Chicken sandwich battle heats up, with a Hawaiian twist

NORTHRIDGE, LOS ANGELES -- Hawaiian Hot Chicken started as a pop-up food stand at a car wash in December 2018. But it didn't take long for the friends who were running it to realize they had something special.

Lines that were hours long quickly formed, and they began to sell out. They decided to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant, and the crowds kept coming.

"I would drive by it, and the lines were always so long. So I said I bet it's really good. I have to try it," said Sabrina Berger, a local student at California State University, Northridge. "Out of all the other chicken sandwiches, this is the best I've had."

"The best part about it is you get that sweet from the King's Hawaiian bun, and you get that spice from that tender," said Hrag Ganoumian, manager at Hawaiian Hot Chicken. "We have five different spice levels going from zero through 5, zero with no spice and 5 is crazy. I like to call it a challenge tender."

"I live all the way in Bell Gardens, and I still drive all the way over here so I can eat the food," said customer Hailie Ardon.

"We tried all the other chicken spots, didn't like it as much as this one. This is one is our number one," said regular customer Noe Ortega. "The spice and the chicken, the combo is a must."

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