In LA, a few things are hard to find. Waiters who don’t want to be actors. Actors who don’t want to be directors. And incredibly tasty southern fried chicken. That is, until now. Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken recently opened its first West Coast location in the heart of Koreatown and is poised to become your family’s new go-to spot for all things crispy and delicious. Picnics, birthday parties and “just because you don’t feel like cooking nights” are now taken care of with the very best fried chicken in town.

IMG_3023photo: Jennifer O’Brien

What Sets Gus’s Apart
With various upscale restaurants now hosting popular fried chicken nights around the city, this dependable comfort dish has become quite trendy. But to really set yourself apart on the clucker scene, you have to showcase a totally unique taste that blows other fried chicken joints out of the water. On that front, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken delivers and then some. Known for a confounding combination of perfectly crispy skin, wonderfully juicy and tender meat, and a mouthwatering blend of spices that offer a kick in the pants, Gus’s may just be the best chicken in town.

Back in 1984, Gus and Getrude Bonner opened the original Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken in Mason, Tennessee. It quickly gained tons of press and a following so loyal, people would literally fly across the country for a plate of Gus’s special chicken. Working hard to protect is his family’s top-secret recipe, Gus would often tell people, “This is a dead man’s recipe and I ain’t telling.” Gus’s now has 15 locations around the country, including the newest one here in our own backyard.  And now even native Angeleno kids can taste real fried chicken without hopping on a plane.

IMG_3037photo: Jennifer O’Brien

Vibrant Scene & Friendly Service
Located in a bustling section of Koreatown, parking at Gus’s can be a challenge, but drive around a bit and you’ll eventually snag a place on the street. If you’re picking up to-go orders, there is limited parking available in the lot behind the restaurant. The Pico and Crenshaw location has a cheery, sun-filled dining room with a fun, sports bar vibe. Giant flat screen TVs hang on every wall, keeping diners abreast of all the latest Dodgers, Lakers, Kings (and now Rams!) scores. There are plenty of tables to choose from, many of which will comfortably fit larger families. We can tell you this spot is crazy popular already and highly recommend arriving before 7 p.m., especially on weekends, unless you don’t mind a wait.

Southern hospitality is in full swing here with uber friendly service and a knowledgeable and attentive managerial staff and wait staff who are more than happy to make menu recommendations if all those tasty options are too overwhelming to choose from.

IMG_3033photo: Jennifer O’Brien

What to Order For Your Little Chicks
Clearly fried chicken is the star at Gus’s. However, diners also love the fried green tomato, fried pickle and fried okra appetizers (far and away the best in town, maybe the best ever), as well as the many yumtastic side dishes. For example, Gus’s ooey-gooey mac & cheese will melt in your mouth from the very first bite, and the baked beans are out of this world. Families might also notice a slight sweetness to some sides, like the coleslaw. Gus purposely added a little sweetness to many of the sides to help wonderfully balance out the slight spiciness of their fried chicken. To wash it all down, be sure to try the sweetest tea we’ve found west of the Mississippi.

IMG_3029photo: Jennifer O’Brien

Gus’s also features a great kids’ menu which includes delish items like grilled cheese, wings and chicken tenders that are slightly less spicy than their main entree counterparts. Kiddos will no doubt devour one (or two) helpings of mac & cheese as well, finished off with a souvenir cup of ice-cold lemonade.

If you have any room left for dessert, we’d be shocked! But if you do, you’ll definitely want to try an old fashioned IBC Root Beer float or a slice of Gus’s incredible chocolate chess pie or sweet potato pie. This is true southern cooking through and through.

Hours: Sunday–Thursday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. and Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken
1262 Crenshaw Blvd.
KoreaTown
323-402-0232
Online: gusfriedchicken.com

What dishes did you try at Gus’s? We’d love to know in the comments below.

– Jennifer O’Brien