For epicurean kids, Plan Check Kitchen + Bar unveiled its new children’s menu last month, with smaller portions of some of their most-famed dishes, like smokey friend chicken, and the PCB (Plan Check Burger) Jr., sans onions. The ambiance of this bar and restaurant is decidedly grown-up, but even after 7 pm on a Sunday night, the place is crawling with young kids, out with the ‘rents for a family dinner.
While the kids menu throws in one can’t-miss favorite of grilled cheese, the other offerings are suited for kids who have a bit more adventurous palate. My seven-year-old son went for the BBQ chicken stix, which are definitely not your typical chicken fingers. These tender and tasty skewers, swathed in tangy BBQ sauce and sprinkled with crunch cheddar ban bacon bits, presented in a mini iron skillet on a bed of fries, were just to my son’s liking, though for those who prefer breaded nuggets, these fingers would have gone untouched.
While the kids menu is called such, even the drinks -- fountain soda, lemonade, or iced tea, eschew the usuals -- juices and milk, and are served in a tall narrow glass -- no plastic sippy with a straw here. For sure, this kids menu is not your standard, and like the atmosphere -- a bit noisy, hip and happening -- the menu is exciting enough for adults, but tame enough to appeal to kids.
For the of-age crowd, the upscale comfort food is divinely satisfying. The portions may seem small, but the food is filling as it is scrumptious. The sweet potato waffle fries, made with beef tallow, pop with flavor as vivid as the bright orange color, and the smokey fried chicken earns its reputation as mouth-watering -- one of those dishes where you take a bite then your eyes go wide when the flavor saturates your soul.
The cruller donuts are the final treat to finish off such a delectable meal. The cinnamon-coated dough twists come with a dipping cream sauce and cream mousse along with banana slices for the ultimate donut fix.
Plan Check Bar + Restaurant is smart to be so different from its neighbors. It’s not what you would expect in the middle of LA, which makes you wonder, “Where else could you go for a meal like this?” The answer is nowhere I can think of. And that makes it even better.
The crowd is eclectic. In addition to the sprinkling of families, there was a large contingent of stylish (assume gay) men, attractive single men and women at the bar. Prices are reasonable, with burgers and sandwiches $12 to $13, and other entrees from $13 to $16. Some of the snacks and apps are particularly unique, such as the selection of pickles and a wire basket of exotic veggie chips with avocado dip.
Plan Check, which takes its name from its original location across from the Building and Safety Department, where architects, engineers and the like would lunch while reviewing plans for permitting, has two current locations are at 351 N. Fairfax and 1800 Sawtelle in LA. A downtown location on Wilshire is due to open soon.