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Restaurants & Bars 3

Ponchik Factory

lil mikey | May 24, 200212:31 PM

Adversity breeds flexibility.

I took a new job on Sunset between Cahuenga and Highland. My first week, I would get in the car and drive to lunch, since there seemed to be nothing around there. Slowly, though, I started trying the restaurants within walking distance.

Chan Dara, Café des Artistes, The Cat & Fiddle. All fine (I especially like Café des Artistes), but after a while, you kind of work your way through their menu, and it seems ho hum.

So then out came the phone book, and a stream of delivery guys came through the office. Pretty soon, we had a whole binder full of menus from places that delivered.

Over this whole period, I kept noticing other employees going into a small storefront restaurant called Ponchik Factory. It’s in the north side of Sunset, just west of Schraeder. And then it happened. I was totally starving, and didn’t have much time, so I decided to try it.

This is a pretty small place, and it seems they do the vast majority of their business either by delivery or takeout. There are, however 6 tables inside, and on nice days, a couple outside on Sunset (the smoking section).

They have a broad menu consisting of everything from pizzas to sandwiches to salads to hamburgers to smoothies… It just goes on and on; but the real surprise here is that it’s all good. I’ve now had many different items on their menu, and unlike Jerry’s Famous Deli, which serves a lot of stuff, but none of it very well, this place actually makes good food.

First I went through my pizza phase, and tried several of their pizzas: Hawaiian, basic cheese, chicken. Then it was the sandwiches: club, ham, tuna salad. Then it was on to the salads: chef’s, vegetable salad with tuna, vegetable salad with chicken. And then to one of their best items, the rotisserie chicken itself.

Every time I went in there, I would see the chickens roasting in the rotisserie machine. For no reason at all, I always dismissed it out of hand. But finally, I just had a craving for some chicken by itself (not on a salad or pizza or sandwich), and WOW. It is really good. I find most chicken in restaurants is overcooked. The Price Club does a good chicken. It’s not overcooked, but moist and tender. And Ponchik Factory has also mastered this. It’s flavorful, and moist.

The smoothies there are also good, although a little expensive. They have a whole bunch of different ones to choose from (like 15 or so), and since there is a daily special, I just get the special so I can try the different varieties.

Overall a solid restaurant. They have breakfast (although I have never had it), and obviously lunch. I don’t know if they’re open for dinner.

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