727 N Broadway #128, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Fried Chicken is one of my absolute favorite comfort foods of all time. As a kid who always opted for chicken nuggets for happy meals, to devouring my mom's Filipino garlicky fried drumsticks, I hold fried chicken dearly in my heart-- like literally, it clogs my heart up.
Fried chicken has been the hottest food trend in Los Angeles as of late -- fried chicken and waffles have found their nest in every brunch menu, Korean fried chicken has taken its crown as the new "KFC," and every LA gastropub and modernesque establishment has taken its spin on the classic fried chicken sandwich (for example, take Southeast Asian inspired Night + Market Song's Thai Fried Chicken Sandwich with a spicy papaya slaw). Then in comes Howlin' Ray's Nashville Hot Chicken. What started as a food truck founded by a hot chicken-obsessed husband and wife duo Chefs Johnny and Amanda, Howlin' Ray's disrupted the LA fried chicken scene with their hot chicken sensation. Yes, the hottest food trend just got even hotter.
Want a chance with the hottest chick' in town? Well... get in line (but really though). If you see a line that snakes through the small, one-block long hallway of the Far East Plaza, then you have found the 1-3 hour line for Howlin' Rays. Trust me, this chicken is worth the wait, and the anticipation from each passing second is part of the experience.
At last, you have finally passed through the glass door that has for hours separated you from the holy grail of fried chicken. The one thing to definitely get here is the Fried Chicken Sandwich. a tender and juicy fried chicken breast topped with a tangy coleslaw and pickles. You can choose your heat level from "Country" (no spice) to "Howlin" (burning hot...I chickened out...). As someone who isn't too fond of spice, the Mild level is a sure bet. Mild packs enough heat to flaunt to your friends that you've had Nashville hot chicken while still having your tongue in good shape to actually say it.
Finally in your hands is the long awaited Howlin Rays Fried Chicken. The super-saturated red seasoning brushed over the perfectly crisped chicken coats your fingertips as if you devoured a bag of hot cheetos, When taking the first bite, you dig through the peppery-pasted crunchy layer and into the juicy and tender meat, packing a whole punch of heat. The tangy slaw and pickles provide just enough balance to counter the heat that has your lips swelling and forehead glistening, Every single bite after feels like the first, and you come to understand why this fried chicken is the best you can get in LA.