Monday, December 29, 2003


So, Nix goes, "They were like hard-ass jerky wings!", referring to our first encounter with HOTLANTA WINGS, located at 3950 Pierce Street in Riverside, California. Niblet giggled and added, "There was *no* meat on those things and the honey barbeque tasted like sugar chicken!"

By the way, I'm Y. And this is my first entry for SoCal Food Chat.

We should have known we were in for trouble when, after we walked in and placed our order, two guys sitting at one of the customer's tables mentioned that they'd been waiting over twenty minutes for their order. We 3 have been grubbing on the hot wings at L. A. HOT WINGS CAFE [4859 W Slauson Ave # B, the N/E corner of Slauson & Fairfax in Los Angeles] for a few months now and we've never had to wait 20 minutes for our order. Frankly, it doesn't take long to fry up chicken wings; and it certainly shouldn't have taken the time it took them to fry up the cornish game hen-sized wings we got at HOTLANTA.

How long did we wait for our order? How long did we *stupidly* wait for our order? How long did we stupidly wait for our order even after Nix gave the counter guy the stink eye not once, but three times, without the slightest acknowledgement that we were still waiting? And, how stupid did the guys who'd already been waiting 20 minutes before us feel that they still hadn't gotten their order?

In the time it would have taken us to drive into Los Angeles and order the delicious, succulent, meaty wings at L.A. HOT WINGS CAFE, take them to Nix's abode on the Westsiiiiiide, eat them, and then polish off German Chocolate cake from his Mom's [even though LA HOT WINGS CAFE has German Chocolate Cake displayed enticingly on their counter with no less than 8 other different flavored cakes].

We found out later that the other guys had ordered fish, not wings. Guy #2, even though he'd ordered right behind Guy #1, had to wait 15 minutes longer than his friend for his order. Guy #2 told us, "M & M's [various locations in Los Angeles] has the best Soul Food." Personally, I'm not much on 'Soul' Food, prefering to eat just plain ol' good food. And, for outstanding fried fish, I will return to DA BIRD BASKET [1161 Hidden Valley Parkway, Norco] again and again. As Niblet reminded us, DA BIRD's macaroni salad had HOTLANTA's beat like a naughty child. DA BIRD also has some of the best french fries I've eaten, even after they'd cooled. If we hadn't ordered a couple of legs to try out the fried chicken, our fish order at DA BIRD wouldn't have taken long at all. [Call ahead when ordering the tasty fried chicken -- we liked the 'spicy': (909) 273-9800] All 3 of us ate the fried Tilapia filets, Nix & I choosing the 'spicy' while Niblet at the 'regular'. It's always a treat when an establishment understands that 'spicy' is flavor with a kick, not just the kick alone.

If you're ever hankering for whole, deep fried fish, you can find both Huachinango -- aka Red Snapper -- and Mojarra -- aka Tilapia -- at PACIFICO's, 9341 Culver Blvd in Downtown Culver City. Both fish are excellent and reasonably priced. Nix enjoys rice on the side, while Niblet and I can't get enough of PACIFICO'S long, thin fries. Both are served with either a fresh, crisp salad or house vegetables. The complimentary jicama & cucumber with Pico de Gallo will prime your taste buds for a Margarita. Unfortunately, PACIFICO's doesn't serve the hard stuff; they only have margaritas prepared with Agave wine. If you must, drink them on the rocks, not blended.

Back to HOTLANTA... As Nix put it, "If someone dropped a restaurant bomb and it was the only place left to eat at..." "We'd shop at Vons," I finished. [The grocery strike is at nearly the 2 month mark as I type.] We all bagged on the place, with Nix being the most vocal, from the time we got onto the 91 East, through Anaheim, past Santa Fe Springs and into Commerce. Our conversation came to a head after I mentioned the 2 wilted pieces of celery and 5 carrot nubbins that were accompanied by 3 containers of ranch dressing.

I need not say more.

Say yes, gimme some mo': LA HOT WINGS CAFE, DA BIRD BASKET, PACIFICO's.

Always say never: HOTLANTA WINGS.

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