78: The Buttermilk Chicken Sandwich at Lake and Irving


Don't let the fancy chef clothes and the Uptown address fool you. Brothers Chris and Andrew Ikeda of Lake & Irving earned their stripes as line cooks at Perkins.

You'd think between the salmon quinoa and the crab-crusted snapper these boys churn out nowadays they must've lost their roots while working in elite kitchens in Napa Valley and Hawaii. But it seems they carved out some corners of the menu to remember their line-cook origins.

One of their first projects was to take the chicken sandwich to another level without losing its mass appeal. Mission accomplished, Ikeda brothers. This sandwich tastes so down-home delicious that it's amazing it shares menu space with some of the more hoity-toity offerings.

See also: Siblings Join Forces at Lake & Irving


The fried chicken at the center of the Lake & Irving Buttermilk chicken sandwich satisfies with every crispy bite. The breast is big enough to always give you more meat than breading and the Kadejan chicken doesn't disappoint.

But let's dwell on the breading for a moment. The ridged buttermilk crust creates tons of surplus space for the Sriracha aioli to drizzle into. The boys from Lake & Irving also tapped Cady Creek Farms to provide a rich, creamy pepperjack that has just enough peppery spice to stand out from the aioli.

To top it off Lake & Irving adds thick, crispy Duroc bacon and sandwiches it all between two thin slices of sourdough toast. It's an American miracle sitting on a plate. We've seen patrons start singing the National Anthem after a couple bites and a swig of the Bells Two Hearted that they keep parked at $4 a pint every hour they're open.

The concept of a bacon-topped chicken sandwich is so great that it would taste good if it were cooked on a hot plate in the back of a Sysco truck. But with top-notch ingredients the tastes and textures go beyond what you expect.

Grab a couple extra napkins and dig in. Pour a little bit of that Two Hearted out on the salad you will probably be too full to eat -- in honor of never eating a chicken sandwich at a Perkins again.

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