1 Howlin Ray'sHowlin Ray's/Facebook
Where should you go for Nashville fried chicken in L.A.? Chinatown. We kid you not. Chef Johnny has a resume so immense that you automatically know his clucking confections are going to be worthy of the most disciminate foodies—he's worked professionally under some of the best chefs in the world, including Thomas Keller, Gordon Ramsay and Nobu Matsuhisa. There's every kind of hot chicken available here, from chicken plates with pickles and bread to wings to chicken and waffles (with peach tea to wash it all down). Bonus points if you go for the extra, extra hot 'Howlin' sauce. Your mouth will simultaneously thank you and hate you.
727 N Broadway #128, Los Angeles, CA 90012
2 The BellwetherThe Bellwether/Facebook
Chef Ted Hopson does Nashville hot chicken his way (the RIGHT way) at his Studio City eatery: crispy, crunchy chicken is liberally pillowed by Pimento cheese with green tomato chow chow, served on a buttery, fluffy bun. This is always on the brunch menu, but he also offers crispy chicken, fried so perfectly you may not leave a leg (or a wing) standing.
13251 Ventura Blvd a, Studio City, CA 91604
3 Gus's World Famous Fried ChickenGus's World Famous Fried Chicken/Facebook
Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken is just that. It started as a local, family-grown spot in Mason, Tennessee, which morphed into an empire. There's something for everyone here: wings, 'snacks' (which can range from two pieces to 20...some snack) to fried okra to sweet potato and pecan pie, just like your momma made it...or someone else's momma, who really knows how to make an awesome pecan pie. The chicken, with its wonderful texture and perfect amount of seasoning, is of course, is the featured attraction, but with so many excellent accoutrements, Gus's is a great place to go for a true and comprehensive taste of the south.
1262 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019
4 AlimentoAlimento LA/Facebook
If you're looking for awesome fried chicken in a more ambient spot (and with a fancier name) try Zack Pollack's Chicken Milanese, an Italian-esque confection of a chicken cutlet topped with prosciutto cotto, a puntarelle slaw, pepperoncini and spicy mayo, served on a decadent and delicious house-made brioche bun.
1710 Silver Lake Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
5 Hotville ChickenHotville Chicken/Facebook
The newest and hottest (pardon our pun) chicken joint in Tinseltown is Hotville Chicken, a Saturday only pop-up just down the street from Howlin' Ray's in Chinatown. It's run by fried chicken royalty Kim Prince, whose family is behind Nashville's James Beard Award-winning Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack (where hot chicken is meant to have actually originated). The Nashville staple has been adapted for California cool, with heat levels ranging from “Cali Mild” to “Music City Medium” to “Nashville Hot.” Make sure to order the amazing sides with your chicken, such as jalapeño mac ’n’ cheese, rich potato salad and BBQ baked beans.