Birds of a Feather

The best fried chicken in L.A.

We've declared August 11-22 Fried Chicken Fortnight. Look out for two weeks full of recipes for prime crispiness, chef tips and more.

High-brow, lowcountry, Korean-style: When it comes to fried chicken, L.A.'s got it all. Here are our favorites, from a prized $45 bird to one that's worth shaking your tail feather to the SGV.

? Farmshop in Santa Monica

Thomas Keller veteran Jeff Cerciello created the fabled Ad Hoc original, so you know this bird is good. It's brined for 16 hours in honey, lemon, garlic and herb brine. It's then lightly breaded and fried quickly in rice bran oil. The star of the three-course Sunday-night special ($48) lives up to the hype, and better yet, you can take away some fried bird ($12 per pound) to devour at home.

? Flossie's in Torrance
No-frills Flossie's is L.A.'s homespun standby—and the fried chicken is worth the drive on the 405. Its humble recipe: Coat in salt, pepper and flour, then fry in canola oil. The result: a lightly colored, delicate crust over moist leg, wing, and thigh. The meal ($13.99) comes with cornbread and three sides, ranging from candied yams and black-eyed peas to corn pudding and a corn, okra and tomato succotash riff. 

? Kyochon in Koreatown
This Seoul export is still the gold standard for Korean fried chicken, having perfected (and franchised) the slightly sweet and garlicky crunch of its addictive wings. Though the menu tempts other versions, stick with the original honey-tinged wings ($5.44 for four, $9.80 for eight, $18.52 for 16). Served with pickled, cubed daikon, the wings' delicate, not-too-greasy crust has an explosive bite.

? Honey's Kettle in Culver City

The sides may be drab, but the house specialty is the stuff of stick-to-your-rib dreams—golden fried chicken ($8.50 for four pieces, $15.95 for eight pieces, $31 for 16 pieces) that's juicy, savory, greasy and so bad, it's good. The vegetarian-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free chickens are trimmed of most of their skin before being dredged in batter—resulting in a seamless, crackled shell—then fried in the restaurant's namesake kettle.

? Cooks County in Mid-City
If extra crispy is your jam, then this fried bird, a Monday-only special ($28 for a three-course meal), is for you. The Jidori chicken starts with a 24-hour lemon, thyme and rosemary brine, a buttermilk soak and flour breading made with paprika, lemon zest, and herb. Topped with sea salt, the crust is ridiculously thick and crunchy. Surround the dark meat with fluffy mashed potatoes, a dense, herb-topped biscuit smeared with butter and vinaigrette-based coleslaw.

? Superba Food and Bread in Venice
Jason Travi is serious about fried chicken, and his weekly Sunday-night special ($21) hits all the marks: quality meat (Mary's), full flavor (paprika and cayenne give it some heat), and a browned crust that actually stays on (a cornstarch and flour batter just barely coats the meat). After it cools, the chicken gets plated with a raw collard green slaw and a flaky biscuit.

? Tokyo Fried Chicken, Co. in Monterey Park
T.F.C.C. puts fried chicken on the SGV's destination-worthy map. The garlic and soy-marinated yardbird is as satisfying as it is refined: It's the love child of the all-American comfort food and Japanese karaage. The dinner-only eatery serves set meals ($12.50 per person) for two, three or four—be prepared to queue—and ups its game with sauces like spicy ponzu, as well as fixings such as dashi-braised collards and nori-topped mac and cheese.

? M.B. Post in Manhattan Beach
Even white-meat haters can get behind David LeFevre's truffle honey-drizzled fried chicken breast ($15). Offered for weekend brunch, the unsung cut is soaked in buttermilk and double dredged in flour, paprika and baking soda. Dunked in the deep fryer and dressed up with truffle honey, chives and fleur de sel, said white meat transforms into a salty and sweet bite that's both tender, crunchy and flavorful. Take that, haters.

? Ladies' Gunboat Society in West L.A.
This Southern-themed spot offers nouveau buttermilk fried chicken for $9 during its happy hour. Crisp leg, thigh and breast nestle in a towel-lined casserole along with spiced local honey and Texas Pete hot sauce. Add a can of Ballast Point—served in a beer koozie, no less—for a lowbrow/highbrow bird-and-beer combo ($12). It's how the cool set does country.