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Nashville Hot Chicken Sensation Howlin’ Ray’s Returns For Delivery Deliciousness

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Plus: Dan Tana’s reopens for takeout, and so does Taco Maria in Orange County

Howlin rays sandwich on paper
Howlin’ Ray’s
Jakob Layman
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Vaunted Chinatown hot chicken shop Howlin’ Ray’s is back. The tiny restaurant, located inside of Far East Plaza, has been closed since March as owners Johnny Ray Zone and Amanda Zone figured out how to balance their popularity with the inevitable crowds and a need to keep everyone (customers, employees, other people who work in the bustling plaza) safe. The pair spent weeks working with Postmates on a relaunch strategy for delivery only, trimming down the usual menu to just chicken wings, fried chicken sandwiches, and sides including macaroni salad, collard greens, coleslaw, pickles, and comeback sauce. Over the past week or so, Howlin’ has relaunched quietly on the app — last time the restaurant tried delivery for its rabid fans, they broke Postmates — for beta testing within a limited area, and it didn’t take long for word to leak out.

Now the Zones tell Eater they’re really ready to roll for what they’re calling phase one of Howlin’ during the pandemic. Phase two will include a more robust menu and wider delivery area, including into West Hollywood and Pasadena, and phase three could even see the company push deliveries down into Orange County somehow. As for the planned Pasadena standalone restaurant, that’s still on too, though the timing for that space is unclear. In the meantime, the Howlin’ Nashville-style hot chicken fix is available only via Postmates now.

And in other news:

The LA Times has a sobering look at the life of an undocumented restaurant worker in Los Angeles right now, including a fight not only to find work, but to find a place to sleep.

Taco Maria is open once again, this time as a “Mexicatessen” with takeaway family meals, pantry staples like pickles and salsas, and more.

Bar Covell has reopened in Los Feliz as a takeaway bottle shop and charcuterie spot. The longstanding wine bar, run by partners Dustin Lancaster and Matthew Kaner, is doing evening hours only, as of yesterday.

— A ramen and banh mi pop-up is happening inside of Melody today in Virgil Village, meaning natural wine and noodles for all.

— Chef-owner Jackson Kalb of Jame Enoteca gets real on Medium about what he says is the insidious nature of food delivery apps. They “are screwing us,” the small business, he argues, laying out a case for pushing diners to contact restaurants directly for future orders.

— Timeless West Hollywood restaurant Dan Tana’s is open once again for takeout; contact the restaurant directly to order the vaunted chicken parm.