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Howlin' Ray's
Howlin' Ray's

Howlin' Ray's

9.516 reviews
American, Southern / Soul
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727 N Broadway #128, Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 935-8399
http://www.howlinrays.com/
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This place had the best fried chicken sandwich you'll ever have and the 1.5 hr long line proves it!

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Local from Los Angeles, California, USA

Luck out for a pass or more likely, just wait your turn. It’s worth it. The sandwich, the wing, the fries are all so good.

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Local from Los Angeles, California, USA

Best spicy chicken sandwhich ever! This place lives up to the hype and i can understand why there is long line. I got the whole chicken, chicken sandwhich, fries. There are 6 spicy levels:
Country, Mild, Medium, Hot, X-hot, HOWLIN

The whole chicken $32 I ordered half Mild and half Hot. Johnny (the chef) made me wait before eating them because it comes out hot. because the chick comes fresh out the fryer it retains the juice so it's not dry and super crunchy on the outside. They must change the oils out often because it did not have a greasy oily taste, I hate that about a lot of fried chicken places. Mild was not spicy at all but hot was spicy! I decided next time I'll get medium, I think that would be the perfect amount of spicy where I'll enjoy the flavors of the juicy chicken and spices. When I bit into the hot one It wasn't spicy at first but then you start feeling the spice go down your throat and then all of a sudden your lips start burning too lol.

The chicken sandwich $12, which is my favorite, was amazing. It has layers of pickle, coleslaw, comeback sauce and fried chicken. If you can handle a little spice get the Hot and it's perfect. The refreshing coleslaw balances out the kick so it's not as spicy. The chicken in the sandwich was huge! The sandwhich itself was was pretty big.

The Fries! Dip them in comeback sauce, thats what I did.

I sat in the bar because I went by my self and everyone was super sweet, they took care of me like I was fam. Literally all of the workers came and talked to me so that was cool. The thing that set Howlin Rays apart from all of the chicken places I've been to is they they serve it straight out the fryer, it's does not reek of old oil, it's not greasy, the chicken is tender, the coating stays crispy (I took some home and it was still crispy), the pickles are delicious and homemade, the vibe is good.

I brought my own plastic gloves to eat my chickens,I always carry some around in case I wanna get down and dirty ;)

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Orange County, CA

Howlin’ Ray’s has been open in Chinatown for a little over 2 years now and this past weekend was my first time experiencing the best Nashville Hot chicken in Los Angeles along with the subsequent wait. My friends and I had just completed the LA Firecracker 5K in Chinatown. We went to dim sum first and the food was not coming out as fast as we would have liked so we had the bright idea of getting in line for Howlin’ Ray’s. We should have sent out a scout to stake a place in line. That was our first mistake. The line circled and zagged through the plaza. We were in for a wait. Two and a half hours later, we made it to the front but not without first grabbing some food at Chego to make the wait more bearable. We discussed our orders and my friend Ingrid T. and I decided to share the Chicken and Waffles ($14) and a solo wing ($3). I also ordered a peach iced tea ($4). There are six different levels of spice you can order from Howlin’ Ray’s: COUNTRY, MILD, MEDIUM, HOT, X-HOT, and HOWLIN’.

Look, I love spicy food and I fare better than my spice loving friends when it comes to spicy food. I ordered my chicken & waffles at HOT and the solo wing at HOWLIN’ to try. I did my foodie research first. It seemed like MEDIUM was spicy enough for most spice loving folks so I opted for HOT because it was slightly spicier. The HOT level uses jalapeños and habaneros. The HOWLIN’ level uses scorpion and ghost peppers. You do the math. They also have to give a disclaimer statement as you order the HOWLIN’ and don’t you dare interrupt them because they have to get the entire sentence out before you can proceed. They also mentioned it might take 1-2 days to recover from eating it. The disclaimer is there for a reason folks. Buyer beware. Once you pay, you get your cup full of ice and you can dispense your beverage at the dispensers by the door. Space is tight in there but I hear they are trying to expand to the space next door. The numbers are called out as the orders are filled. The guys are hustling back there and they do it with a smile. I was chatting with the gentleman who was filling orders and he asked me about the 5K race that morning. He apologized for the wait and thanked me for persevering. He cracked a joke and we chatted. Then I noticed that they were putting a chicken sandwich in my order bag. I shook my head and said that I didn’t order it but they said that it was for me. Well awesome! I got a free chicken sandwich in addition to my order. Now that’s service! Color me impressed. My friend who ordered ahead of me got an order of free fries as well. Those fries were spiced but good!

