How Hot are L.A.’s Hot Wings?

Buffalo style or szechuan, the ultimate game-day nosh is on fire
Los Angeles may not have a football team of its own—yet—but we can certainly cheer for our city’s all-star selection of hot wings. Order these sizzling fried poultry morsels by the bucket; celery sticks and blue cheese dip are optional. For some rookies in the local wing game, see our November issue on newsstands now.

Ye Rustic Inn
Burn factor:

Did the [insert favorite local sports team here] win? Then expect to find this tavern teeming with fans devouring plate after plate of buffalo wings. The combination of atomic orange sauce (heat levels range from mild to “suicide”) and supermoist chicken keeps the crowds coming, even through the off-season.  » $9.50 for 12 wings. 1831 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz, 323-662-5757.

Beer Belly
Burn factor: 

Chef Wes Lieberher’s Volcano chipotle sauce packs a punch reminiscent of a late-night taco truck’s salsa roja. The chile-spiked mixture covers the gastropub’s jidori chicken wings. Fortunately, there are a dozen craft beers on tap to cool things down. » $8 for 12 wings. 532 S. Western Ave., Koreatown, 213-387-2337 or

OB Bear
Burn factor:

Piles of wings and pitchers of suds clutter the tabletops at this Korean pub, where neighborhood businessmen come to loosen their ties, roll up their sleeves, and dig in. The brew of choice is Hite, and the crispy battered wings are slick with a sweet and fiery glaze made with gochujang, a fermented red pepper paste. » $14.90 for 12 wings. 3002 W. 7th St., Koreatown, 213-480-4910.

Sunny Spot
Burn factor: 

Roy Choi (Kogi, A-Frame) gives the “What a Jerk” wings at his Venice restaurant a double coating of spices and a double dunk in the deep fryer. A blend of Caribbean seasonings delivers a swift kick; the garlicky hot sauce supplies the slow burn.  » $11 for 5 uncut  wings. 822 Washington Blvd., Venice, 310-448-8884 or

*A version of this article appeared in the February, 2012 issue of Los Angeles magazine