Asian Fried Chicken Report: San Francisco Dish of the Month

Each month, Bay Area Chowhounds are choosing a Dish of the Month, trying as many versions as they can, and reporting back. It's a fun way to seek out new restaurants and try new dishes, and everyone's welcome to participate. Check out this month's Dish of the Month thread on channa bhatura.

Asian fried chicken—the inaugural round of Dish of the Month—was a big success. It turned out to be more of a food category than a specific dish, so hounds explored the full gamut, sampling everything from Indonesian ayam kalasan to Chinese chicken salad. There were some high points and low, but the project resulted in a robust thread full of reports and photos, covering only a small sampling of available options. Here are the highlights:

Peninsula: At Himawari in San Mateo, hyperbowler thought the karaage was pretty good: "all dark meat and very juicy." Meanwhile at Kitcho (also in San Mateo), hyperbowler enjoyed greaseless fried "chicken lollipop" wings. The lollipop technique also shows up at Peacock in Mountain View, where Melanie Wong tried a variety of Indian fried chicken dishes. Her favorite was chicken masakkalli, named for a popular Bollywood song: cubes of fried chicken seasoned with salt, curry leaves, ginger, and other spices.

East Bay: At FuseBox in West Oakland, …tm… tried Korean fried chicken with "shatteringly crisp" skin, served with a nicely balanced sauce. Both …tm… and drewskiSF complain that even the sauce listed as spicy wasn't very hot. In North Oakland, yang nyum chicken at OB Town is a mix of bone-in and boneless chicken, covered in a "fairly chunky batter and a sweet and spicy sauce," hyperbowler reports. Though not as good as the fried chicken at Dan Sung Sa, it was still a good late-night option.

San Francisco: San Tung still has great fried chicken wings, according to jillyju, who describes them as "top notch" and "very juicy." d7it23js (aka CHOW Associate Video Producer Dan Masaoka) agrees, and adds that the wings from SO (San Tung's sister restaurant in SOMA) are pretty comparable. mariacarmen enjoyed the fried chicken from the ArKi truck, which comes with spicy aioli. "It had an almost stick-to-your-teeth quality to it," mariacarmen says, adding "I'd go back."

Be sure to check out the full thread for even more photos and reviews, spanning the entire Bay Area, from Gilroy to Marin County.

Himawari [Peninsula]
202 2nd Avenue, San Mateo
650-375-1005

Kitcho [Peninsula]
204A 2nd Avenue, San Mateo
650-348-6388

Peacock Indian Cuisine [South Bay]
867 El Camino Real, Mountain View
650-428-0600

FuseBox [East Bay]
2311A Magnolia Street, Oakland
510-444-3100

OB Town [East Bay]
6101 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland
510-595-5338

Dan Sung Sa [East Bay]
2775 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland
510-663-5927

San Tung Restaurant [Inner Sunset]
1031 Irving Street, San Francisco
415-242-0828

SO Restaurant [SOMA]
1010 Bryant Street, San Francisco
415-552-7676

ArKi [Mobile]
Mobile, check website for location
No phone available

Ming's Chinese Cuisine [South Bay]
1700 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto
650-856-7700

Shin Toe Bul Yi [Outer Sunset]
2001 Taraval Street, San Francisco
415-566-9221

Photograph credits, clockwise from top left: Korean fried chicken from FuseBox in West Oakland by …tm…; yang nyum chicken from OB Town in North Oakland by hyperbowler; Chinese chicken salad from Ming's Chinese Cuisine in Palo Alto by Melanie Wong; Korean fried chicken from Shin Toe Bul Yi in San Francisco's Sunset District by Dave MP.