The 10 Best Fried Chicken Spots in Los Angeles
Los Angeles is currently in love with fried chicken. Sure, it's been available for as long as L.A.'s had poultry running around, but in the past couple of years Angelenos have completely lost their minds for it.
Below are our 10 favorite options for fried bird in the city — though it's worth mentioning two wild cards at different ends of the spectrum. Bouchon in Beverly Hills serves truly excellent fried chicken, but it doesn't make the list because the setting is so elegant that you don't feel quite comfortable eating with your hands, which is the right and true way to eat fried chicken. Also, there is a quiet but large cult of Angelenos who know when the Ralph's at La Brea and Third pulls its chicken out of the fryers, and they make a point of showing up for it. It's on par with anything in Atlanta, they swear.
But if you can't wait around at the grocery store, here are a bunch of other places to get great fried chicken any day of the week.
Though the doughnuts dominate visually when you walk in, there is a full menu of craggy-crusted fried chicken to be had. Customers can choose between white and dark meat on the bone, boneless tenders and sandwiches. Don’t let the ghost pepper referenced in the Spicy Bird description deter you — the sandwich barely evokes a warm glow, which is cut by cooling coleslaw and a couple of pickle slices. It’s the sort of sandwich you can see capping off an extended drinking session before you pass out at 3 a.m. —Scott Reitz
314 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown; (213) 536-5720, birdiesla.com.
You want to save room for pies when you eat at Honeybird, but it's hard, because the juicy, highly seasoned fried chicken is so darn good. It's brined for 48 hours before frying, which is Honeybird's not-so-secret secret to poultry success. The sides are well regarded, too, especially the garlic mashed potatoes — though this summer, you might opt for the watermelon-feta salad instead. Whatever your side, you're getting great chicken. —Katherine Spiers
714 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada Flintridge; (818) 415-0489, honeybirdla.com.
Taiwan has a great tradition of fried foods. Like the many iterations of fried chicken around the world, Hot-Star's Taiwanese version has a secret recipe of herbs and spices. The signature menu item is a large chicken breast, pounded flat, coated with flour (traditionally sweet potato flour) and then fried. On the menu it's called large fried chicken. Fried chicken cutlets have been served for years at Taiwanese diners and snack shops such as the venerable Old Country Café — usually on a plate, over rice with pickled vegetables and half a tea egg — so this isn’t anything new in that regard. Hot-Star wasn’t even the first Taiwanese fried chicken breast chain to open in the SGV, as Buddy Chicken opened before it in Arcadia’s Westfield Santa Anita Mall. But it is the first time a place with a direct link to the Shilin Night Market has hit our shores. —Jim Thurman
7. Mom's Bar-B-Q House
In the corner of a Van Nuys strip mall is Mom's Bar-B-Q House, a small joint where "Mom" is from Louisiana and her menu focuses primarily on great barbecue (beef and pork ribs, hot and mild links, etc). But enough people in line will order the fried chicken to convince you that you should at least try a wing with that rib, and you'll be all the better for it: Mom's fried chicken is nicely fried to a golden crunch with nary a slick of excess oil anywhere. Add that to her uniquely sweet macaroni and cheese and the almost disconcertingly friendly service, and you have a perfect lunch in the Valley. —Tien Nguyen
14062 Vanowen St., Van Nuys; (818) 786-1373.
Two-piece and biscuit at Krispy Crunchy Chicken
6. Krispy Krunchy
If you haven’t heard of this Louisiana-based fast-food outfit with more than 2,000 locations nationwide, don’t be surprised. The core of Krispy Krunchy’s business model involves partnering with gas stations and convenience stores, which fry and sell its proprietary “Cajun recipe” chicken on-site. In Los Angeles, the two free-standing locations are located inside South L.A. shopping malls — one in the Slauson Supermall, the other in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. But don't be fooled, this stuff is more than food-court fodder. Krispy Krunchy’s chicken easily bests fast-food giants like Popeye’s and Church’s. The skin is as crackly as the name suggests, and the meat is quite moist thanks to a patented “Cajun flavor injection” technique, which is surely as terrible for you as it sounds. But hey, there’s also blueberry biscuits, and those are basically fruit, right? —Garrett Snyder
Various locations including 3650 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Baldwin Hills; (323) 293-3332, krispykrunchy.com.
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