By: Melanie Warner

A true road trip wouldn’t be complete without a stop in Los Angeles to visit a small gem along the California Coast. With all the glitz and glamor of Hollywood and Beverly Hills, where can you go to have authentic, hole-in-the-wall home-cooked road trip worthy food? Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause – even for naughty Angelenos. So grab Thelma and Louise and head to Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles in Hollywood. They are best known for serving chicken and waffles, but they serve brave hearts, too. Don’t worry – you’ll get that one on the way to church. In a land of health, beauty, and sprouts, it’s a welcomed, yet defiant, oasis of calories, comfort, and carbs. It might even be the only “real” thing left in the plastic city of tinsel town with its miles of back lots, fake facades, low-fat, half-caff, fame-seekers, and air kisses. Ironically, it’s in the City of Angels, in the heart of Hollywood, and is the epitome of soul food. What’s not to love? There is so much soul squeaking out of this joint, you can almost hear Barry White with each syrupy bite.

The small restaurant chain was started by Harlem native, Herb Hudson, in 1976. Since then, it’s been featured in many movies and continues to be a coveted secret fave of locals and even not-so-locals. Obama, Snoop Dog, David Beckham, and Larry King have all been spotted there. I even saw Michael Jackson waiting in line years ago, so they don’t play favorites even with the Hollywood crowd –which makes it strangely more appealing. The original restaurant is on Gower Blvd in Hollywood, and now there are several other locations throughout the LA area. Even with additional locations, there is always a line, so plan to spend some time as the food is sublime. The service is fast, but the juicy fried chicken, crispy waffles, and sweet syrup are memorable. Don’t even bother to count calories here, just enjoy the rush! And don’t worry…we won’t tell your trainer or your doctor!