Nestled on the corner of Embarcadero del Mar and Pardall Road lies one of Isla Vista’s newer food establishments: Kyle’s Chicken House. The latest addition to the Kyle’s Restaurant Family, Kyle’s Chicken House differs from its sister restaurant, Kyle’s Kitchen, by offering a menu that revolves around fried chicken. This restaurant concept originated from the success of a single menu item at Kyle’s Kitchen, the Krispy Chicken Sandwich.
“Fast forward to 2021, when the chicken sandwich wars were going on, we introduced in Kyle’s Kitchen a chicken sandwich [which] immediately shot to the top of our sales charts,” said Michael Kling, general manager of Kyle’s Chicken House Isla Vista and Kyle’s Kitchen’s Hollister Avenue location. “That gave [us] the idea to pivot into something really hot and really popular, especially with kids.”
The menu at Kyle’s Chicken House consists of chicken tenders and chicken sandwiches — both of which can be ordered in either original or Nashville Hot — as the main dishes, and Krinkle Cut fries and Texas Toast as sides. Diners can also pick from a wide range of sauces to complement their meal, from buffalo ranch to sweet chili. While the restaurant has a relatively simple menu, according to Kling, the chicken tenders at Kyle’s Chicken House are prepared using a special method that sets them apart from other fried chicken establishments.
“What makes us different from other chicken places is our pressure fryer,” said Kling. “The pressure fryer is great because instead of cooking from the outside in, which is kind of the regular way, a pressure fryer builds up a tremendous pressure inside the chamber and cooks from the inside out. And that’s why our chicken is so juicy.”
In addition to adopting a unique method to cooking their chicken, Kyle’s Chicken House gave a twist to the classic Nashville hot chicken sandwich, one of their best-selling items alongside the three-piece tender meal.
“Nashville hot is more of a flavor than an indication of spiciness,” explained Kling. “Our [Nashville hot] is a dry seasoning made with dehydrated sunflower oil, so when you take the fresh chicken right out of the pressure fryer and apply the dry seasoning, it rehydrates from the warmth and the residual oil from frying and coats [the chicken] like a sauce.”
Novel culinary techniques aside, what truly makes Kyle’s Chicken House unique is its commitment to philanthropy, a trait that is shared by all Kyle’s brand restaurants as part of their ongoing mission to improve the lives of people with special needs in the communities they serve. As such, a portion of all of Kyle’s Chicken House’s profits will be donated to the Kyle’s Kitchen Special Needs Giving Back Program, which to date has donated $200,000 to over 30 organizations that support special needs efforts.
Watch the full menu review of Kyle’s Chicken House here.
A version of this article appeared on p. 12 of the March 3, 2022 print edition of the Daily Nexus.