In my world, fried chicken has officially kicked pizza to the curb. I trace my fixation back to Pete Wells's review of the Redhead in the New York Times a year ago and his description of the buttermilk-fried bird as "picnic-ready." (Today, Frank Bruni said it was "never greasy... and unfailingly accessorized by something perfect.") I'm impatiently waiting for Andrew Carmellini to start serving fried chicken at Locanda Verde, with Karen DeMasco pies no less, but meanwhile, I've got the insane fried chicken at Momofuku Noodle Bar. It's already been endlessly documented, but for anyone who doesn't know, here's what you and four-plus friends get for $100: a platter of pieces allegedly from two birds (though, as a friend noted, they must be genetically mutant birds with extra wings, drumsticks and breasts). The white meat has a super-crispy Old Bay–seasoned crust; the dark meat is triple-fried with a Korean-spiced coating. It's all accompanied by a giant bowl of lettuce leaves and assorted vegetables and herbs (I monopolized the shiso leaves); four dipping sauces (I monopolized the jalapeño-garlic); and moo shu pancakes. Alan Richman describes the whole thing beautifully on his GQ blog, including chef-owner David Chang's ideal chicken-sauce-accoutrement combo and a virtually side-by-side comparison with KFC.
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