I hope it’s not too late to share with you my favorite meal of 2015? I mean, it’s only April 2016. The Astronomer’s parents, two of the most thoughtful people ever, gifted us dinner at Birmingham’s best restaurant while we were visiting for the holidays. Evenings out on the town are a rare treat for new parents, so we savored this one like you wouldn’t believe.
It had been far too long since we last dined at Chef Frank Stitt’s beloved and respected Highland’s Bar and Grill. In fact, our last meal here was back in 2009.
This evening’s feast began as it did in the past, with a trio of breads (country, white, and corn) served with butter.
To start, “Fried Chicken Livers” ($10) served on a black peppercorn biscuit with a celery root and kale slaw and sorghum dressing. While every element on the plate was perfectly executed, it was the golden-crisp livers that we loved most.
Continue reading ‘Highlands Bar & Grill – Birmingham’
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’
For a taste of southern home cooking in Los Angeles, look no further than Dulan’s on Crenshaw. Here at this brightly lit and simply appointed restaurant, owner Greg Dulan follows his father Adolf “King of Soul Food” Dulan’s footsteps, delivering delightful down-home fare that hits the spot like nothing else can. Adolf, by the way, owns the equally excellent Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen in Inglewood.
Dulan’s is laid out a bit like a cafeteria, with Styrofoam trays and steam tables at the front. While all menu items are available a la carte, most diners choose a “meat and two” combination that comes with two sides and two cornbread muffins.
The roster of proteins includes fried, baked, and smothered chicken, fried and baked fish, oxtails, short ribs, smothered pork chops, and meatloaf. The selection of sides includes macaroni and cheese, two types of greens (collard and cabbage), candied yams, cornbread dressing, red beans, rice, mashed potatoes, corn and okra, black-eyed peas, and potato salad.
While my lunchtime companions couldn’t resist the fried chicken, the meatloaf ($10.95) was calling my name. Served smothered with softened onions and a ketchup-spiked gravy, the meatloaf had a homey and hearty way about it. I was pleased with my selection. Continue reading ‘Dulan’s On Crenshaw – Los Angeles (Crenshaw)’
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)’