By Kumar Bloomstein
In the newly-renovated strip mall sublot on the corner of Arrow and Indian Hill south of the Village is a tasty, affordable chicken joint called Pollos Kikyriki, or Kikiryki Peruvian Chicken. I haven’t a clue how the name “Kikiryki” applies to South American rotisserie chicken, but that’ll be dealt with the next time I head over to the eatery. It’s a great little spot tucked away amongst slightly larger stores, but is still visible enough (with its huge neon sign) to easily see when you approach it.
It was a Wednesday night, I had no food in my fridge, and a couple friends of mine were over at the house eating a plate of 1/4th chicken and sides from Kikiryki. As expected, I grabbed a fork and scrapped some extra chicken from the heap of meat, beans, and rice in the Styrofoam box. So much food, that the box was barely holding it in. You could hear the Styrofoam creak and bend when you ate that chicken. I decided that the next night I would get some Kikiryki, and do a review on it, and sure enough, there I was the next night to pick up a 1/4th chicken plate (combo #1), their flagship plate, and most affordable full meal.
I ordered the food five minutes before I picked it up, and it was done when I got there. Points for the hustle. The Styrofoam box had what it had in it the night before: a 1/4th chicken, sloppings beans, and steaming rice. The chicken cut I got was half of a breast and large wing. A lot of chicken. For those who do not eat boned meat or any meat at all, this is not the place for you. Its heavy meat-central menu and little boneless or vegetarian options make it a no-go for that portion of Pitzer students (unless you’re down for just rice and beans). They included the Aji sauce, an authentic Peruvian sauce, for me as well. When I asked them for an extra cup of sauce (which by the way is INCREDIBLE. Seriously though that Aji sauce is next level), they wanted to charge me an extra dollar. I’m pretty sure that sauce isn’t imported from Peru, so I don’t really understand why the hell it’s so expensive. It’s pretty dank though. But expensive. But dank.
Anyways, the menu also had a bunch of different other chicken-based dishes that looked pretty good, ranging from stews to chicken-veggie plates and such, but clearly the mainstay of Pollos Kikiryki is the rotisserie chicken. When I got home and finally started eating, I straight up gobbled that chicken so damn fast that outta nowhere, my entire plate was almost gone. Testament to that spice and seasoning. That chicken was pretty damn good. The best part: the whole plate, with a 1/4th chicken, rice, beans, and tortillas was 7.50! That’s not the cheapest food for a single meal, but for the amount of pure substance you get for your dollar, it’s a real good value.
All the food is simply delicious. Not the craziest rotisserie chicken I’ve ever had, but nowhere close to the bottom. Tasty, cheap, and easy to get to, Pollos Kikiryki is a real feasible option for your average 5C student and just about anyone living in Claremont. I’m curious to try the other plates; I can only speak to the main rotisserie chicken, but I’m sure there’s a bunch of additional great food to try. I’m getting hungry for it right now as I’m writing this. Overall I highly recommend this joint for anyone needing some juicy, spiced meat plates that are perfectly filling but not too much food. The interior of the store could be the only imperfect aspect one could point out: it isn’t the cleanest, but the booths are perfectly fine and there’s some real cool Latin-American magazines and news publications for free to read and take with your meal.
Besides the small, slightly cramped space of the restaurant, the food, which is bar-none the most important aspect of any restaurant review, was delicious. It was affordable, and it was quick. Kikiryki certainly won my heart with that Peruvian chicken, and I’m sure you’ll feel me when you get your hands on that.
Chicken: 7 ½ / 10
Beans: 5/10 (not good quality, but tasty)
Overall Score: 7/10 when you incorporate the price, quantity of food, quick service, and decent taste into evaluating its value. The quality of the food will certainly not be all natural or organic but tasty and definitely satisfying.
Directions: From the Pitzer Service Road go down Claremont Blvd. to Arrow blvd, take a right, and go down Arrow about a mile and turn into the commercial plaza on the left when you hit Indian Hill blvd.