LocationAlhambra , CA
If you are going to Blazin’ Chicks, remember, “all good things come to those who wait.”
This southern fried chicken joint is not your high-volume, fast-food restaurant churning out chicken sandwiches. A fine-tuned process starts from scratch with massive pieces of chicken when an order comes in. A breading, frying, spicing and assembling system happens before your food can hit the plate – or in a pandemic – the to-go container.
Blazin’ Chicks is on the border of Temple City and San Gabriel, open since the end of January, but the food was a work-in-progress in the mid-2000s.
Since opening for to-go orders after being forced to close indoor dining by county health orders, the restaurant has been hustling on social media and food delivery apps.
If you have been looking for comfort food in the SGV during the pandemic, this restaurant fits the bill with authentic southern foods like collard greens, sweet tea and, of course, fried chicken.
Chef and co-owner Henry Lu, a San Gabriel Valley native, lived in Mississippi from 2007 to 2012. It was here that Lu learned the secrets to perfect fried chicken.
Lu’s personal recipes – developed during an intensive six-month research and trial period – came from his time in the south.
The restaurant specializes in spicy chicken, though it has a “naked” option for those who have an aversion to spicy foods.
While his chicken is fiery, it is different from the recent food trend of Nashville-style hot chicken and spicy chicken sandwiches.
Southern by design, there is a different kind of crunch and Lu has an extra spice mix. Nashville hot chicken is usually dipped or brushed with an oil.
The spice-levels are no joke: naked, mild, medium, blazin’ and blazed out. Lu compares his blazed out spice-level to a Carolina reaper pepper, the world’s record-holder for hottest pepper.
If you are unsure of how spicy to order your chicken, Blazin’ Chicks recommends starting at mild because “you can always go hotter from there.” Alternatively, go for the two-slider combo and get one mild and one medium.
At the moment, restaurants in L.A. County are still not allowed indoor dining but that has not stopped customers from eating immediately after getting their food.
“You can get the sandwiches deconstructed to go, but we see a lot of people eating them in their cars.”
Blazin’ Chicks says the food travels well too, particularly the wings and tenders.
If you are in a hurry, call 15 to 20 minutes in advance to place your order. The staff takes extra steps to ensure food meets Lu’s standards.
“I don’t like to take shortcuts. I want to make sure people get what they pay for,” Lu said.
Take the wings – think of the entire arm, from shoulder to tip – that is one wing. A slider is not a miniature sandwich but a chicken sandwich on which you need to plan an attack strategy.
The longer the pandemic and restaurant restrictions drag on, the harder it is for mom-and-pop food places to be profitable. Blazin’ Chicks says it is “just grinding and staying afloat.”
But Lu has his sights on what lies ahead, saying, “if we can make it past this, the future is very bright.”
Blazin’ Chicks is at 5728 Rosemead Blvd Unit 102 in Temple City or call 626-872-2096.
Sunday-Thursday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.