[RESTAURANT REVIEW] Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken
You would almost think Los Angeles didn’t have enough chicken until the recent wave of chicken specialists swept into the city from the South. Sure, there was Zankou chicken from the Middle East, Kyochon wings from Korea and Peruvian birds at Pollo a la Brasa. But apparently those weren’t enough, because more recently, Howlin’ Ray’s descended on Chinatown with hot chicken by way of Nashville, and Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, planted itself on the corner of Pico and Crenshaw boulevards.
It’s the first location in the Western United States for the small chain that started more than 60 years ago in the back of a tavern in Mason, Tennessee.
The slightly spicy chicken, fried to a burnished brown, is available in any permutation of parts, though connoisseurs know that dark meat is likely to be more moist, since the dense breasts need to cook longer in the fryer.
Either way, the pieces are lightly coated and the batter is neither greasy nor overly salty as is so often the case. Like the best barbecue, it’s served with slices of white bread, so go ahead and make it into a sort of sandwich if you feel like it, with a little hot sauce drizzled on top.
But back up. While the chicken is cooling down, start out with some fried pickles or fried green tomatoes. This is Southern food, not health food, so just get used to the idea that much of your meal will be plunged into hot oil.
For sides, the baked beans and coleslaw work well with the chicken, but the greens will add some vitamins. There’s also mac ‘n cheese, which is more or less regarded as an honorary vegetable in the South, as well as potato salad and seasoned fries.
Assuming you split the fried green tomatoes, you may have room for some sweet potato, coconut, pecan or chess pie, available a la mode for a dollar more. In addition to beer, many would say sweet tea is the most authentic beverage choice.
With reasonable prices and friendly service, Gus’s is drawing a wide selection of foodies from around the city, as well as neighborhood folks glad to see a new bird in the hood. Here’s hoping it leads to even more choices in the area.
Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, 1262 Crenshaw Boulevard, 323-402-0232