Southern California’s Mexican food scene may grab all the headlines when it comes to talking about cuisines synonymous with the region, but there’s a growing case to be made for SoCal’s chicken scene too.
It might sound odd at first, and maybe you’re asking yourself what’s so special about chicken, which you can get in just about any neighborhood in the city. But that’s just it -- everyone does it just a little bit differently, and the result is a surprisingly staggering selection of scrumptious spots for chicken, all with different cultural and regional tweaks on how they serve it. There’s Howlin’ Ray’s Nashville-style hot chicken, which draws customers from all over willing to wait hours for their fix, Monterey Park’s Japanese-style fried chicken spot Tokyo Fried Chicken, Southern fried chicken at Honey’s Kettle in Culver City, Korean fried chicken at OB Bear in Koreatown and so much more. And that’s just the tip of the beak when it comes to getting good bird in L.A., with myriad other cultural varietals influenced by Mexican, Indian, Singaporean, and other cuisines.
What is your go-to chicken spot in Los Angeles? What makes it so great? We want to hear about your neighborhood spot at 866-893-5722.
For more on where to get some of the best chicken in Los Angeles, check out this LAist article, part of the series ‘How To L.A.’
AirTalk staff favorites
Matt D., producer: Pollos Puebla #1 -- Family owned and operated, this hole-in-the-wall spot in a strip mall on the Pasadena/Altadena border serves up delicious Mexican charbroiled chicken that is absolutely to die for and never too dry, even when you reheat it the next day. You can order it regular or spicy (I usually ask for an extra container of the spicy sauce they rub on the chicken while it cooks) and they serve it with tortillas and your choice of sides like rice, beans, and corn on the cob, so you can make your own little taco if you like. They even have a little bowl of jalapeño and Serrano peppers on the counter and they'll grill a couple up for you if you ask them.
Natalie C., producer: Chicken Guys - Rotisserie chicken truck that's at the South Pasadena farmers market every Thursday. Rows and rows of amazing roasted chicken - but the best part is the potatoes and garlic at the bottom that are being cooked in the chicken drippings. SO GOOD!
Cha Cha Chicken - AMAZING Caribbean food in Santa Monica. It's been family run for 20 years and it's basically a shack. One of the last sit down BYOB places in LA - everyone brings six packs and wine there. And the pineapple jerk chicken sauce is to die for!
Jacklyn Kim, assistant producer for KPCC and resident Korean fried chicken expert; she tweets @kimjacklyn