Superb Birds

What’s with all the chicken?

It’s friggin’ delicious, that’s what.

Especially when made by two chefs who have chicken cooking in their blood, both of whom are taking downtown Las Vegas by storm with their chick-a-licious concoctions.

Cynics will complain that it’s simply a cheap protein that has universal appeal….primarily because it usually “tastes like chicken” (which is to say like nothing at all), and is made with all the heart and soul of elevator music.

But that’s only because they’ve yet to try Sheridan Su’s Hainanese Chicken Rice:

….a dish so elegant, and simple, and deceptive in its simplicity, that you will re-think every cliché you’ve ever heard about chicken from your very first bite.

The proper way to eat Hainanese chicken is to take a bite of chicken with rice at the same time, the whole accented by a dip in the house-made soy and garlic-ginger sauces. Calling it addictive is also a cliché, but one you won’t argue with as you shovel forkful after forkful into your pie-hole. (Yes, we at ELV know that you’re supposed to use chopsticks, but believe us, it’s a lot easier to eat rice, and chicken rice (and Asian noodles for that matter) with a fork.)

Sheridan (pictured above with wife Jenny), fell in love with this dish on a trip to Singapore, and he returned to Vegas determined to make it popular. One trip to Flock & Fowl — his tiny 16 seat restaurant on West Sahara — will show you how quickly he’s done that. If you don’t arrive well before noon, you’ll have to wait for a seat. And it’s only open for lunch, so there’s no sneaking in early for dinner. The good news is the plates come out fast and the turnover is quick, meaning: you won’t have long to wait until you’re tucking into a mound of rich, oily rice, and chicken with a whole new meaning.

Speaking of new meanings, is there any restaurant dish with more meaning than General Tso’s Chicken? If you’ve seen this mouth-watering movie, you know it’s practically the national dish of Chinese-American restaurants.

Tso (that our staff pronounces “sow” and the movie pronounces “so” and other people – some in the movie – pronounce “chow”) was apparently some George Washington-like figure in Chinese military lore, and he’s been honored (especially over the past 50 years or so) by having the world’s most famous sweet-n-spicy chicken dish named after him.

Historical references aside, chef/owner Natalie Young at Chow pronounces it “chow,” and what she is doing with his namesake recipe is nothing short of remarkable. It, along with her fried chicken :

…are taking these heretofore boring, sadly-prepared standards and making them sing. There hasn’t been fried chicken this good in Las Vegas since the Green Shack boarded up — yes, it’ll give Yardbird or Blue Ribbon a run for your money — and the crispy intensity of the skin alone (on the fried bird), and and the perfect piquancy of her hot and sweet sauce (on the General’s chicken), are each worth the trip to the far eastern reaches of Fremont Street.

Just as good on this eclectic, China-meets-the-Deep South  menu are Young’s potstickers:

…that are as pulchritudinously porky as you’d want these little pies to be.

And her riblets — thick sticks of hoisin’d harmony:

…are worth the handi-wipes and dental floss you’ll need to pack before you tackle them.

Chow has a lot going for it: easy to access location, cool, comfortable vibe:

…and a menu that knows just what it wants to be.

Which is what distinguishes both of these places, and why both are destined for success. Neither’s reach exceeds its grasp, and the chefs know how to think through a concept that will have consistent, and tasty, appeal for a broad audience.

Between them, dining downtown has never been so fowl.


380 West Sahara Ave.

Las Vegas, NV 89102



1020 East Fremont Street

Las Vegas, NV 89101



3 thoughts on “Superb Birds

  1. Hi, John!

    The number is (626) 616-6632. Thank you for having visited! I hope you continue to enjoy us when you can. :)
    Thanks for flocking to have our fowl.

  2. Went into flock and fowl .. was never greeted passed by the broad in the picture a few times.. she could have said hello or anything. I was busy had to split. It must be decent because the service seems to be terrible like most great asian places…

    So later went to chow. Wtf jon u are becoming way soft buddy. Place was a joke. Everything mediocre. Fried chicken on salad good. What seemed like canned mandarin oranges. Lame ass half ass Chinese chicken salad dressing. Blah totally weak.. ribs were decent but way top much sauce. And the crab Rangoon should be featured at heart attack grill for the amount of mayonnaise and salty yuzu…

    I’m very disappointed in your great review of chow. Still hoping flock is as good as you say.. otherwise it is confirmed you are way off your game. Shape up fucko.

  3. ELV responds: While we appreciate your taking our advice and attempting to follow in our footsteps, prudence is counseled before criticising anyone or anything based upon a non-visit, and then a few bites of three things at another place. Your criticism of the riblets at CHOW being too-saucy ignores the theme of the restaurant (which is Chinese-Southern), and on that level, the ribs hit the nail on the head. We didn’t try the chicken salad, but endeavor to always try a place more than once (and sample a broad array of dishes) before publishing our opinions….which, in this case, we stand behind. Fucko.

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