Advertisement
Share

One of the best chefs in the world just opened a hot chicken restaurant in Glendale

A box of chicken tenders from Michael Mina's new Tokyo Hot Chicken in Glendale.
A box of chicken tenders from Michael Mina’s new Tokyo Hot Chicken, opening at the Americana at Brand in Glendale.
(Tokyo Hot Chicken)

Chef Michael Mina has officially entered the hot chicken game. The James Beard Award-winning chef behind 35 restaurants around the world has opened a takeout and delivery-only hot chicken restaurant in Glendale.

Tokyo Hot Chicken is located inside Mina’s Bourbon Steak restaurant at the Americana at Brand.

“It’s spicy chicken, but it’s obviously not Nashville hot chicken,” Mina said via phone. “It’s a play on it, with some fun Japanese flavor profiles.”

Kim Prince spent most of her childhood standing on the pickle buckets in flour-dusted shoes at her family’s hot chicken shack off Clarksville Highway in Nashville.

Advertisement

Mina brines the chicken and double-dredges it in a mixture of flour and finely ground panko breadcrumbs. He seasons the fried chicken with a combination of spices including togarashi. While most hot chicken restaurants encourage diners to choose a spice level, Tokyo Hot Chicken is a one-level-fits-all restaurant, at least for now. Mina said the chicken is about Level 6 or 7 out of 10, but he plans to introduce a hotter level (around a nine or 10 out of 10) soon. If you want to dial up the heat before then, there are dipping sauces. The Chuka Tare (soy, sesame and chile) is mild; the sweet chile (chile, garlic and red pepper) is a little hotter; and the Tokyo Secret Hot (Thai chile and yuzu) is the hottest.

A bucket of chicken from Michael Mina's Tokyo Hot Chicken in Glendale.
A bucket of chicken from Michael Mina’s Tokyo Hot Chicken in Glendale.
(Tokyo Hot Chicken)

You can order bone-in chicken in a bucket, tenders and a “snacker” size chicken sandwich stacked on house-made milk bread with kimchi slaw and spicy Kewpie mayonnaise. Sides include furikake French fries, togarashi parker rolls, wasabi mashed potatoes, red miso corn, kimchi slaw, furikake rice, sesame broccoli, dashi-braised kale and soy caramel Brussels sprouts. Mina said he plans to introduce a hot chicken with mochi waffles and a full-size chicken sandwich on a mochi donut in the next two weeks, along with the hotter chicken.

Although a slew of takeout-only concepts have popped up during the COVID-19 pandemic (Sichuan Impression’s Fire Belly and Eric Greenspan and Tyga’s Tyga Bites to name a few), Mina says the hot chicken idea is something he was playing around with before that, at his Street food hall in Honolulu.

“When the pandemic happened, we were looking at some fun pop-up virtual kitchens to do within our kitchens, and this was one of the first ones that we were really excited about trying out,” he said.

On this week’s episode, Jenn heads to Tokyo to eat chicken karaage with a karaage master at Lawson. Then she heads back to L.A. to eat her favorite chicken karaage at Tenkatori in Gardena.

The first Tokyo Hot Chicken opened inside Mina’s International Smoke Kitchen in Del Mar, Calif., in September. He plans to open a location in Boise, Idaho, on Nov. 16 and one in San Francisco in December.

237 Service Drive, Glendale, (818) 823-3003, www.michaelmina.net/restaurants/tokyo-hot-chicken-locations


Advertisement