It’s not too often that food court food gains critical acclaim. Yet, in the case of 101 Noodle Express (my favorite college course), the only reason I went was by recommendation from Jonathan Gold. Like KyoChon, 101 Noodle Express can be found at the Fox Hills Mall, but also in other places where you would expect it more – like the San Gabriel Valley. Almost as surprising as finding such a place in a food court is the fact that Gold doesn’t even recommend the noodles.
EDIT: This spot is gone, but that amazing fried chicken can be found in one of KyoChon’s other locations.
While fried chicken is often considered the domain of Southern cooking and Buffalo wings, it is certainly not exclusive to those cuisines. In fact, some of the best fried chicken I’ve had can be found Asian dishes like the Japanese chicken karaage. But Japan is not alone in this, as a Korean place called KyoChon just may have created the best chicken wings ever. Did I overstate that? I don’t think so.
I was especially excited when a BJ’s Brewhouse opened in Culver City. Los Angeles is known as a city short on craft and microbrews, and although BJ’s is a big chain, I hoped it would fill a much-neglected gap in beer and microbrewery food.
To start out the meal I ordered their Harvest Hefeweizen. Hef has never let me down in the past, so I expected it wouldn’t again. I was wrong. This was the sweetest beer that has ever tried to pass for a real beer. Don’t get me wrong, I think a Strongbow Cider or a Leinenkugel’s Berryweiss can be very refreshing on a hot summer day, but those beers are composed of fruit and you know what you’re getting when you order them. Sure, hefeweizen isn’t the most bitter beer, but BJ’s attempt at it tasted like they accidentally spilled a carton of sugar into my beer.