No. 76, Fries at Playground
From now until OC Weekly's Best Of issue comes out, Stick a Fork In It will be counting down one hundred of our favorite dishes in the county--one dish we think you should be eating each day until the magnum opus is published.
There have been a lot of dishes I've loved at Jason Quinn's Playground. He's one of about half a dozen chefs who actually get vegetables, and the band of apaches he's got in the kitchen get it too. The problem is that dishes are here and gone; it's like one never-ending episode of Chopped in that kitchen, where they don't know until the chef comes back what bizarre weirdness he's got in the basket.
The fries, though, have been there in one form or another, for a long time, and they're little sticks of why-the-hell-can't-other-people-make-fries. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, with salt somehow infused into the outer shell in a way that would make McDonald's R&D grovel like little bitches to learn. They're also a good value; $5 gets you a huge basket and, as of this writing, a shot glass full of sweet onion dip, helpful for some of the saltier fries.
Eat them fast, though; they age gracelessly, and if you dawdle, they get a little chewy. Screw table manners; plunge face first into the frites.
The list so far:
77. Carne en Su Jugo at La Cocina de Mi Abuelita
78. S'mores at Ti Amo Biscotti & More
79. Broken Rice at Dat Thanh
80. Bulgogi and Potato Pizza at Chicken & Pizza Love Letter
81. Braised Bacon at Break of Dawn
82. Cake Donut at Cream Pan
83. Bistec de Pollo at Mercado El Rey
84. The Rhino at Rancho a Go Go
85. Cabernet Brownies at Blackmarket Bakery
86. Cookie Monster at Lola Ice Cream and Deli
87. Polenta Board at CUCINA Enoteca
88. Falafel Taco at Taco Asylum
89. Wagon-Wheel Bread at THE RANCH Restaurant
90. Toothpick Tacos at Mexico Supermarket
91. Hoppin' John at Memphis at the Santora
92. Free Beans and Chips at Taqueria Zamora
93. Pig in a Blanket Waffle with Gringo Bandito at Cafe Calacas
94. "Pork Hash" at Huong Giang
95. Sweet Chili Chicken Quesadilla At Kogi
96. Licuados at Mil Jugos
97. Hawaiian Ahi Poke at California Fish Grill
98. Takoyaki at Takoyaki Tanota
99. Fiesta Noodles at Jollibee
100. Chilaquiles Verdes Con Huevos Estrellados at La Tablita California
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