Studies show that eating spicy food has many health benefits. Simply adding some heat to your daily diet can aid in weight loss, improve your circulation and digestion, ease cold and flu symptoms, improve sleep patterns and help with asthma and emphysema. Sources say that the hotter the meal, the better. The only problem with this theory is that it still has to get past your tongue. However, if you’re one of those people who don’t consider it spicy until you’re sweating, you can quite literally put your money where your mouth is at any of these five fiery Los Angeles eateries.
Flavor of India
161 E Orange Grove Ave
Burbank, CA 91502
Indian food is generally known to be on the spicy side and Flavor of India in downtown Burbank holds true to that reputation. The Chicken Tikka Masala is a favorite among Indian cuisine foodies as well as the Cauliflower Potato Curry. The Chicken Tandoori is more on the mild side but beginners take heed: the heat level begins on the elevated side of medium. For the more experienced Indian cuisine connoisseur, if you’re looking for more fire in your mouth, all you have to do is ask. And with a lunch buffet for $9.95, it makes it easy to find your ideal tolerance level.
The Boiling Crab
3377 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Seafood meets Cajun creole at The Boiling Crab in Korea Town. While the crab, lobster, crawfish, oysters, clams and shrimp are nothing but a messy good time just as they are, the kick comes from the sauce. Choose from basics like lemon pepper and garlic butter or throw in a tongue-tingling boost with the rajun Cajun sauce. Can’t decide? The “whole sha’bang” is just that, a combo of all the sauces that is sure to send your salivary glands into high gear. It’s first come, first serve at The Boiling Crab and wait times can get a little long. Be prepared.
Related: Best Seafood In Los Angeles
1496 Colorado Blvd
Eagle Rock, CA 90041
Larkin’s is a unique soul-food eatery of converted bungalows that makes you feel like you’re dining in someone’s home. The menu is truly home-style cuisine with entrees named after relatives like Aunt Pookie’s pancakes, Sistah Nelson’s BBQ portobello sandwich and Aunt Carolyn’s potato salad. Almost everything has some heat including some unexpected items like the portobello fries and the hot-link corn dogs. But if you want to sweat, the jambalaya (chicken, spicy sausage, shrimp and veggies over rice) is a must-try.
2100 E Cesar Chavez Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90033
At Guisados, comfort food has taken a turn for the spicy. Homemade masa tortillas and fresh chicken, pork and beef with explosive herbs and spices comprise these gourmet tacos and tamales. The Chicken Tinga is spicy and the Conchinita Pibil has range. A side of the habanero salsa will add heat to everything else, but beware: the chiles torreados comes only “as hot as it gets.” It will definitely put your taste buds to the test. Gusisados’ Jamaica or Armonda Palmero Aguas Frescas are a recommended cool down. As an added bonus, if you check in on Foursquare, you will get a free quesadilla.
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123 S Onizuka St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Orochon Ramen is where you take your tongue and lips to be incinerated. Named as one of the hottest soups on the planet by Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food,” the special #2 is a sinister blend of 13 different spices that will have you spitting fire. The dish even comes with an eat-at-your-own-risk disclaimer and a “wall of bravery” club. Any customer that can finish a bowl of special #2 in 30 minutes or less earns the right to have their smiling mug posted on the wall for everyone to see. But then again, people without lips often look like they’re smiling.
Kristine G. Bottone is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.