10 Best Spicy Dishes in Los Angeles
|Spicy Ramen at Orochon|
When it comes to spice, Orochon is probably the city's biggest star -- several heat-seeking food shows and countless USC fraternity pledges have ordered the "Special #2," equipped with their own bottles of emergency milk and dreams of winning a spot on the Wall of Bravery. In all honesty, without the addition of a "secret" blend of pulverized chili flakes and chili oil, the shio ramen would be pretty pedestrian. But that never seems to be an issue -- at Orochon, it's go hot or go home. Just sip slowly: Too much of the broth on your upper lip and you'll have the world's most painful mustache for the rest of the evening. 123 Astronaut E.S. Onizuka St., Ste 303, Little Tokyo; 213-617-1766.
3. Chile Torreado Taco at Guisados
G. Snyder Taco Sampler at Guisados
If a punch in the mouth from a world-class welterweight could be stuffed into a homemade tortilla, it might taste something like Guisados' chile torreado taco. A few pale yellow serrano peppers or green jalapenos, destemmed and left whole, are blistered and sauteed with a few wisps of onion and some finely chopped habanero, which hide in the mixture like blips of orange Napalm. The heat begins to creep back into your throat and seize up your chest like an emergency room defibrillator. This is well before you add a dab of the homemade habanero salsa, a deceptively creamy-looking concoction powerful enough to strip paint. 2100 E. Cesar Chavez Blvd., L.A.; 323-264-7201.
2. Buldak at BBQ Chicken Rancho
G. Snyder Buldak at BBQ Chicken Rancho
At Rancho, the buldak, known colloquially as "fire chicken," is less of a dish than it is a double dare. Technically, the staff at this Korean pub will ask you what level of heat you prefer on a scale of 1-10, but in reality they will try to talk you out of anything above a level 3. The deep burgundy color, caused by an insane concentration of red pepper paste, transforms a simple chicken and onion stir-fry into something that causes your hair to stand on end and your tongue to throb and radiate like a plutonium rod. 618 S. Serrano Ave., L.A.; 213-388-6990.
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9041 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA