Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Howlin' Ray's.

Being a huge follower of the Food Network, recently I've been seeing a lot of craze over Nashville style hot chicken and I started to wonder what it was. Is it like chicken buffalo sauce? How spicy is it? What makes it special to Tennessee? Apparently, it's a type of chicken different than any type of chicken I've ever had. It's a type of fried chicken that is marinated in a water based blend of spicy seasoning, floured, and fried. It is finally sauced with a paste that is spiced with cayenne pepper. It is usually served on bread as a sandwich, but can also be eaten on its own. And pickles are the perfect thing to combine the flavor of the chicken with. It has been served in Nashville for generations since the 1930s and has recently been gaining more popularity.

A lot of the notoriety of hot chicken came from a restaurant in Nashville called Hattie B's Hot Chicken, and seeing as though I'm not going there any time soon, I made it my mission to find a hot chicken spot in LA. Even KFC has introduced a hot chicken special, but I knew I could get more authentic than that.

That's when I found Howlin' Ray's in LA's Chinatown. Howlin' Ray's is owned and operated by a husband and wife team, Johnny and Amanda, who are passionate about getting the best blend of spices to make top tier hot chicken. When I went to the restaurant, Amanda was there taking customer orders and Johnny was in the kitchen leading a team of chefs to make the chicken. I really enjoyed that they were a part of my experience, it made it seem more personal and authentic.

Howlin' Ray's has 6 different types of sauces for the chicken, each at a different level of spiciness. I'm usually a person who can handle her spicy foods, but when I asked Amanda which sauce she would recommend to me, she said to go with the Medium sauce. I was worried it wouldn't be that spicy, but let me tell you guys, my mouth was on fire eating it! In a totally good way. I ordered the sandwich, which had the chicken, slaw, comeback sauce, and pickles. The comeback sauce was another great accompaniment to the chicken and I used it to dip my crinkle cut fries in too. It didn't hurt also that they kept giving me as many pickle chips as I wanted.

It was to die for! The chicken was perfectly crispy, the slaw gave it the perfect element of crunch, and the sauce and pickles just brought it all home. The portions are also really large. I feel really bad about this, but I couldn't finish my sandwich. Sometimes I sit and think about the parts I left and hate myself for not finishing it haha.

The line can get pretty long at Howlin' Ray's, even on a weekday, which is when I went. I waited in line for about 30 minutes, but I've heard this is actually a short time. So if you're going to give it a try, try to go before or after the lunch rush. It's totally worth any wait you have though!

No comments:

Post a Comment