LAReview

Even in a city with more fried chicken sandwiches than badly named improv teams (ours was “Can’t Tuna Fish”), the spicy ones being made at Mei Lin’s new restaurant, Daybird, stand out from the pack. The recipe here is simple: just a big ol’ juicy slab of chicken, deep-fried to perfection with a signature mix of Szechuan peppers and other dried spices, then served on a bed of pickled chilis. Is it the spiciest hot chicken sandwich in town? No. But that’s not the point. The point here is balance. The sweet, crunchy slaw complements the hot Sichuan pepper rub, the fluffy bun balances the chicken’s crispy textures, and we’re trying to eat it all in one hand as we speed away from their Silver Lake outpost, on the way home. Available for takeout-only, click here to place an order.

Food Rundown

Szechuan Hot Chicken Sando

This hot chicken sandwich is so good that we skip the agonizing wait of driving home and just devour it in the car every time instead. The chicken thigh is tenderized into long, thin, juicy perfection that gets brined in a peppery Sichuan marinade before being breaded and fried. Its final coating of chili oil is smoky and mildly tingly from the oil’s Sichuan peppercorns. Add in a good chicken-to-bread ratio, tangy slaw, and pickled chilis, and you basically have a masterpiece.

Szechuan Hot Chicken Tender

This is the same Sichuan peppercorn-infused chicken from the sando, but in tender form for optimal dipping. We highly recommend the hot honey sauce for a great balance of sweet and spicy that really complements the chicken’s star anise and dried chile flavors.

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