Thursday, November 26, 2020

Take-Out Review: 4-Course Thanksgiving Dinner from Norms - Santa Ana

This year’s Thanksgiving dinner was from Norms. 

But so was last year’s, and the year before that. 

So other than getting it to-go, a slight increase in price, and a pandemic that’s curtailed all other plans and adversely affected all our lives, nothing’s changed.

102 17th St.
Santa Ana, CA 92706

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Check Out My Latest TimesOC/LA Times Story!

Read my latest story for TimesOC on how, what, and where I ate out these past eight months. 

Click the link below! 

TimesOC: How an OC food critic navigates takeout and drive-throughs during the pandemic

Monday, November 02, 2020

Take-Out Review: Kiko's Lechon Manok - Artesia

THUNK THUNK THUNK. It’s the sound of a cleaver chopping a big hunk of crispy pork belly into smaller hunks. I find comfort in its rhythm. It’s my idea of ASMR. Whenever I hear it, I know I’m in the kind of place where the thing to order is cha siu, siu yuk, or a mahogany-skinned duck hanging in the window. 

But this, my friends, is not a Chinese BBQ joint (there’s no duck or cha siu). It is a lechon manok specialist, the Filipino analog. But that same comforting chopping sound and the promise of a good meal is also here. 

The specialty of the house is a beautiful rotisserie chicken that gives Costco’s a run for its money. But the purpose of my visit to this walk-up window is the lechon kawale, deep-fried pork belly with luscious layers of meat and fat, and a noisy, crunchy skin that rattles my skull when I chew—CRACKLE CRACKLE CRACKLE. 

It’s an even better ASMR sound than that chopping cleaver. 

Kiko's Lechon Manok
18915 Norwalk Blvd.
Artesia, CA 90701