The Most Glorious Chicken Sandwich You’ll Find in Southern California (And Probably the World)

(Photo:  Shanna Camilleri )

As the late, great Anthony Bourdain could no doubt tell you, travel and food are intertwined in such a way that the threads could never be unraveled. If you travel somewhere new, there’s a very good chance you’ll try something new to eat, as well, even if it’s simply a variation on a classic dish you’ve had hundreds of times. Just as every travel experience is unique, no two burgers or sandwiches or salads or pasta dishes are ever the same, either.

This notion in mind, think back as far as you need to and recall the last chicken sandwich you ate. Was it tasteful? Elegant? Maybe it was perfectly golden, just the right amount of crispy; maybe the meat was grilled just to your liking, an absolute mouthwatering masterpiece. Whatever it was, I can tell you this: compared to the fried chicken sandwich I found in Venice Beach, California, that sandwich in you’re picturing right now is garbage.

Howlin’ Simmzy’s Fried Chicken Sandwich

Howlin’ Simmzy’s Fried Chicken Sandwich

How do I know this? Because I have seen the light — or rather, my taste buds have. And the light emanates from the kitchen of Simmzy’s, the self-appointed local’s pub that you’ll find on Washington Boulevard, right in the heart of Venice (or on East 2nd Street in Long Beach or West Olive in Burbank or the Pacific Coast Highway in El Segundo (they have six locations in total)). The light, specifically, comes from the menu item titled “Howlin’ Simmzy’s Fried Chicken Sandwich.”

It’s description — spicy buttermilk fried chicken thigh, red wine vinegar slaw, pickles, and Cajun rémoulade — make it sound tantalizing enough, but words typed on a menu, or on a computer or mobile phone screen, such as the ones you’re reading right now, cannot fully do the sandwich justice. The photo of the sandwich you see attached to this post does a slightly better job perhaps, but there is still nothing like the real deal, of course.

Lacking the vocabulary of a proper food critic, I cannot tell you just how perfectly spicy this sandwich is; I cannot describe to you the harmonious way the sauces it contains meld together to create a nearly orgasmic flavor; I cannot expertly explain the moment you first lay eyes on it and immediately wonder how in the world you’re going to get this towering vision of crispy, meaty beauty down your throat.

No, I cannot do any of those things, but what I can do is tell you that you need to get out to Southern California sometime soon to try this puppy out for yourself. Once you do, I can guarantee you will never look at chicken sandwiches the same way again — it is that good.

-LTH