Because fried chicken has totally earned it (one day, burritos, one day), we asked a panel of ultra-esteemed food writers to give us their picks for the best fried chicken in LA (FWIW, ChocoChicken was disqualified for being too new). Then we tallied up all the votes and came up with this list of the definitive top 13.
Let's break down the top 13:
This spicy soul food shack's fried chicken is worth venturing into South Central for. Or -- if you live there already -- staying in South Central for.
The judges say: "When it comes to my fried chicken, crunch is king, and the crisp in Jim Dandy's gets it just right. The slightly sweet side of corn fritters is a must-order." -- Esther Tseng
T10. Pann's Restaurant
This '50s-style diner has been on your way to LAX (if you take the right route) since, uh, the '50s, and it's been famous for its fried chicken that whole time. Expect it to be classic (and served with waffles in the AM).
The judges say: "Every trip to LAX deserves a stop at Pann's. It's the diner that time forgot, but ironically, their fried chicken can't be forgotten." -- Jason Kessler
T10. Seoul Sausage Co.
It may be best known for its Korean-flavored meatsticks, but Seoul Sausage Co.'s jalapeño/kimchi-topped "KFC" (aka Korean Fried Chicken) was one of the judges' favorites.
The judges say: "It's consistent, inexpensive, and the Korean Fried Chicken with cornmeal crust is one of the greatest munchies of all time." -- Matt Kang
T10. Superba Snack Bar
Spoiler alert: its younger brother made it farther up the list, but the OG Superba is still on it, with its vinegar-glazed, red pepper-topped bird.
The judges say: "Their marinated chicken thighs are cooked sous vide first -- a clever trick to make the meat so damn juicy and tasty -- and then dredged in flour and cornstarch and fried for extra crispiness." -- Lesley Balla
One of the best patios in LA? Check. One of the best fried chickens in LA? Double-check. Served with waffles at breakfast? Oh yeah, that's a triple-check.
The judges say: "The Spanish fried chicken has a little spicy kick that sets it apart from any other in town." -- Carole Dixon
San Gabriel Valley
Like Pete Holmes, this strip mall-located, Monterey Park Asian eatery keeps it crispy. It does it with perfectly fried chicken, but the real killer here is the sauce selection, which includes homemade spicy ponzu and soy. Thankfully, it's also got a great craft-heavy, Asian beer list to wash it all down with.
The judges say: "The delectable marinade -- a blend that includes ginger, garlic, and soy sauce -- is downright addictive." -- Joshua Lurie
The Beverly Hills outpost of Thomas Keller's beloved bistro busts out this famous buttermilk-fried chicken (from his infamous Yountville restaurant Ad Hoc) on the first Monday of every month.
The judges say: "Hands-down one of the best crispy golden birds around. It's lemon-brined, coated in a seasoned flour, and fried until absolutely perfect." -- Lesley Balla
T4. Son of a Gun
When the two dudes behind Animal opened their seafood-centric restaurant Son of a Gun, it's hard to imagine they'd think their fried chicken sandwich -- perfectly juicy & topped with slaw and sauce on a moist, buttery bun -- would become the signature item. It has. Deal with it.
The judges say: "It's not a whole fried chicken and you can't choose individual pieces, but the fried chicken sandwich from Jon & Vinny (and Bakesale Betty, really) is legendary." -- Jason Kessler
The higher-ranked of the two versions of Thomas Keller's famous Ad Hoc fried chicken on this list is -- ironically enough -- not the one at the Keller-owned restaurant. But that's not a huge surprise -- the chef at this Westside favorite (which serves that chicken as a family-style dinner on Sundays) did major time at Ad Hoc before moving to LA.
The judges say: "The fried chicken is the best reason to make the trek to Brentwood on a Sunday night." -- Esther Tseng
Venice's recently opened, ultra-casual, open-air lunch spot's made a rapid ascent up this list, with a Sunday-only dish that's served as a half-chicken with a collard greens slaw and a legendary biscuit that has something to do with General Robert E. Lee.
The judges say: "For high-class, cheffy-fried chicken, this peanut oil-fried version -- for me -- barely nudges out the one at Farmshop in Brentwood. Both are only served one night a week, though, so I plan accordingly." -- Garrett Snyder
It's a good thing this Korean fried chicken joint is open until 3am, because the soy-glazed amazingness tastes even better when your eyes are, uh, glazed too.
The judges say: "A thin, crisp coating and juicy, delectable wings smothered in garlicky -- or spicy -- sauces." -- Lesley Balla
Big 'ol burgers and delicious cocktails make up much of the menu at this fast-growing gastropub chain, but the real treat is its maple-glazed, savory-and-sweet fried chicken.
The judges say: "It's my favorite non-traditional rendition of fried chicken, with smoke, sweet, and spice all coming together with each bite of a properly crunchy thigh." -- Esther Tseng
It wasn't even a close race: this Culver City soul food standby took the top spot handily.
The judges say: "If anybody tells you that Honey's Kettle isn't the best fried chicken in all of LA, then you can immediately discount their opinion on everything else. It's the perfect batter fried to the perfect temperature with the perfect crunch." -- Jason Kessler
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Jeff Miller is Thrillist LA's Senior City Editor and would like to thank all of the judges for their fried chicken knowledge, including Jason Kessler (FlyAndDine.com), Carole Dixon (TheCaratDiet.com), Joshua Lurie (FoodGPS.com), Lesley Balla (Zagat.com), Lesley Bargar-Suter (LAMag.com), Matt Kang (Eater.com), Garrett Snyder (LAMag.com), and Esther Tsent (EStarLA.com).
