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!
I'm not a fan of chicken. But the Spicy Lemon Garlic Chicken at the beloved Chicken Maison in Santa Ana is a different story.
For those of us who aren't experienced chefs, chicken is a risky venture. Hen can sometimes end up bland. Other times, it's prone to being as dry as a Southern Californian heat wave. However, this chicken is a far cry from bland and dry.
In standard definition, the dish is rotisserie chicken with sauce all over it. Sounds simple, no? But it's much more than that. Its true beauty lies in its combination of tender meat, crunchy skin, and zesty seasoning. Nothing is overdone: the meat is perfectly cooked and the seasoning - a combination of lemon juice, red chili, and black pepper - is just the right amount of flavorful. To give you a visual, the sauciness of the seasoning often drips to the bottom of the plate, leaving a red-orange shadow under the bird. For color, the whole thing is garnished with green onions.
And if that wasn't enough flavor for you, you'll be glad to know the chicken comes with a side of white garlic sauce. A little dab will give the meat a nice kick, but feel free to slather it all over your chicken. Most people end up doing just that - myself included.
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And it's cheap! For $8.25, you get a quarter Spicy Lemon Garlic Chicken with two sides (you can choose among options like potato salad and hummus). For an extra $2, you get half a chicken, which is good enough for two people. $10 for some of the best chicken you can get for two? Man. What a deal.
46. Surround Sound Burrito at the Secret Spot 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