L.A.’s demand for hot chicken doesn’t seem to be slowing any time soon. Hawaiian Hot Chicken, a new Nashville-inspired hot chicken pop-up in the San Fernando Valley, debuts tonight out of a car wash on Reseda Boulevard, near Cal State Northridge.
In a twist befitting its name, the chicken here will be served in Hawaiian rolls — those sweet, soft buns widely adopted by the island after introduction by Portuguese immigrants, coming from King’s Hawaiian in Torrance.
“It’s definitely both sweet and spicy,” says co-founder Mike Mkrtchyan about the sandwich. “It’s a different kick.”
You can order the chicken in one of five spice levels, from mild to Kilauea, named for the notoriously active volcano. The latter order may ultimately require participants to sign a waiver to eat, given its heat. All sandwiches are topped with pickles, coleslaw made in-house with pineapple, a signature “volcano” sauce and fries on the side.
If you prefer your chicken without spice, there’s a “naked Hawaiian” chicken, as well as chicken tenders with a side of plain toast.
The pop-up opens tonight at 8 p.m. Hawaiian Hot Chicken plans to pop up in the same location Tuesdays through Sundays at 8 p.m. and to remain open until midnight on weekdays and 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, or until they run out of sandwiches.