Turning up the heat with Dave’s Hot Chicken!


Dave’s Signature Chicken Sliders, courtesy of @daveshotchicken

Arya Bhattacharjee, Staff Writer

Those who love to lick up the spiciest of delectable dishes will be pleasantly surprised to learn that the franchise Dave’s Hot Chicken has opened a blazing new kitchen at Culver Plaza. Their signature brined chicken breast, cooked with varying levels of the Guinness World Record-holding Carolina Reaper, is not only delicious, but a welcome challenge for those who want to give their taste buds a bit of punishment.

The menu is quite straightforward, offering three different combinations of chicken sliders or strips, and your choice between seven levels of spice. At the very bottom is the option to have no spice; although this may seem bland at first, choosing no spice is an excellent way to experience the juicy, scrumptious chicken that is the base of every meal. Every level of spice after this contains varying levels of the coveted reaper flavoring. While the spice is definitely the star of the show, you can’t forget to choose between your two options of slider and strip. While the strip is the way to go if you just want the tastefully fried chicken, the sliders are definitely the more delectable option, with the same crispy tender sandwiched between two savory buns and tastefully flavored slaw.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about spice! Lite Mild and Mild are quite similar, both soft tinges of spice that offer the iconic flavor of the Carolina Reaper without engulfing your tongue in flames. Medium, however, is where things begin to heat up. You will begin to feel the burn in the back of your throat, and all of a sudden you’ll find yourself wanting one of their milkshakes to help you on your journey. Hot and Extra Hot become truly dangerous; their heat is not to be messed with. Unless you have a very high tolerance for spice, this level starts to overwhelm taste with pure fire. Finally, we arrive at the coveted Reaper level. This seventh level of spice truly tests one’s limits, and just one bite is enough to make you want to spit it out. However, the worst only comes once you’ve swallowed it. The chicken and the flavoring still taste great, as long as you survive long enough to actually taste it…

To box everything together: Dave’s Hot Chicken is something that will definitely win over the hearts and tongues of Irvine. If you are looking for a delicious chicken meal, then don’t shy away from this franchise. And if you are looking to get revenge on your friends who keep stealing your food, then this place will most definitely give them a little burn.