Behold the beginning of 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!
You only need to have been paying attention to the miracles Korean purveyors such as Kyochon and Pizza N Chicken Love Letter have done with fried chicken over the past decade to know that when a Korean beer pub decides to focus on fried chicken as its specialty, things are going to be very, very good.
Crazy Chi-Mac does just this, but the restaurant doesn't just have one kind of fried chicken either. There's the base model, golden and crispy battered, the crust similar to the Colonel's, though lighter and not harboring a gallon of grease. From there, coating possibilities emerge in saucing options ranging from a hot sauce made with red kimchi juice to a sugary soy to something called “Habanero 911 Hot Wings” that has a note underneath it saying, “Caution: Very Very Spicy!!!”
And with all of the chicken at Crazy Chi-Mac, there's the unshakable hallmark of the Korean Method, a double-fry that leaves the skin thoroughly rendered of its fat and practically disappearing between the batter and the meat. Another notable feature: Even if you ask for a half order, enough equally sized pieces appear to share with the entire table, and the breast is cut into smaller pieces so that no one person hogs it all.
82. Mole Tots at Amor y Tacos
83. Khao Soi at S.T. Noodle Bar
84. Chili Cone Queso at Cozy Cone Motel
85. Crispy Smelt at Big Catch Seafood
86. Teriyaki Chicken Plate at California Plate
87. Combo Plate at MasalaCraft
88. Cornbread Waffle N Chicken at Mrs. Bea's
89. Everything at Crispy Town
90. Kurobuta Pork Belly Bánh Mì at Mendocino Farms
91. Tostilocos at Tortas y Biónicos “Nice”
92. Milanesa at Delicias Peruanas
93. Super Nachos at Kelly's Korner Tavern
94. Tortas at Sliced and Diced Eatery
95. Seasonal Dumplings at Coconut Rabbit
96. Burrito de Birria de Res from Burritos La Palma
97. Bò Kho at Song Long Restaurant
98. Pancake Sandwich at Willowick Golf Course
99. Tahdig at Tanor Fresh Mediterranean Grill
100. Quatro Formaggi Panini at Old Vine Cafe
Before becoming an award-winning restaurant critic for OC Weekly in 2007, Edwin Goei went by the alias “elmomonster” on his blog Monster Munching, in which he once wrote a whole review in haiku.