I was hoping to have this published on Monday, in time for Tết, because Vietnamese folks believe that everything that happens on the first day of the New Year continues for the rest of the year. Well, it’s Friday, which means that my wish for a little New Year’s luck to keep me publishing more frequently didn’t quite pan out. There goes the Year of the Monkey…
And now to the subject at hand: Fuku, Chef David Chang’s fast-casual fried chicken sandwich shop in the original Momofuku Noodle Bar space.
For $8, I received a big ‘ol slab of boneless fried chicken served between a squashed and wrinkly bun slathered with “Fuku butter” and dotted with pickles. The habanero-kissed batter was as crispy and spicy as hoped, while the meat of the matter was moist enough but not especially juicy.
To further dress the sandwich there was “Ssam Sauce,” essentially thinned-out Korean chili paste (gochujang), as well as ketchup. I preferred the latter’s tangy goodness over the former’s sweet heat.
Continue reading ‘Fuku – New York City’
I’ve been enchanted with the idea of gourmet fried chicken and doughnuts served under one roof ever since I got wind of Philly’s Federal Donuts and D.C.’s Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken. After two years of praying to the deep-fried gods to bring this delightfully gluttonous trend to Southern California, my wish finally came true. Hello, StreetCar Merchants.
Opened by RaVae Smith and Ron Suel late last year, StreetCar Merchants serves up three things: fried chicken, doughnuts, and coffee. The Astronomer and I, along with Cousin Danny, indulged in two of the three specialties on a recent Sunday afternoon.
Since the fried chicken takes nearly half an hour to prepare, we tucked into three doughnuts while we waited. The shop makes 12 varieties each day, all of which are brioche-based and fried in rice bran oil.
Continue reading ‘StreetCar Merchants of Fried Chicken, Doughnuts & Coffee – San Diego (North Park)’
Now that The Astronomer and I are ten weeks away from welcoming our baby girl into the world, we’ve been thinking a lot about how our dining rituals of showing up without reservations and waiting in long lines will need to be revised quite soon. Not one to miss out on the latest hot spots, I’m hoping that lunchtime outings and dining early will keep me properly in touch with the L.A. restaurant scene with a child in tow.
Which brings me to POT, Roy Choi’s stupendous Koreatown spot that now offers lunch. While snagging a seat at dinnertime can be tough, lunch is a decidedly child-friendly affair with an al fresco dining option. God, I’m starting to sound like a mommy blogger…
The lunchtime menu is slightly abbreviated from the one offered at dinner, with scaled down portions and a few fun additions including Spam banh mi and classic bi bim bap.
The Astronomer and I started our lunchtime feast with an order of the “Stash” ($5), a sweet, salty, and umami-fied party mix of dried squid, peanuts, cashews, beef jerky, potato chips, dried pineapple, seaweed, wasabi peas, dried anchovies, and sesame seeds. I’d be the first in line to buy this stuff if it were bagged and sold by the pound. A killer beginning, for sure.
Continue reading ‘Lunch at POT – Los Angeles (Koreatown)’
While we’re on the topic of Koreatown, let’s discuss the awesomeness of Mapo Kkak Doo Gee!
I was first introduced to this gem while researching The Food Lovers’ Guide to Los Angeles a few years back. In a neighborhood full of stellar restaurants, I keep returning here time and again for the dependably delicious cooking.
As you can likely deduce from the facade, Mapo Kkak Doo Gee is a no-frills kind of place. The menu features homey Korean fare, and seats are easy to come by at both lunch and dinner.
One of the perks of dining in Koreatown is the free and refillable banchan served alongside every meal. While it’s always nice to receive something for nothing, it’s rarely the case that these pickled and marinated nibbles are as memorable as the main course. At Mapo, however, the banchan are so remarkably good that my chopsticks can’t help but reach for more.
Continue reading ‘Mapo Kkak Doo Gee – Los Angeles (Koreatown)’