Augie's On Main
When you have chicken on the mind in Santa Monica, consider Augie’s—a fast-casual spot on Main Street from the Melisse chef. You’ll place your order on a mildly depressing automated screen up front, which is then redeemed by the pleasant little side patio filled with locals going to town on chicken. The specialty here is “dirty chicken,” which kind of reminds us of shake and bake: it’s roasted, juicy, and studded with panko-like bread crumbs. You can get it by the half-bird with two sides (ratatouille, corn ribs, and mashed potatoes are among the options) or stuffed in a baguette with arugula and pan drippings. It’s all a little salty and intense, so don’t come if you’re in the mood for something light, but Augie’s will satisfy a chicken craving when it strikes. There’s also a fried chicken sandwich, which is good, but nothing worth crossing town, plus a burger and a chopped salad.