Fuku Santa Monica

So David Chang’s fried chicken concept, Fuku, opened up this morning at the Gallery on the third street promenade. Since that it only like 5 blocks from where I work, I decided to head over there for lunch.

Besides the fried chicken sandwich (available as a spicy chicken thigh or non-spicy chicken finger), they have an Los Angeles secret menu item - the Rippin’ Hot cold fried chicken. It is claimed to be as hot as Howlin’ Ray’s hottest level so I had to try it. It comes with black gloves and a half pint of milk.

I’ve never had Howlin’ Ray’s so don’t actually know how hot this is compared to Howlin (or Howlin ++) levels. I thought it was pretty tasty. I also got the fried chicken sandwich and I definitely like that they use thigh meat instead of breast meat. It was a little greasy, but they were frying as quickly as they could so I’m sure the oil temp was not quite hot enough. It’s $11 for a fried chicken sandwich, one side, and a drink which is a pretty good deal in SM.


Nice. Doesn’t look like fuku prices.

Lmao at the name of this place.

1 Like

It’s very much on purpose - as well as the design with asian movie bad guys -an fu to racism towords asians. He has talked about it on his pod cast


i liked the fries

the sides are super tasty there.

Loved the snap peas with crushed wasabi peas.

Went today to try the off menu rippin hot cold fried chicken. Not a fan. Upon opening the box holding my $15 meal (chicken drumstick, thigh, buttermilk sauce and soft, yellow colored potato bun), I was greeted by an aroma I found noxious - might be the combination of fried chickpea batter and spices, possibly cumin? (However, I enjoy cumin in Mexican and Szechuan cuisines).

I like chickpea-battered Indian fritters, called pakora or pakoda, but did not enjoy the chickpea batter used for the double fried chicken at Fuku. I asked the cashier if all the fried chicken dishes used the same chickpea batter, and unfortunately for me, they do.

The cashier didn’t offer me a carton of milk (I found out later they ran out, but would have had one of the other food court vendors give me milk to compensate if I had asked). Luckily, I had the foresight to order the cheesecake with seasonal fruit (raspberry) $4 and that helped to cool the spicy heat from the chicken. As for the touted spice level, it burned my lips and mouth, but was nothing compared to the tear-inducing heat of “medium spicy“ crab curry at Luv2Eat Thai.

Sorry to say I’m one and done. Pardon my French. Been Fuku’d.


Thanks for the warning @foodshutterbug. Given how mediocre the fried chicken we had (twice) at Majordomo was, I had zero hopes for his fast food endeavor. :frowning:

But I didn’t know you were a chili head! :wink: Have you survived Howlin’ Ray’s Level 6 “Howlin’”, or Jitalada’s Level 10 (back in the day when Tui was still cooking)? :sweat_smile:

1 Like

I did not write about @foodshutterbug but I tried the Rippin Hot Saturday - it was the most disgusting piece of inedible garbage I have ever been served. The stench was atrocious. I just thought I got a bad one and drank the milk. And this has nothing to do with the heat. The chicken was scrawny and dry as a bone, barely anything to it.


Went on Saturday and got one each of the dark meat and white meat sandwiches. Thought they were both very solid, with the dark meat being my fave and probably superior to Plan Check Santa Monica (not quite as good as I’ve had from Plan Check Sawtelle in the past). Waffle fries are good, sauces aren’t anything special.

Went here last week and got the dark chicken sandwich…it was bad…NEVER going back and such a rip off price wise.


Went with a group of 6 a few weeks ago, and we all thought it was some of the worst fried chicken we’ve ever had.


I was disappointed with the dark Chicken sandwich too. I was never asked if I wanted to upgrade to the “knockout” option which includes pickled cabbage and spicy mayo (for an extra $1), but I don’t think it would of salvaged a mediocre, and stringy, chicken sandwich. However, I did like the chilled spicy green beans, and the Yuzu lemonade.

1 Like

I got the knockout version it was just as bad