THIS WEEK: HOT WINGS
Hot wings present a challenge: How do you get them as spicy as possible without sacrificing flavor for a tasteless lighted-match-in-your-mouth scorch? These places dance on the tightrope.
YE RUSTIC INN
This bluish-collar sports/rock bar’s wings are Greater L.A.'s gold standard. The lavished-with-sauce, tender and meaty “suicides” are like the Tasmanian Devil in a tizzy on your tongue. 1831 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz Village, (323) 662-5757
HOAGIES & WINGS
You’re “boss” and it’s hard to go wrong, but be warned: The “suicides” recall solar flares. Hots are ideal: They’ll get your internal furnace going without burning the whole place down. 332 S. Broadway, downtown L.A., (213) 613-1212. Also in the South Robertson area, Sherman Oaks, Culver City; www.hoagies andwings.com
ALONDRA HOT WINGS
From the walls, gangster legends Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Sam Giancana and others dare you to pick “suicide” and “x-hot” from the list of 17 flavors. The former are like sociopath Joe Pesci in “Goodfellas,” the latter more like just-hot-tempered James Caan in “The Godfather.” 245 Pine Ave., Suite 190, Long Beach, (562) 437-2103. Also in Paramount and Montebello; www.alondrahotwings.net
You can order over the phone or through bulletproof glass at this Jefferson Park wingery. It’s mostly takeout, though there are two tables and 10 chairs. Not much difference between the hot and extra hot, but both of them walk with a justifiably cocky strut. 2511 W. Jefferson Blvd., L.A., (323) 731-1538
From the name, you’re thinking bangers and mash. And you’re right. But the secret is the wings. They’re like a friendly campfire -- warm with some jumping sparks. No multiple choice here, just “Buffalo wings.” But they do the name justice. 3267 Motor Ave., Palms, (310) 559-9648
ON THE WEB
For even more hot wing spots, go to theguide.latimes.com/ restaurants.