You know, I like to keep up with the hot happenings in the world of sandwiches and so when there’s a lot of heat about a new chicken place in Los Angeles, I just had to jump in the car and check it out.
Enter, Howlin’ Ray’s Nashville Hot Chicken.
The Hidden Spot That Everyone Knows
Tucked into a plaza in the middle of Chinatown, you’d think it would take a bit of searching to find, but the line of people with a 45 minute wait seemed too show it wasn’t much of a problem.
The menu is bare bones at Howlin’ Rays, but let’s face it, you’re visiting the Danger Sandwich so the only think you need to order is The Sandwich.
That’s the name.
Simple to remember, easy to enjoy.
We were lucky enough to grab one of the ten or so seats inside of the tiny shop to take in the views of the amazing line crew behind the counter. I was thoroughly impressed by the flow and teamwork the staff showed. I mean, for as much food as they had to pump out in the amount of time they did, it was a truly impressive thing to see.
Also, everyone on staff was incredible. We even talked with Chef Johnny a few times over the meal, and he brought us a few of their waffles to sample as well as one of their wings.
On weekends they serve chicken and waffles. I’ll be back for that too.
So onto the sandwich.
Sorry, The Sandwich.
A Sandwich By Any Other Name…
A huge piece of boneless breast meat, crunchy slaw, their house Comeback Sauce, and pickles between two slices of a butter bun completes this hugely satisfying meal.
You also get an option on the heat ranging from “Country” (No heat) to “Howlin'” (I’m sure you can imagine.) I went with the Medium (number three out of six in terms of heat) and found that this was more than enjoyable but could easily push someone off who doesn’t enjoy heat.
Also, a step higher and I might need extra napkins to wipe the sweat from my forehead. But have no fear, those of you not desiring heat, the Country and Mild options are delicious with the heat dialed back.
Heat Done The Right Way
And that’s the big point here. These pieces of chicken are covered in spices and have the potential to bring a lot of heat, but not in this case. Sometimes the urge is to pile on the heat to be the hottest of the hot, at the cost of flavor, and that never works out for the best.
The chicken was juicy, with a perfectly cooked interior with the crust of spices and seasonings coating the exterior. With such a large slice of chicken, it’s always good to add a bit of textural contrast and the deliciously house-made slaw does the job exceedingly well, bringing a crunch with a mild flavor meant to contrast the spices of the chicken and cool your mouth a bit.
The butter bun melted in my mouth with each bite, bringing buttery goodness through the entire ride. The sandwich itself can be a meal or two on its own, and it definitely kept me satisfied through lunch and dinner.
Let’s take a moment though, because what I’m about to say doesn’t come easy for someone who has reviewed nearly 300 sandwiches on this blog.
Are you ready? Are you sitting down?
This may be, one of the best sandwiches I have ever eaten.
If nothing else, I have to say it is the best sandwich I’ve had in Los Angeles.
There, I said it.
No go get it yourself.
Just save a spot for me in line.
Until next week…
Howlin’ Ray’s Nashville Hot Chicken
727 N. Broadway Avenue #128
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Hours: Wednesday through Sunday 11-4