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Howlin’ Ray’s Teases Delivery-Only Hot Chicken in West LA

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Founder Johnny Ray Zone says a limited menu could hit West LA by the end of the year

Howlin rays sandwich on paper
Howlin’ Ray’s
Jakob Layman

Long-suffering Westside fans of Howlin’ Ray’s have waited literally years to hear that the Chinatown hot chicken specialist would be heading their way, and now it seems that their dreams are coming true. Chef/owner Johnny Ray Zone teased some tantalizing new details on today’s episode of food podcast Air Jordan, saying that he’s pushing to get a delivery-only setup in place for that part of the city sometime in the next few months.

Per the podcast, Zone is “potentially signing a lease next week” to do a delivery-only restaurant with a radius that would encompass “West LA, Santa Monica, Venice, Culver City” and other neighborhoods. The setup wouldn’t be as fully realized as a standalone restaurant, though, and not just because it’s missing that signature Howlin’ Ray’s service. Zone told host and food writer Jordan Okun that the menu would consist only of “sandos, tenders, and wings,” meaning no quarter chicken or other bone-in chicken options. The food would be exclusively ordered through an as-yet unnamed app partner.

Though it’s not mentioned on the podcast, it’s likely that the menu would incorporate a few sides and possibly fries as well, and that any commissary kitchen space would also offer a pick-up option for those who live outside of the delivery radius but still don’t feel like driving to Chinatown proper. In all, Zone says he’s really trying to grind out a deal fast, with plans to open within the next three months.

The news of a Westside delivery option comes after a whirlwind year for the ultra-busy restaurant. Johnny Ray and Amanda Zone began their journey after working together at Franklin Village restaurant La Poubelle before expanding into a food truck and then into Chinatown’s changing Far East Plaza. Their spiced bird proved a near-immediate hit, drawing hours-long lines and hopeful news of additional locations in Las Vegas and a food hall in Culver City. The Zones scrapped plans to open in Culver City last year, and have since announced plans to open a standalone space with longer hours and more seating in Pasadena instead. More details on this as it comes.

Howlin’ Ray’s. 727 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA.

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