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May 6, 2012 10:28 PM

Fried Chicken on Oahu

I am landing at around 1pm, so I am looking for fried chicken for late lunch around 2 or 3 pm. Any recs? Thanks in advance.......

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  1. One of my favorites is Soul at 3040 Waialae, near the University at the intersection of Waialae Ave and St. Louis Hts. Another popular choice, closer to the airport, is Pancakes and Waffles, 1284 Kalani, in a strip mall between Nimitz Hwy and Dillingham.

    10 Replies
    1. re: macaraca

      soul's chicken is delicious - but if you go, ask them to fry you up a couple fresh thighs (all pieces are thighs there) -- i think, at peak hours at least, they do big batch fry ups. last couple times i went my chicken arrived awful close to room temp which is a serious let down. i'm not gonna let that happen again.

      couple alternatives: not sure if you are a frequent visitor or eat a lot of japanese foods in socal....but maybe you might consider some chicken katsu curry? hit up one of the few coco curry house ichibanya shops in town, get a fried chicken cutlet with spicy curry and add some spinach and mushrooms...load it up with fukujinzuke and of my death row meals right there. or can maybe hunt out some chicken karaage somewhere, though i dont have any recommendations on that...

      near pancakes and waffles (mentioned above), Sugoi is supposed to have killer fried garlic chicken.

      also, this from honolulu magazine recently:

      Best Fried Chicken

      A renewed interest in soul food has sent fried chicken’s stock soaring. But long before Southern food was the trend du jour, Ray’s Café was frying up chicken so crispy the skin shatters like a chicharron. There’s no eating this fried chicken in private; one bite into a juicy thigh had our officemates seeking the source of audible, crackly bliss. The chicken is no-frills (no special seasonings or glazes), just like the Kalihi eatery itself. 2033 N. King St., 841-2771.

      1. re: fatstern

        Just a quick re-up of this old thread. had an errand to run in kalihi today, so figured i'd pop over to Ray's Cafe to try this fried chicken that's been ever so touted. was also hoping for the prime rib these guys are known for, but they didnt have it today. my buddy was still in the mood for a steak so he got the new york steak plate. and there was pig's feet soup on the menu, of which we are both suckers for, so we decided to pig out and share that...with the intention of trying NOT to finish everything to prevent serious kanakattack. ANYWAY, i wasn't expecting much, i know this is one of those good ol' hole in the walls, no frills....but based on reviews on yelp and shout outs on other websites here and again (mostly for their fried chicken and prime rib), i was expecting very simple fare done well. These expectations were not met. The fried chicken was very mediocre. It wasn't super crispy as advertised, and had absolutely no seasoning at all. It was cooked fine, the meat was juicy, but it was very short on flavor....I was just expecting some good salty fried chicken, but no dice. The rice served with it was overcooked and dry. While my friends steak was cooked medium rareish, as ordered, it also was totally unseasoned and SUPER greasy, topped with equally greasy onion, mushrooms and peppers. nothing tasted like anything! again, salt and pepper goes a long way when you are making simple food. we ordered a side of brown gravy just to bring something to the steak, but that was also a bowl of underseasoned gloop. bleh. The mac salad that came with had a some funky backnote....for mac salad, i usually expect simple, creamy (not gloppy), salty, tangy, and cool. and even if it doesnt hit all the notes, i usually finish it anyway bc i'm a glutton for the stuff. Didnt even want to finish this.

        I'll give them a nod on the pigs feet soup. It was decent, with a good bit of perfectly stewed pigs feet for the 6 or 7 bucks. broth was so-so but was lifted up by the ginger garnish, and the bowl had a good amount of bok choy included. we had leftover pigs feet so we ended up just scooping out the meat home for what will be some killer leftover pigs feet paninis we'll make later.

        i double checked that the usual "chef" was in today, to see if this was some anomoly, and he was....again, i'm happy to do some low brow hole-in-the-wall dining....but seriously, this didnt cut it for me and i'm not entirely sure what others see in it.

        1. re: fatstern

          Should mention regarding previous posts that Soul on Waialae is closed. They do have a downtown lunch spot in the Remington bldg 1111 Merchant, a Soul Patrol truck, and are regulars at KCC farmer's mkt Sat am.

          1. re: macaraca

            do you think the difference has to do with the quality of the chicken, or the prep, ingredients, and cooking process? (i have not tried them yet.)

