Welcome to the Weekly's list of our 100 Favorite Dishes for 2011! Tune in every day until we get to número uno! Now, on to the latest entry. . . .
As the name suggests Hen House Grill specializes in chicken, roasted, stewed, ground up and grilled. Go there for those, but at least once, order their beef koobideh, a dish not actually listed on their menu marquee but pictured on a little-seen placard on the counter.
Wholesome Choice, the giant Persian supermarket and food court located next door does the same exact meal for the same price ($9.99), but Hen House's is the one you want.
In its meal, two tubes of spiced ground beef molded over a flat metal rod is grilled and unsheathed onto a voluminous amount of rice. Persian rice is always something of a miracle. The starch, light and fluffy as if it were
made of cotton ball clouds, is also just slightly tangy, a streak of
yellow on top of the basmati mound as bright as mottled sunshine. Hen
House Grill does it well and as it should be.
In a previous post, I observed that though Wholesome Choice's koobideh may appear larger, more uniformly shaped and cooked, Hen House's is markedly better in the eating. It yields more easily and is imbued with more seasonings, not to mention the added incentive of the freshly baked flatbread the size of a medium pizza.
Hen House Grill, 18040-A Culver Dr., Irvine, (949) 786-2000, henhousegrill.net
The list so far:
No. 94: $5 Fish Bento at Bentoss
No. 95: Milanesa Sandwich at Piaggio's Gourmet on Wheels
No. 96: Samurai Burrito at Wafu of Japan
No. 97: Carnitas Gordita at Bodega R Ranch Market
No. 98: Spam Musubi at k'ya Street Fare
No. 99: Tortilla Andorra at Anepalco's
No. 100: Lemongrass Chicken, Extra Spicy at Vietnam's Pearl
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.