Food Fight: War of the Wings

Does poultry excite you? Do chicken wings thrill you? Does your stomach growl gleefully as you imagine yourself devouring plate after plate of these mouth-watering morsels of finger-licking goodness? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you’re eating the wrong wings. The good news is that DTLA abounds with eateries that excel at these delectable little nibbles. You just have to know where to look.

Unfortunately, many sports bars and greasy spoons still serve wings that are nothing more than oleaginous clots of meat drenched in an electric-orange sludge passed off as wing sauce. Weak! Yet people guzzle these culinary monstrosities by the plateful.

Food Fight is here to fix that. So grab a beer, a bib, and a fistful of wet-naps because it’s time for War of the Wings.

To find the best wing contenders in Downtown, we did what any iPhone-toting, app-wielding epicure would do: we turned to Yelp. Bombarded with a slew of options, we set a few ground rules to help narrow the field.

Rule #1:

The eateries had to be in Downtown proper. Yelp was all-too-eager to suggest wing joints that were trained on the taste buds of those Downtown adjacent. No way! If they weren’t trained in Downtown, they didn’t make the cut.

Rule #2:

Absolutely no chains. Hooters and Big Wangs were out. So was Pizza Hut, which Yelp had the audacity to include in its list of “The Best 10 Chicken Wings Near Downtown.” Could DTLA be so devoid of passable poultry contenders that Pizza Hut might be Downtown’s top wing spot? We refused to indulge so nightmarish a scenario.

Rule #3:

Wing War contenders had to be vetted by a reliable non-Yelp source. Since Yelpers are a fickle bunch, prone to fits of one-star rage at the slightest provocation, we had to make sure that every rating, high or low, was well-deserved.

Dozens of contenders were eliminated, leaving two unusual eateries to battle it out:

POV Snack Shop and Comfort LA.

But who’s wings would reign supreme in the Battle for the title, “Lord of the Wing”?

In this corner: Less than a year old and even smaller than the name suggests, POV Snack Shaaaaawp with Chief Second and owner of Mission Market, Roland Ross, serving POV wings from a food counter nestled in the corner of Mission Market, a convenience store in Downtown’s Historic Core.

POV Snack Shop’s ferocious menu of farmer’s market-inspired salads, Belgian fries, chicken wings, and the occasional special offers the Lunchbox, a tag team of five wings tossed in a sauce of your choosing accompanied by Belgian fries and garlic-chive aioli. With six signature sauces to choose from, this bout opted for the spicy-sweet punch of habanero mango with wings so perfectly fried, tender, and juicy covered in a sauce that is said to be sweet but never cloying.

Weighing in at a whopping 2lbs, the Dinnerrrrrrr Specialllll.  Raised in a soul food sanctuary known as Comfort LA that began as a pop-up but recently found a permanent home on the rough lower east side of Downtown’s infamous Skid Row, their home-style country inspired menu brims with palate pleasers, including organic wings, soulful sides, and a Sunday-only chicken and waffle brunch.

Comfort LAs Dinner Special is made up of five wings served with cornbread, mac &  cheese, and beans & rice and has been called transcendent – crispy, moist, and tender, perfectly seasoned with the right amount of heat, and topped with a healthy drizzle of “That Sauce.”

Who will be victorious as two of Downtown’s favorite wing stops battle in the ring? If you had your say, who would win! Make your bets on social media #dtlaweekly and help decide the outcome of this delicious bout, then pick up the newest issue of Downtown Weekly and read the play by play.

KerFree100

Yup, you guessed it. It's me Keri Freeman, publisher and concept designer for Downtown Weekly. Living, working and playing in Downtown coming from an entertainment background...I discovered something about myself. I discovered I really liked sharing my knowledge of DTLA and its awesome hospitality movement. Also in doing so I have the great pleasure of working with incredible sponsors (who believe in the vision), extraordinary literary artists, photographers, event coordinators and many talented artists and musicians who inspire me every day to keep the DTLA Weekly going. Also, it would seem I'm the only woman of color to publish a newspaper here in over 100 years, so hopefully that inspires some future generations as well....Just remember if its fun...it can't be work....Thank you, people of Gaia, for your continued support and thank you for reading!