After I grabbed utensils, drink and napkins, I headed outside to where my friends grabbed space at a communal table. The wait was long and we were about to collect our bounty. The chicken is piping hot. The waffles were covered in butter and I poured the maple syrup over them. They were crispy on the outside with a fluffy texture. My friend and I split the HOT thigh and took bites. Man, that was some good Nashville hot chicken. We inhaled our meal. The sweet and tangy pickles along with the waffles offset the spiciness of the chicken. The breading was crispy and you can smell the dried peppers wafting off in waves. The level of spicy at HOT was perfect for me. I’d say it’s my limit because my friends thought the medium might have been theirs. Then, we looked at the lone HOWLIN’ wing. It was dark and angry looking. They were supposed to supply gloves but didn’t pack them so we used a knife and fork. We were warned not to touch the HOWLIN’ spice with our bare hands. I cut off a chunk and ate a bite of the batter. It was crispy with a dry spice mix. At first it was okay, then the spice kick came and it was lengthy. Apparently my face turned red as the adrenaline hit and my endorphins kicked in. My friends tell me that my eyes turned red. They definitely started to water. Yes, folks, there were tears. I shed tears over super spicy Nashville Hot chicken. Then my friend took her bite. She pretty much turned pink as well and we both agreed we were not taking another bite. So there you are, we didn’t finish the solo wing but we tried it. It lives up to the hype for sure. My friends said they were mentally scarred after trying the HOWLIN’ spice level. That’s an accurate description. Would I wait in that line again? I’m not sure. I would recommend getting a pre-order in before coming because that might be the way to go. Although, it was fun waiting in line with a bunch of hungry foodies. They also offer up front of the line passes through social media, so check them out on Facebook and Instagram. Howlin’ Ray’s is expanding to Culver City and hopefully someday to OC. A girl can dream, right?

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Local from Los Angeles

OVER RATED! (because you got to wait so damn long)
But its definitely not bad. I personally prefer raising canes. P.S. this is instagrammable doe!
PRO TIP! - Order online and split it between like 5+ people! Skip the god damn line.

Best Line Tip? Get there at 10:15 - Doors open at 10:45am You'll be like 10th in line on a weekday.

HOT TIP?!
Mild - No Spice, heat, or kick
Medium - Just the right Kick
Hot - It has ghost peppers - SUPER Spicy and Hot - manageable though.
Howlin - Uses reaper peppers - Eat this if you have a death wish

Cost? Looking at 11 a person for a sandwich! Slightly pricy, however ITS HUMUNGO!

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Local from Los Angeles, California, USA
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The best hot chicken place in LA, with an hours long line at most times of the day. Is it worth it? I'd say so, yes. Very delicious. Do a pre-order months in advance and you'll skip the line - the best way to enjoy Howlin'.

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Local from Los Angeles, California, USA

Waited over an hour and a half. The chicken is tender and the workers are awesome. Friendly staff full of energy.

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San Diego

Worth the 2 hour wait! The atmosphere was great, the staff made the whole experience amazing! & the chicken.....OMG! You must try. I had the chicken sandwich with macaroni salad. It was so good. Please don't get discouraged by the long line, it's worth the wait. TRUST ME!

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Local from Los Angeles, California, USA

I'm honestly torn between a five and four star rating; this place was definitely yummy but I don't think I'd ever stand in an hour+ line again for it.

