Rojo's Hot Chicken Pop-Up at Irenia Was a Great Debut for Chef Roland Rubalcava (2)

Rojo's Hot Chicken Pop-Up at Irenia Was a Great Debut for Chef Roland Rubalcava

We still get nostalgic when we think about Roland Rubalcava’s extraordinary Rubalcava's Bakery in Placentia. Those who had the opportunity to frequent the market knew of its amazing tortillas, pan dulce, taqueria and Primo-Mex cuisine. So we got all the feels when we found out that Rubalcava, who's been at Taco Maria now for a couple of years, and friend Jose Ponce (junior sous chef at Taco Maria) were having a Mexican-style Nashville hot chicken pop up at Irenia — Rojo’s Hot Chicken.

Pop up menuEXPAND
Pop up menu
Cynthia Rebolledo

After waiting in a line that stretched out the door we put in our order for succulent fried-to-order chicken offered in varying spice levels: naked, hot and rojo (xxx hot). For that extra primo-Mex touch there was the option to add grilled nopal (you want to add the nopal). Side options included fries, diablo fries (throwback to the bakery), coleslaw and pasta salad.

Rojo xxx hot!EXPAND
Rojo xxx hot!
Cynthia Rebolledo

The Rojo sandwich: Crispy fried chicken breast fried with a red salsa as its base, spicy cayenne and some don’t-worry-about-it smoky chili pepper crema, creamy bright slaw, sweet pickles and some classic American singles to top it off — all served on soft yet durable buns that didn’t buckle when things got messy. It was delicious, crunchy and bearable for being the hottest level. With hot chicken popping up everywhere lately, Rojo’s managed to put a paisa touch on the Nashville-style bird, the only request we make is don’t hold back — crank up the heat so we can’t feel our faces, porfa!

Follow Rojo's Hot Chicken on Instagram @rojoshotchicken to see when the next one will happen. And GO GO GO!

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