|Hot (Breast + Wing), Medium (Leg + Thigh), Fries|
When it was first served to me, I recoiled a bit because the smell of the heat was intoxicating. My eyes started to water and I was cringing just by breathing it in. I take a bite of the hot chicken and the first thing you notice is the crunch. It's a very thick and meaty crunch that sort of attacks you back with the texture and the heat. It's really spicy, which is compounded by the juiciness and the temperature of the chicken. Everything is prepared fresh so the heat and the pain comes from the spice as well as the temperature. Everything is scalding. My lips and mouth slowly become numb as I continue to bite into the juicy white meat inside. I immediately begin pulling off the skin as I examine the chicken inside. It's pristine inside, with no trace marinade. Unlike other spicy chicken, where the meat itself is coated in a spicy marinade leading to an orange tinge on the meat, the Hot Chicken at Ray's is immaculately white, being a direct contrast to the heat that coats the skin. The dark meat is just the same, juicy, flavorful and just as hard to finish. There's a deceiving sweetness to the spice. As I battled through the chicken, it came to the point where I had to give up. I had pulled off all of the skin and had just ate through the meat. The spice and the heat was overwhelming, to the point where I gave up and couldn't finish. I left the store extremely pleased and satisfied while also beaten: brow is wet, nose is running, and I can't feel my face. I know I want to go back, it just tastes amazing and I want to finish an order at some point. Hopefully I can bring my friends along to explore this wonderful addition to fried chicken culture in Los Angeles.