Burbank, CA

Expect the Unexpected at Gus’s World Famous Hot and Spicy Fried Chicken

J.M. Lesinski

A shot of the menu at Gus's World Famous Hot and Spicy Fried Chicken in Burbank, California.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

While nobody truly knows what to expect when they are in Burbank, California, certain unexpected experiences resound more than others in the movie and television hub. One such experience took place at Gus’s World Famous Hot and Spicy Fried Chicken.

Walking in, the atmosphere of the restaurant seems like any fast food joint, subtle and unassuming. This changes at the menu. The menu barely takes up a page, leading one to assume that they must do what they do near perfectly. From there, once one tries the fried chicken at Gus’s, everything previously thought of poultry goes out the window.

The secret to the amazing fry and texture of the chicken at Gus’s World Famous Hot and Spicy Fried Chicken is the peanut oil, which according to the menu, is what everything on the menu is fried in. The chicken itself is also hormone-free, never frozen, and about as fresh as it gets when it comes to poultry.

The meal plates are the way to go at Gus’s World Famous Hot and Spicy Fried Chicken for those who really want to experience the southern fried experience. Plates max out at fifteen dollars, which is honestly a solid price for barbecue, let alone Los Angeles priced barbecue. On top of that, each plate includes baked beans and slaw as a side, with the option to substitute another side for fifty cents.

The plate options themselves include a half chicken, four piece chicken tenders, three piece chicken tenders, three piece chicken wings, two piece dark with a chicken thigh and leg, three piece dark with two chicken thighs and a leg, two piece white with a chicken breast and wing, or three piece white with two chicken breasts and a wing.

The sides at Gus’s World Famous Hot and Spicy Fried Chicken are all beautiful renditions of Southern classics. Both the baked beans and collard greens contain pork, adding a layer of richness to the already stunning sweet sauces they are in. The slaw and potato salad each bring in a sweet vinegar element to their natural color and crunch.

The mac and cheese is gooey, while the fries are crispy, making both great options for kids or picky eaters. Sides range in price from three dollars for a small to fourteen for an extra large, while a la carte sauces like the ranch and honey mustard are fifty cents each. One can also get a whole jalapeno for just a quarter to spice up any meal.

Kids meals at Gus’s World Famous Hot and Spicy Fried Chicken will not break the bank either with miniature versions of the plates available for just seven dollars. Two tenders, two chicken wings, or two chicken legs will give any youngster the greatest introduction to fried chicken they could ever ask for. There are the blander options too for the picky ones, like the grilled cheese for six dollars, or a peanut butter and jelly for just four.

There are also a number of specials available in bigger sizes at Gus’s World Famous Hot and Spicy Fried Chicken. A dozen chicken wings or eight pieces of fried chicken are twenty-five bucks a pop, while ten chicken tenders are twenty dollars and twenty pieces of fried chicken runs fifty-five dollars. Any piece of chicken is also available a la carte, ranging from three to five bucks tops.

Other than the chicken and the sides, the only thing on the menu at Gus’s World Famous Hot and Spicy Fried Chicken are the starters, a trio of country classic fried dishes for five bucks a pop. First off are the fried pickles, which come in the classic bottle cap chip style of preparation. The salty crunch of each little button of flavor achieves the perfect balance with the exquisitely crispy batter.

The fried green tomatoes are perfectly plump little patties, maintaining the green aura through the thin veil of batter. The taste is on point and the freshness of the tomatoes is absolutely present in the plumpness of them. Last but certainly not least is the fried okra, which is some of the best I have had this far west of Texas. The sweetness really comes out in each bite of the itty bitty green flavor bombs.

No southern dinner is complete without a little slice of pie to finish things off. Gus’s World Famous Hot and Spicy Fried Chicken has five pies on deck at all times: chess, coconut, sweet potato, chocolate chess, or pecan. Slices run about five bucks, with two extra to make it a la mode, or a whole pie can be yours for eighteen dollars. Not feeling pie? A root beer float or some house-brewed tea (sweet or unsweetened available) will surely satisfy that sweet tooth craving.

In addition to the Crenshaw Boulevard location, Gus’s World Famous Hot and Spicy Fried Chicken has three other Los Angeles metropolitan area locations in Downtown Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Santa Ana. Gus’s is also available for catering opportunities.

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Professional journalist for over five years, covering topics all up and down both coasts of the United States, including arts, music, food, politics, and culture. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY

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