Monday, July 3, 2017

Wilson's Words of Wisdom: July Round Up (Fried Chicken in Los Angeles)

Nothing says summer food to me more than Popsicles, freshly cut juicy watermelon, corn on the cob, grilled and BBQ meats, and without a doubt...

fried chicken.

Whether packed for a picnic, shared at a cookout or simply eaten at any given time, there's nothing like crunchy, scrumptious, very-well-seasoned fried chicken.

So in honor of the season and some incredible places delighting us with their perfectly fried deliciousness, this month's round up is dedicated to (some of) the Best Fried Chicken in the city. From kettle fried to “hot” chicken, high-end to economic, and everything in between, these six places are sure to satisfy.

Read below and don't forget to drop your favorite fried chicken spot in the comments section below, too!

Jim Dandy Fried Chicken 

Forget about Popeye’s and don't even bother with KFC — it's Jim Dandy that fits the bill when you’re looking for cheap, but still satisfying fried chicken. It's easy to forget it’s a fast food stand, because everything is seasoned so well; I mean, I even like the greens here, and I'm pretty picky about my greens. Jim's chicken is quite crispy on the outside and plump and juicy on the inside. Choose from regular or spicy (which, IMO is pretty mild; there just seems to be more spices in the batter). But best of all, the food here is a low price point. You can get like five pieces of chicken, two sides, two rolls and a drink, all for like, $2. OK, maybe not that cheap, but most of their dinners and combos for up to 4 pieces of chicken — which come with a side or two — are less than $8. There are two locations, both in South L.A. — one on Vermont, the other on Manchester.
For more info

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken is a southern classic that originally launched in Tennessee and has now expanded to 22 locations in 11 states. Quite recently, the chain has made its way to the best side, the Westside, with locations in Burbank and central L.A. The L.A. Location has a low-key, casual vibe, with red-and-white checkered tablecloths, bottled beers, exposed red bricks and several TV screens. I wasn't completely sold on the BBQ beans or the mac ‘n’ cheese sides, but the actual fried chicken itself? Unforgettable. Gus’s features “hot” chicken — a type of fried chicken from Nashville that goes through a special multi-step process of preparing the chicken. What ends up as part of the process is that there’s a thin coating of "secret" spices layered between the skin and meat, and when you bite into it, there’s definitely a noticeable kick. And, I don't know how they managed to do it, but the chefs have made it so the skin stays crispy — even the next day. Best of all, they have the Monday special: four legs, side and a drink, all for eight bucks.
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astro doughnuts & fried chicken opened this Spring 2017 in DTLA, hailing from our nation's capital. And while astro may be known for its massive donuts that have awesomely creative flavors — like the seasonal cherry blossom flavor in honor of the cherry blossom season in D.C. or the maple bacon flavor, which blows my mind every time I eat it  (pictured above) — don't. sleep. on. the. fried chicken. astro makes these incredible sandwiches that have golden flavorful fried chicken pieces stacked between two pieces of bread — choose from a potato roll, cheddar biscuit or my favorite, a savory donut, topped with Old Bay spices. You can also top your chicken with hot sauce, honey butter, sausage gravy or one of the other six sauces which range from Sriracha Buffalo to Blue Cheese and Ranch. It's filling, it's bursting with flavor, it's just the way a fried chicken sandwich should be!
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La Louisanne in the Baldwin Hills area most certainly draws some very interesting characters and most certainly could benefit from a facelift, but that doesn't stop folks from flocking to this dimly lit, low key bar/restaurant, especially on Mondays for the $1.99 plate of red beans & rice and fried chicken. Yes you read that right. $1.99. For a whole entire plate. The chicken is fried hard and the beans and rice have a Southern flair. A lady makes her way around the rooms, passing out these plates, and you can order as many as you'd like, so long as you pay cash. A singer backed by a house band belts out live jazz/blues/R&B covers and cocktails here are stiff...just make sure to order them at the bar; table service can take a painfully long time.
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Honey's Kettle Fresh Fried Chicken in cutesy downtown Culver City is a fast casual restaurant that serves up "kettle-fried" chicken — a process that creates light, smooth but still crispy chicken. Portions here are massive; a combo, such as the 2 Piece Lunch with Kettle fries, butter pickles and a biscuit, pictured above, is so large that can easily be shared between two people. The buttermilk biscuits with the side of warmed honey are hot and fluffy, and go with the chicken so well. Sides I've tried and liked so far: the fries, the sautéed green beans and the fresh cole slaw.
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Comfort LA

Comfort LA has made quite the appearance on my blog on multiple occasions, but I'd be remiss not to mention them once again for their fantastic chicken wings drizzled with "that sauce." No, you can't get breasts, legs or any other cuts, but what you can get is 6, 18 or 100 tiny flats and drumettes, covered in chives and a housemade sauce that has a tangy, slightly sweet kick to it. Comfort LA also stays winning for its late late hours (open until 3 a.m. on the weekends), its BYOB policy (and yes, that includes alcoholic drank), a plethora of games to play (like dominoes, which I challenge anyone to play at any given time) and its involvement with the local communities by hosting a lot of community-centered events for NPOs and orgs working on notable causes.
For more info