Humble Bird in North Hollywood Takes Its Inspiration from Nashville Cuisine

Some like it hot.

Remember those friends you made plans with when you were in high school? You were going to conquer the world. You were going to make films, form a band or score millions in tech. Luis Silva and Brandon Waldrop had a more humble plan at that age: They wanted to start a small business together. Maybe a restaurant. More than a decade later, they fulfilled that dream when they opened Humble Bird in North Hollywood. The eatery, which debuted last August, serves Nashville-style fried chicken doused in a spice-infused batter and fried to perfection. 

“Everyone is hopping on the hot chicken train,” Luis says. “But they don’t have our passion and quality of ingredients (free range, antibiotic- and hormone-free chicken). We fell in love with what we experienced in Nashville.”

“Everyone is hopping on the hot chicken train, But they don’t have our passion and quality of ingredients.”

The two Burbank natives also took some inspiration from Howlin’ Rays in Chinatown, where they both worked as cooks. Before the brick-and-mortar Humble Bird location, the duo ran a successful pop-up in a parking lot on Vineland Avenue. They got more positive feedback after participating in some brewery events  and winning the award for best fried chicken sandwich at the Rocknrollfoodie’s Fried Chicken Competition in Hawthorne. Feeling bullish, they began looking for a way to grow their business. 

“We considered going the truck route, but then we were offered our current location for a reasonable rate, and we jumped on it,” Luis shares.

The menu is decidedly small, with the crowd pleaser being the Humble Melt. The classic chicken sandwich piles slaw, pickles, melted cheese, and a sweet and tangy mayo-based sauce between thick slices of Texas toast. Sides include potato salad, mac ’n’ cheese, vinegar-based cole slaw and fries. “But our most popular side is fried pickles,” notes Luis.  

For those who prefer less heat, Humble Bird offers a range of spice levels beginning with “country”—basic fried chicken. The level of hotness then rockets up the Scoville scale, progressing from mild through medium, hot, and all the way to “not so humble.” 

Customers often ask about the eatery’s name. “The chicken is a very humble bird,” Luis says, pointing out that many people don’t consider chicken to be high-end cuisine. “But I learned through experience working in many restaurants that you can do almost anything with chicken. It’s about how you prepare it—you don’t need to use the fanciest ingredients.”

Currently working with a small staff and limited hours, Luis and Brandon have big plans—and not just for the Valley location. “We’d love to expand our business into other cities. Don’t be surprised if the next location is out of state,” Luis says.