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There’s finally a Nashville hot chicken restaurant in Los Angeles

Shown is an order of hot chicken wings and fries from the new Howlin' Ray's in Los Angeles' Chinatown. 
(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)

Those who enjoy the lip-tingling, toe-curling burn of Nashville hot chicken know where to find it. Angelenos, for the most part, either have to spring for a ticket to Nashville or track down the Howlin’ Ray’s hot chicken food truck. But, as of Thursday, you can get hot chicken in Chinatown. 

Because with the current food scene in this city, it makes perfect sense that you find Nashville-style hot chicken in the Far East Plaza in Chinatown, next to Pok Pok Phat Thai, and across from Chego.   

This is where husband-and-wife team Johnny Ray Zone and Amanda Chapman have opened a brick-and-mortar version of their Howlin’ Ray’s food truck. It’s a tiny storefront, with three high-top tables and a small counter, where the two are serving the hot chicken for which they’ve become well-known.  

For the first week or so, Zone will serve a limited menu of wings, fried chicken sandwiches, boneless chicken breast, fries and his six-bake mac ‘n’ cheese (he actually bakes it six times). The thighs, drumsticks and bone-in breasts are coming eventually, as is hot chicken and waffles on the weekends. 

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Shown is the hot chicken sandwich from the new Howlin' Ray's in Los Angeles' Chinatown. 
(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)

And in case you forget where you are, mid-bite into a lip-searing breast of chicken spanked with Zone’s “howlin’ hot” seasoning, the back wall says “I got my hot chicken in L.A.,” so there’s no confusion. You are still in Chinatown. You can still walk across the plaza for a Sriracha chocolate bar. 

Howlin’ Ray’s opening hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., or until they run out of chicken.

727 N. Broadway, No. 128, Los Angeles, www.howlinrays.com.

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My mouth is on fire. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Jenn_Harris_.

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