36. Chicken Marsala at Aioli

Marsala in a box!
Marsala in a box!
Edwin Goei
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Behold our annual 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!

At Aioli--a stall at the same Irvine food court which also houses Thai & Chinese Express--owner/chef Jordan Mullikin makes one of the best chicken Marsalas you may ever have. You may have recognized Mullikin at this food court before. He opened Chicago's Best in this very spot a few years ago, but then rebranded it Aioli so that he can cook dishes like, well, like the chicken Marsala and other things that don't quite fit under the Chicago food umbrella.

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"After seven years of building and owning Chicago's Best, Jordan realized that this was not what brought him satisfaction. He wanted to create and have fun cooking again. This is when he decided to change the restaurant's name and recreate his company focusing on what he loves, sauces!!!", Aioli's website says.

And what a sauce his Marsala is! It stings warmly of wine, and possesses a savory sweetness so good you'll want to squeegee every precious drop with your finger.

This critic would argue that there's no better chicken Marsala than this, despite being served in a foam container. And best of all: it's only about $8. The mashed potatoes tastes as though someone actually hand-mashed it with lots of butter; the chicken is perfectly cooked, juicy throughout; and the zucchini and carrots are still crisp-tender--all of this proving that great food court food is not a myth. And finding both Thai & Chinese Express' pad see ew and Aioli's chicken Marsala here is like running into Big Foot and Loch Ness Monster hanging out together at the same bar.

The List:

37. Phnom Penh Noodle & Cha-Kwai at Little La Lune 38. Fried Chicken at Disneyland's Plaza Inn 39. Cookie Monster Ice Cream from B. Candy 40. Bento Box from California Gogi Korean Grill 41. Jasmine Milk Tea Ice Cream at Afters Ice Cream 42. 79 Special at Hapi Sushi 43. Chicken Nuggets at The North Left 44. Spicy Lemon Garlic Chicken at Chicken Maison 45. Surround Sound Burrito at the Secret Spot 46. Cheesecake Beignets At Scott's Restaurant 47. Spam and Egg Banh Mi From Tan Hoang Huong 48. Marianne's 10-2- Ice Cream At Ruby's Diner 49. Chile Relleno Pretzel Cheeseburger at OC Fair 50. Lunch at Big Thunder Ranch at Disneyland 51. Pescado A Lo Macho at Muelle Peruvian Cantina 52. Cemita de Milanesa at La Cemita Poblana 53. Meatballs and Polenta at 320 Main 54. Shellfish (Ốc) at Hien Vuong Da Kao 55. Basic Bol at Boldo Bol 56. Bang Bang Shrimp at Bonefish Grill 57. 10-Item Plate at Thuan Kieu Noodle & Grill 58. Leche Frita at Cafe Sevilla 59. Happy Hour Sushi at Ginzaya 60. Red Beans and Rice at Disneyland's French Market 61. Consommé from Tacos y Birria El Güero 62. Fried Chicken Biscuit Sandwich at Little Sparrow 63. Breakfast Taco at Sapphire Laguna 64. Husky Burger at Husky Boy Burgers 65. Love Bagel from Koffee Klatch 66. Kouign Amann From The Crema Cafe & Bakery 67. Chili Lime Popcorn From Green Tomato Grill 68. PB & J At Hopscotch 69. Takuwan Sushi from AnQi by Crustacean 70. Ube Ensaymadas from The Ensaymada Project 71. Pork Bánh Mì at the OC Poultry and Rotisserie Market 72. Tacos Gobernador from Mariscos Los Corales 73. Dutch Baby at the Original Pancake House 74. Doughnuts from Sidecar 75. Lengua Tacos at La Chonita 76. Oysters from Carlsbad Aquafarm at the Orange Homegrown Farmers Market 77. Lemon Miso Crab Melt at Umami Burger in Laguna Beach 78. Pani Puri from Adya 79. The Pocket at the Pocket Burger 80. Gyro Sandwich from Paul's Place 81. Slice of Heaven at Pie-Not 82. Taquitos at El Toro Bravo 83. Peanut Butter and Jelly Donut at the Donuttery 84. Dan Dan Mian at Wei-Shian Noodle 85. Beef Burger at Rider's Club Café 86. Smoked Trout at Provenance 87. Small Plates at A&J Restaurant 88. Corn Cheese at Zoomak Asian Bistro 89. Pumpkin Curry at Bhan Baitong 90. Poke at Costco Tustin II 91. Pambazo at Tacos Radioactivos 92. Beef Pho at Pho Crystal Noodle House 93. Breakfast Burrito from Cafe Calacas 94. Koobideh Plate from Grill Cafe 95. Tacos de Cecina from Alebrije's 96. Jajangmyeong from Ching Chinese Express 97. Breakfast Sausage from Da-Le Ranch 98. Any Special Dinner by Old Vine Cafe's Mark McDonald 99. Tres Amigos Burrito from Piaggio on Wheels 100. Bacon-Wrapped Dates from Lola Gaspar

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AIOLI- Freshly Crafted Food

2540 Main St.
Irvine, CA 92614

949-757-1802

www.aiolioc.com


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