Max Henriquez is something of a fried chicken obsessive. At Phat Birds (4701 E. 3rd Street) his walk-up food counter right off the Gold Line, the former executive chef of DTLA’s Horse Thief BBQ brines his birds overnight in a blend of spices, part of a process he’s perfected over the past few years running a chicken pop- up. There’s throwback hip-hop bumping on the patio and a smattering of Southern sides like baked beans and zesty slaw to pair with mint-infused lemonade.
HOT DEAL: Honey-dipped chicken? Yes, it’s a thing. Henriquez cribbed the recipe from Chicken in the Rough, a Depression-era diner chain in Oklahoma known for giving its birds a sticky golden glaze. Order a half-bird ($10.50) and watch the pieces disappear.
TRY THIS: Crunchy corn and cheddar fritters ($6) arrive fryer-hot, improved only by a dunk in the accompanying Mississippi “comeback sauce,” a creamy aioli that’s somewhere between Cajun rémoulade and Thousand Island.
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