pictures, not their website so much.

My one and only visit here was so forgettable I almost forgot to post about it. Went in at 7 p.m. on a Saturday night for a pre-concert meal. They were already sold out of the thigh and leg combo. I thought that was ridiculous. For being open 24 hours Fri and Sat, how are you out that early?

I defaulted to getting some wings, which were pedestrian at best. Small pieces, boring sauce, soggy and not crisp, 6 pieces for that is just bad QPR.

Not in a hurry to go back.

Hi Food Lovers -

I need to get chicken for about 6-8 people Wednesday eve. Have you had Howlin’ Ray’s? Which do you prefer?


The Howlin Ray’s thread is here: Legendary Fried Chicken & Nashville Hot Chicken Hits L.A. - Howlin' Ray's New Restaurant!

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If you’re going to be in the DTLA area, you should consider Poppy + Rose.

They typically have just fried chicken and waffles as a breakfast item, but will accommodate requests in advance, and they will deliver as well.

Oh, and because I know you care about the provenance of your food, Poppy + Rose use Mary’s Chicken. 'Natch.

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[quote=“ipsedixit, post:11, topic:3055”]
Poppy + Rose
[/quote] The picture is crave worthy.

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