            1. re: indelibledotink

              indelibledonk - if you're talking to me about Ray's, then i honestly dont know if i want to know where the chicken is from. i assume costco, so its prob the norm. The prep is straight forward, southern style fried chicken, its just not seasoned AT ALL. You go into a reputable hole-in-the-wall and in the southeast of the USA and get their fried chicken, i guarantee you it'll be salty and seasoned and wonderful without any sauces etc. So, its def the prep at Ray's that has it fall flat... i dont expect any organic or well sourced heritage birds that could elevate the chix a bit. people also say its a super crunchy perfect crusty fry, but that wasnt our experience. oh well. I think my lesson learned was to stick to the mochikos and local kine garlic chicken and japanese karaage preps etc...i leave the southern style to the south. or zippys...ha.

              1. re: fatstern

                i should have specified soul, but the response about rays is interesting too.

                a buttermilk marinade is typical in southern fried chix, i don't think many places use it here.

                1. re: indelibledotink

                  Soul's fried chicken is fantastic .. IF! you can get a fresh fried one. He sometimes fries in batches and you end up getting a room tempish or warm one which doesnt hit the high notes that a freshie does. But his chicken is great. He sources pretty large thighs usually. The breading is crisp, thick and flavorful. He usually drizzles a little honey butter to finish which is a nice sweet touch to the savory. Legit.

                  1. re: fatstern

                    i actually prefer the majority of my food warm and not hot.

                    good to know, though.

                    1. re: indelibledotink

                      And fried chicken is one of the rare foods that is almost as good room temp as hot, as many picnics will attest to.

            2. re: macaraca

              The downtown spot has also closed. They are at the farmer's markets only right now as far as I know.

      2. One of my first stops in Hawaii is usually Zippys for fried chicken and chili with rice combo. So good.

        4 Replies
        1. re: akq

          I like Zippy's fried chicken too. Alot of foodie snobs might look down on it but I like it.

          1. re: ricoboxing

            I agree. Food critics have no relevance when sentiment enters the picture. Zippy's fried chicken is comforting, and delicious.

            1. re: andrew_eats

              OK- I'm going to make an effort to get over to Zippy's and try the fried chicken. I'm a sucker for good fried chicken.

              1. re: socal boy

                they're only ok, don't get too excited.

                zippys has really jacked up the prices of everything.

                long gone are the days of the $1 portuguese/egg/cheese sandwich, the staple of hung over teens at 3am.

        2. Soul, as per Macaraca, is great. I also like Zippy's. KFC has slid so far down the hill i don't go any more, popeyes is good if you are in Kalihi, and Churches is good also if you happen to be at Kam Shopping Center. I'm told the Fried Chicken at Ray's cafe is still the bomb, but I haven't been in dog's years. I've never been that impressed with Lahaina Chicken Co., but other swear by it. I've never had the fried chicken at Dillingham Cafe, but the other food there was good, and some friends really like the fried chicken there.

          6 Replies
          1. re: KaimukiMan

            Don't forget the Filipino representatives Max's of Manila and Jollibee. I have never tried them, but my friends really enjoyed the fried chicken at both places.

            1. re: killersmile

              yeah they both got good fried chicken too. The chicken at max's is crispy and not battered up that much (think it's just dipped in flour) so if thats the type you prefer then head to max's.

            2. re: KaimukiMan

              church's is no longer at Kam. i'm not sure if they have any other locations on island.

              don't forget the garlic fried chicken if you're into sweet/spicy. mitsu-ken is very sweet but i like it.

              1. re: indelibledotink

                yes, its excellent, but somehow its not what i think of when i think of fried chicken. i can think of some great mochiko chicken too, but again to me, while it may be chicken, and it may be breaded/battered and fried - its not 'fried chicken'

                thanks for the info on churches. there used to be one hidden away somewhere in pearl ridge, but i can never remember where unless i stumble upon it... it may still be there, not sure.

                1. re: KaimukiMan

                  I think it's still there (or at least shows up on the store locator)...Pearlridge in the "Uptown" food court (it will always be Phase I to me...)

              2. re: KaimukiMan

                kfc is the same as always, i worked at one for a month a loooooooong time ago. same seasoning packets, same pressure marinators, same drop fryers. they're ok. don't know if they still have the grilled chicken, it's pretty good. many of the oahu locations are closing, some replaced by popeyes.

                popeyes are a little better than kfc, crispier, lighter seasoned. you can save a lot if you cut coupons.

                i have no special love for zippys fried chicken, but it'll do in a pinch.

                still like church's, but pearlridge is too far away from town.

                love my mom's fried chicken she makes with a little cornmeal. add a dab of honey or spicy korean sauce... nothing like mom's home cooking.

              3. Thanks for everyone'e help. We actually went to Ono for Poke bowl(7 bucks including drink) which really hit the spot. The next day, went to Gulicks for fried chicken and garlic chicken. Never have been disappointed with Gulicks. Always tasty.

                1. Go earlier or for dinner Soul, Sean Priester's chicken is ridiculously delicious!