1. Honey's Kettle Fried Chicken9537 Culver Blvd, Culver City
2. Plan Check Kitchen + Bar351 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles
3. Kyochon Chicken3833 W 6th St, Los Angeles
4. Superba Food + Bread1900 S Lincoln Blvd, Venice
5. Son Of A Gun8730 3rd St, Los Angeles
6. Farmshop225 26th St, Santa Monica
7. Bouchon235 N Canon, Beverly Hills
8. AOC8700 W 3rd St, Los Angeles
9. Superba Snack Bar533 Rose Ave, Venice
10. Seoul Sausage Company11313 Mississippi Ave., Los Angeles
11. Tokyo Fried Chicken Co.122 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park
12. Pann's Restaurant & Coffee Shop6710 LA Tijera Blvd, Los Angeles
13. Jim Dandy Fried Chicken11328 S Vermont Ave, Los Angeles
Honey's Kettle cooks up delicious golden-brown farm fresh fried chicken with the perfect crunch and juiciness. Choose a number of sides to complement your heavily battered fried chicken, such as buttermilk biscuits and honey from a spout. It's no surprise that Honey's Kettle was named Best Fried Chicken in LA by Los Angeles Magazine.
This sophisticated gastropub -- with a few locations across Los Angeles -- is acclaimed for its burgers, whiskey, and craft beer. The namesake Plan Check burger, topped with pickles, onions, and Americanized dashi cheese, is famous for its layer of Ketchup Leather, which is a square of dehydrated tomato paste that melts over the patty like a layer of cheese. Plan Check’s comfort food vibe makes for a hip and social ambience, complemented by tall communal tables and plenty of bar seating.
This Korean mini chain specializes in fried chicken like you've never tasted before. The simple numbered menu features a fried whole chicken, rice bowls, and salad (both topped with chicken, of course), but you're really there for the mind-blowing wings, all of which are double-fried in canola oil. You should definitely get an order of the feverishly hot, signature soy garlic wings, but you'll also want an order of the extra-brittle sweet honey ones for full wing exposure. The basic strip mall outpost on W 6th Street is open until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Spearheaded by Bread and Pastry Director Carlos Enriquez, Superba is a bright and spacious spot offering up treats from an everything croissant (!) to kouign amann to avocado toast on house-baked bread. Don't roll your eyes just yet -- the avocado toast here is actually some of the best in the city. No matter what you put on Superba's bread, you'll find yourself craving more after each bite, so be sure to take some home with you. And don't forget to pick up a Nutella banana pop tart and a bag of bombolini, too.
The menu at this nautical Melrose spot from chef superstars Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal and Jon & Vinny's) is seafood heaven with a fried chicken sandwich thrown in to remind you just how great turf can be, too. It's a hulking masterpiece with a spicy bread & butter pickle slaw and Sriracha aioli. If you're in the mood for surf, go for the trout or the octopus salad.
Located inside the Brentwood Country Mart, this Thomas Keller-backed New American restaurant serves up savory and refined dishes all day long. Its market-driven, egg-centric menu makes FarmShop a natural brunch pick. Standouts include a roasted broccoli rabe frittata, deviled eggs with trout caviar, and poached chicken salad with baby kale. Definitely peruse its attached marketplace as well, which sells everything you could ever want for a gourmet picnic, like wine, artisanal cheese, and cured charcuterie.
Beverly Hills' Bouchon represents all of the culinary excellence you'd expect from Chef Thomas Keller, who has earned seven Michelin stars between the original Bouchon, the internationally celebrated French Laundry, and New York’s Per Se. Keller's take on age-old French bistro food is traditional but he employs modern techniques. Each dish is as familiar as an old friend, just dressed a little nicer than you remember him: roast chicken is plated atop carrots and onions on a thin pastry disk in a pool of pan sauce, and each garlic-buttered escargot gets a cute puff pastry hat. Brass fixtures, high ceilings, and mosaic tiles evoking La Belle Epoque complete the effect. Still, some things don’t need adornment, like red wine served in carafes and butter-topped steak next to a heaping pile of fries.
Mid-Wilshire's A.O.C. is an intimately styled wine bar, with one of the city’s greatest patios, serving world-class Mediterranean small plates and a solid wine list. With wines from all over the world and a cozy and romantic atmosphere, A.O.C. is a great place to bring a first date that you are really looking to impress.
This Venice cafe sports a modern interior and a cozy front patio with complimentary poncho blankets (!). Expect to eat (fried duck eggs and chorizo or ricotta meatballs with pickled jalapeño salsa), drink (beer, sangria, and 30+ wines), and seriously brunch (sunny-side-up eggs paired with duck pastrami).
If there's one thing Seoul is known for, it's living in constant fear their neighbors to the North are going to bomb the s**t out of them. If there's another, it's sausages -- or at least, that's what Seoul Sausage Company'd lead you to believe. The company is a labor of love to the founders, brothers Yong and Ted Kim, who bring a spin on Korean BBQ that won them the title of Food Network's 3rd The Great Food Truck Race.
Located in a strip mall, this Monterey Park Asian eatery keeps it crispy with perfectly fried chicken, but the real killer here is the sauce selection, which includes homemade spicy ponzu and soy. Thankfully, it's also got a great craft-heavy Asian beer list to wash it all down with.
This is a 50s-style diner that's on the way to LAX is famous for its fried chicken. Expect it to be classic (and served with waffles in the AM).