In honor of National Fried Chicken Day, these unique takes on fried yardbird display L.A.’s geographic and ethnic diversity. The only thing the preparations have in common is that they’re on the bone, utilize dark meat and are profoundly flavorful.
Izakaya Bincho [CLOSED]
Tomo Ueno trained at a yakitori bar in Saitama Prefecture before he and wife Megumi moved to Los Angeles to open their five-table, 520-square-foot shoebox on Redondo’s International Boardwalk. Sit at the counter and watch the chef work his magic on Fried Chicken Wings ($6.50), served fresh from the fryer, with miraculously thin skins and a spicy-sweet chile glaze that builds in intensity with each bite. Tomo san only uses premium free-range chicken.
The southern Thai restaurant from Chef Tui Sungkamee and sister Jazz Singsanong has become a Hollywood phenomenon, and their magic extends to fried chicken. Kai Kamin ($9.95) features bone-in nubs of chicken showered with turmeric and completely addictive fried garlic. The dish doesn’t need any embellishment, but the accompanying honey chile sauce sure didn’t hurt.
When Korea-based KyoChon Chicken opened a branch in Koreatown in 2007, the idea of eating at a 1000-link fried chicken chain seemed about as appealing as funneling a quart of Drano. They defied the odds by delivering a dynamic preparation of fried poultry. KyoChon fried chicken comes in two flavors: Garlic Soy Sauce and Hot Sweet Sauce. They sell wings and sticks, but the best way to experience the bird is by ordering a whole chicken ($17.99). The cooks hack the chicken into two-inch chunks with total disregard for joint placement. The luscious meat is jacketed with a thin, crispy sheathe. The frying process fused the garlic soy sauce into the skin, and since the chicken isn’t battered, melts away the succulent skin’s fat.
Chef Larkin Mackey’s Good Ole Fried Chicken ($10) is lightly breaded, well seasoned and expertly fried. The dark meat retains its moisture while barely betraying a hint of grease. The crust couldn’t have been more than a millimeter thin, and the skin was virtually fat-free.
The side: Aunt Carolyn’s Potato Salad, inspired by a version from Larkin’s aunt, “sweet and spicy,” studded with chunks of red and green pepper. The menu claims the potatoes inspire diners to “slap yo’ mamma.” My mamma was nowhere in sight, and my friend was bigger than me, so I’ll have to save the slapping for next time.
The best time to get your chicken fix is on Sundays, when Larkin’s offers a “Poor Man’s Buffet.” Certain Sundays, the $12.99 feast includes all-you-can-eat fried chicken (and catfish, and smothered pork chops, and mac ‘n cheese…).
November 11, 2011 at 9:44 PM
I’m very interested in participating in any future fried chicken cook offs. I believe we have some award winning fried chicken in Woodland Hills at Cable’s Restaurant.
April 27, 2010 at 9:33 AM
Great list… must try the Jitlada fried chicken next time I’m there…
fried chicken gizzards
April 4, 2010 at 5:39 AM
[…] chicken gizzards Food GPS Top Fried Chicken in Los AngelesIn honor of National Fried Chicken Day, here are five unique takes on fried yardbird, displaying […]
December 18, 2009 at 10:43 AM
I am also a big fan of Kyochon, but for late night fried chicken bites, the wings at Dan Sung Sa are great. They also have fried chicken gizzards and fried chicken butt, both served with a generous heaping of deep fried garlic and slices of fresh jalepeno.
December 18, 2009 at 10:54 AM
Maian, thanks for the tip. I’ve eaten at Seongbukdong many times, but never walked across the parking lot to try Dan Sung Sa. Sounds like it’s overdue.
July 8, 2009 at 10:12 AM
Izakaya Bincho service is terrible. I’ve never been treated so poorly by an establishment. We went there on a Friday night at 6:30pm. With 2 other parties seated, they looked our group of 3 people, and the “host” without speaking turn the “open” sign to “close”. Turned her back to us and didn’t say one word. I spoke to one other couple and said they got the same treatment as well. AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE…
July 7, 2009 at 1:02 PM
Have you tried the Monday Night Special at Babe and Ricky’s? Great blues and even better chicken.
July 7, 2009 at 1:31 PM
I haven’t had a chance to try the fried chicken at Babe and Ricky’s, but I’m overdue for a return trip to Leimert Park. This sounds like a great reason. Thanks for the tip.
July 7, 2009 at 11:43 AM
What about Pann’s? Then there is Honey Kettle and the like.
Is this list restricted to only unusual takes or higher end cchicken?
July 7, 2009 at 12:14 PM
No restrictions, and only LudoBites comes halfway close to high end. A lot of people seem to like Honey Kettle more than me. Is that one of your favorites?
July 7, 2009 at 9:30 AM
I haven’t tried any of those. I am spoiled by my mom’s that I tried to duplicate Saturday.
July 7, 2009 at 8:51 AM
Ah, just a note, I believe the Larkin’s Sunday AYCE bonanza is $13 now (well technically $12.99)
Top Fried Chicken in Los Angeles | Adobe Tutorials
July 6, 2009 at 10:16 PM
[…] In honor of National Fried Chicken Day, here are five unique takes on fried yardbird, displaying L.A.’s geographic and ethnic diversity. The only thing the preparations have in common is that they’re on the bone, utilize dark meat and are profoundly flavorful. Read the original: Top Fried Chicken in Los Angeles […]
July 6, 2009 at 8:08 PM
I’ve tried all of those except Ludo’s! I’m sure they’re delicious though.
July 6, 2009 at 5:24 PM
Nice list! I was actually thinking of the chicken at Boneyard Bistro, which I know you’re familiar with! 🙂
July 6, 2009 at 8:20 PM
Boneyard Bistro deserves honorable mention for their Monday night fried chicken. La Grande Orange was also a contender but was disqualified because it’s boneless chicken breast. Several other spots warranted consideration.