When I started working at company B many years ago, I would take Venice to work and would pass "Hoagies & Wings, Grand Opening," everyday. Well, about a couple months into their "Grand Opening," I finally got around to trying them. At this point, I liked wings a lot, but hadn't really hunted for good ones. I considered chicken wings a great delicacy, owing to their high skin to meat ratio.
I didn't get too many wings that first time, perhaps about sixteen, and I probably split them between hot and suicide. I was really into spicy foods, still am, but those wings were perhaps the second hottest things I had ever eaten (next to a sole dragon chili I had eaten years before). It was a good, clean hot, owing to copious amounts of chili oil added to the hot sauce. I've since had suicide wings at many other wings joints, including the famous Anchor Bar, but Hoagies & Wings suicide wings are still a notch above on the Scoville scale.
I started going there fairly often, perhaps once or twice a month, to the point that the three founders, a Harvard law grad and two Le Cordon Bleu Culinary grads, knew me by my brother's name, the name I usually gave to restaurants for seating and pick-up orders. Lucky for me, they eventually opened up a second location, two blocks away from my office. They would go on to open another by my friends' place (which is now gone, unfortunately), and another near my house (which is even more unfortunately gone). All in all, they at one time had six different locations, but are now down to two. But that shouldn't be a slight on their cooking prowess.
Having been to Anchor Bar, I can't say that Hoagies & Wings offers the most authentic Buffalo wing experience, but they're pretty good, and much closer in proximity than Anchor Bar. Their wings are meaty, moist, and flavorful. Like any good chicken wings, they take a good fifteen minutes to cook. They're pretty liberal with their hot sauce, which has a decent spiciness even at just the hot level, which is my preferred as suicide tends to blow all taste out of the water after the eight wing or so.
My usual meal is about twenty wings split between hot and garlic parmesan (they offer over a dozen flavor combinations), a large fries, and a large Coke. The most wings I've ever had there is thirty. It's not a cheap meal (at least for me), as it runs about $25 for all that, but it's worth it. It sure beats booking a flight out to Buffalo, although if I want to get a beef on weck, I guess I don't have much choice.
Some other notes about Hoagies & Wings:
- 7 out of 7 on my mess-o-meter. I defy someone to make it through the meal without getting messy.
- 0-10 out of 10 on my spice-o-meter. Garlic parmesan is a 0, hot is only about a 6, and suicide is definitely a 10 or more.
- 11 out of 11 on my wing scale. It goes up to 11.
Hoagies & Wings
1544 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
14552 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403