Hotville Chicken's front entrance in Los Angeles.

Brew Bites - Short reads about our long adventures.

We’ve got a thing for hot chicken. 

The real kind.  The mouth-blistering, heat-packing, full of flavor and pain kind.  The Nashville kind.

We’ve searched it out nearly everywhere just to compare it to the original delicacy from Prince’s Hot Chicken in Tennessee, a place I used to call home. There’ve been some who are obviously just cashing in on the trend and even some chicken joints that come very close.  

And then we have Los Angeles.

It was around 2013 when the hot chicken craze left the Volunteer state and became a genre on its own.  It spread far and fast.  By 2016 the crimson birds had landed in southern California. Howlin’ Rays was the first to open. Still to this day, it is easily the most popular and it’s hard not to find lines stretching out the door with folks eager to Instagram the face-melting heat of hot chicken.  Others soon followed and before long Los Angeles rivaled Nashville with the number of hot chicken joints.

The competition was stiff, but it didn’t stop Kim Prince, the great-great-niece of the inventor of hot chicken, Thornton Prince III.  She wanted to expand to LA, so she did.

Sign at the front showing Hotville history

Hotville started as a pop-up. So was Dave’s Hot Chicken.  And Howlin’ Rays was a food truck. LA’s hot chicken legends started small. It wouldn’t be easy for the only direct descendant of the real deal to get a foothold in SoCal. 

After a few moves and a few pit stops at breweries around town, eventually, Prince found a home right off of Crenshaw Boulevard.  And so we followed.

We ordered wings for consistency and picked one of each level of spiciness.

“Are you sure?” they asked when I picked Nashville hot.  Eagerly we nodded.  We could take it?

Cali Mild chicken wings at Hotville
Nasvhille Hot chicken wings at Hotville
Wings done right. Cali Mild on the left, Nasvhille Hot on the right.. PHOTO: Brewhoppin

One wing at a time we worked our way through the spice levels.  Cali Mild was delicious. Maybe more than delicious.  It was hands down the best flavor,  a punch of heat and perfectly seasoned.  Music City Medium was considerably hotter, but nothing mind blowing.  Medium would give less brave foodies pause, but behind the heat was that same amazing flavor, that same perfectly fried juiciness.

Last up the deep crimson of Nashville Hot.  My first bite hit me in the feels.  There it was.  Across from me, she took her first bite.  Her eyes went wide.  I was sweating, enjoying every bit.

“I told you,” I said in between bites.  Nashville Hot was hot. It was oh so delicious, too. The spice kept building but we couldn’t stop.  There are enough well-written descriptions of how the hottest of the hot tastes, from reviewers across the globe so we won’t spend words when better have already been written.  But this was it.  Real Nashville hot. 

Hotville Chicken's front entrance in Los Angeles.
A southern-style front porch, welcoming visitors to Hotville. PHOTO - Brewhoppin

Kim Prince was there, doing table visits and checking in with everyone.  The owner and royalty of pain herself.  She saw us, saw the bright red toothpick in our Nashville Hot basket, and knew.  

All we could do was smile in pain.

Hotville was everything we wanted.  Authentic, delicious, and spicy as hell.  This was as good as it gets. This was why we searched so hard for this stuff.  It was decided.  

We would never be far from home as long as Hotville is around.


The pandemic hasn't slowed Hotville down.  They are open Tuesday - Sunday for take out while their patio is open for seated dining on the weekends only as of this writing.  Check their website for updates and follow Hotville on social media.  Oh, and be sure to bring an extra set of tastebuds for that Nashville Hot.  Do it. 

MORE:  Poe's Tavern Is A Haunting Homage With Great Burgers

Leave a Reply