Thursday, February 25, 2016

Garlic Noodles at Krave Asian Fusion - Irvine

My gushing OC Weekly review of Krave Asian Fusion was nearly all about the fried chicken. In it, I said:

The chicken skin wasn't just fully rendered of its fat by the double-fry method, the hallmark of all Korean-style fried chickens; it was detached with an air gap in between meat and skin, forming a hollow, crunchy, candy shell you could rap with a spoon. We couldn't decide whether it was like Peking duck, a crème brûlée or a combination of the two. But we agreed everything about it was perfect—this was a new level of achievement in the art of Korean fried chicken. If Kyochon and BonChon brought on the culinary trend's renaissance, this masterpiece was its Sistine Chapel.

But in my zeal to rhapsodize about the chicken, I completely forgot to mention the garlic noodles I tried there, which were also great. I was reminded of it when a friend bragged about the garlic noodles he recently ate at AnQi.

I've eaten AnQi's noodles. These are better than AnQi's.

Heck, I would pit Krave's dish against anything that calls itself "garlic noodles". Perhaps its greatness comes from its subversiveness. I never saw it coming. The menu treats them like a throwaway side dish. So when I took my chopsticks to it, I was immediately floored. Here was something that reminded me of the oil-dressed noodles of my childhood in Indonesia. It had all the markings of that seminal dish--chewy, stretchy pasta that was pepper-flecked and slicked in savory-flavored oil.

Before I knew it, I'd Hoovered the entire serving, even after I ate all that fried chicken.

So let me offer this addendum to my earlier review: if Krave's chicken is its Sistine Chapel, these noodles are its Statue of David.

Krave Asian Fusion Restaurant
2819 Main St.
Irvine, CA 92614
(949) 379-6075

Blackmarket Bakery - Santa Ana


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