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Photo by Brian Addison.
There’s now officially two places to go to for fried chicken in the region: Howlin’ Rays in Chinatown and Gus’s Fried Chicken in Arlington Heights.
Well, that is, until now.
Gus’s has expanded into the world of Long Beach by moving into the Wrigley neighborhood at 2580 Long Beach Blvd.—and I promise you that you’ll want to venture into this tiny but mighty altar dedicated toward the almighty cluck.
Here, we have what some call Memphis hot chicken—not quite on par with Nashville hot chicken made Easterly famous by Prince’s in the city of country music and made famous here in SoCal by Howlin’ but a damn close second.
Emphasis needs to be made: while not quite Howlin’, Gus’s is spectacular: it’s the type of chicken that looks overcooked in Instagram photos because of its bleeding red color, a pepper’n’cayenne-y heat that doesn’t immediately hit your tongue but when it does, you questionably keep plowing through—perhaps dipping pieces in your greens or beans to cool it off a bit or grabbing a spear of a fried pickle that puts Beachwood’s own version of the salty apps to shame.
It’s the stuff of magic and, like the magic of Robert Earl’s BBQ, comes on a disposable plate that is removed from pretense, a couple of slices of starchy white bread, and your choice of sides. From fried okra that is the best I’ve had since visiting Missouri to corn.
Go. Go now.
Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken is located at 2580 Long Beach Blvd.