I definitely recommend getting 'hot' if you're the type of person who can and enjoys eating spicy foods. I also recommend getting here early af.

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Local from Los Angeles, California, USA

This place had the best fried chicken sandwich you'll ever have and the 1.5 hr long line proves it!

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Local from Los Angeles, California, USA

There really isn't enough I can say about this place. If you're a fan of phenomenal food, incredible service, and reasonable prices, this place is definitely for you. The food came out fast, was fresh as can be, and the service was unmatched. We were given an extra basket of fries and extra chicken just in the spirit of allowing us to try as many things there as possible. My only regret is that I haven't eaten there more.

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Local from Azusa, California, USA

I can't stop raving enough about Howlin' Ray's! This place is deserving of my 5 star rating, from it's mouth-watering fried chicken to the amazing Southern hospitality once stepping foot into the establishment.

Since it's grand opening about 6 months ago, there has been endless lines at the Far East plaza. I've came to Howlin' Ray's twice and each time had to endure at least an hour long wait. Although, I can assure you that the experience of enjoying the food inside is well worth it!

Chef Johnny truly runs his business like a high-end restaurant. He is meticulous about getting his staff on board in making one of the most delicious spicy fried chicken you will ever lay your hands on. The process in which they execute each order is extremely efficient and unique. You can better appreciate this master chef at work if you are one of the lucky few who get to eat inside the restaurant to witness all the action take place (space is very limited). Don't be afraid to talk to the staff, they are extremely friendly and love to interact with their customers. Sometimes they even hook you up with extra items just to show their appreciation for waiting in the long line and supporting their business.

From the menu, I would highly recommend the chicken sandwich ($11) that encompasses a little of everything. You get to sample a huge piece of juicy chicken, the cider vinegar slaw, pickles, and the Comeback sauce on a butter bun. There's only a limited number of chicken sandwiches per day so get there early. Although, if they do run out you can't go wrong with ordering anything else from the menu. There's 6 levels of spiciness to the chicken, but I'm a weaksauce when it comes to spicy and usually settle for the mild or medium.

As I'm writing this review in my chicken-wasted food coma, I hope you all check out Howlin' Ray's and see what Nashville's fried chicken is all about!

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Local from Los Angeles, California, USA

I can't believe I finally got the opportunity to try their chicken sandwich. The lines were ridiculously long and that is expected since this is the hottest spot in Chinatown and the most raved about new addition to the ghost town plaza that it is currently located in.

I enjoyed their chicken sandwich and the spices was definitely unique. I'm a huge fan of all spices but I thought their medium spice level after halfway through my sandwich was a bit overbearing and so the mild level would be my suggestion if you're indifferent about what spice level to get.

However, now that I have gotten to try this place, my heart is still sold on BirdiesLA.

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Local from Los Angeles, California

Chicken from the dirrrty South! What do you think of when you order fried chicken? This place is the bomb fried chicken. Their batter and powder of hotness is amazing. If you love spicyness they go for the howlin but if you are afraid of spice, at least go for mild cuz country is really nothing of flavor except for the flavor of the oil. Sides are like mac salad to help offset the ♨. There's also pickles as well and they are just like dill chopped up into slices. The crinkle cut fries are great with their Chipotle style aoile sauce to dip in and they flavor their fries just with a mild powder as well. Lines get Hella long so make sure you optimize at least two hours to eat. Johnny is the amazing chef and owner. They also validate your parking underneath.

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Local from Los Angeles, California, USA

Howling' rays is serving up some of the best fried chicken you've ever had. The skin is crispy and the meat moist and tender. The country chicken is were its at but if you're brave you can try the medium spice and work your way up to really experience some southern kick.

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Local from West Covina
First to Review

This place has some legit delicous wings. THe medium is really spicy! The country is the best, crunchy and moist meat!

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Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York State

The BEST hot chicken in all of LA.

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