Chicken Maison Won’t Be Cooped Up

Two things are required any time a person reviews a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurant that offers rotisserie chicken. First, there should be a assessment to Zankou Chicken’s chicken because the benchmark. This is accompanied by means of maybe a paragraph or two approximately the garlic paste that is going with it.

This evaluation can be no exception, so permit’s get it out of the manner: Yes, Chicken Maison’s rotisserie is much like Zankou’s. Both spend time twirling in a see-through oven till the skins tan to a radiant golden brown it is only a color darker than George Hamilton. Heat-squeezed of its fats-which has basted the meat under-the spice-rubbed hen’s pores and skin shrinks to a gossamer thinness. And the pallid-white garlic paste called toum? Both eating places come up with masses of it to use like balm throughout any surface manufactured from bird or pita bread. Chicken Maison’s similarities to Zankou stop right here.

Chinese fowl salad in a Lebanese dive? Only in OC.

Though the skin on Chicken Maison’s chicken is not as crisp or intensely flavorful as Zankou’s, the meat is moister, which is ideal due to the fact Zankou appears to sacrifice its hen’s juiciness (mainly across the breast region) in service to getting that skin simply so.

Now directly to the garlic paste. Zankou’s toum is so effective it may double as smelling salts. Chicken Maison’s is a kinder, gentler form of paste. You can nearly spoon it up and eat it like mashed potatoes. I’m not positive you even want it in case you order the hen pre-soaking wet inside the lemon-garlic or lemon-basil sauce blend, which can be options Zankou would not provide.

It’s at this point that the Armenian Zankou and the Lebanese Chicken Maison diverge even in addition. The latter become founded in 2005 in Torrance by Mario Karame. It has grown to two other branches, all controlled by means of circle of relatives, including the most modern at a barren L-shaped mini-mall anchored by a Target wherein Costa Mesa ends and Santa Ana begins. But whilst Zankou continues it simple without a quite a number diversifications of its center protein as dishes, Chicken Maison’s menu strives to be extra ambitious.

First, there may be the belongings you expect: Gyro meat from a spinning spit is shaved into deeply spiced, crispy petals featured on a plate or in a sandwich. Dense and craggle-crusted falafels are both stuffed with tabbouleh into pitas or plain as a major dish.

Then there is the stuff you’ve never concept of seeing: A huge plate of chicken pesto fettuccine-that could feed a family of 4 with leftovers for the canine-has noodles which can be barely overcooked and bloated, however it is redeemed by a zesty pesto and solar-dried tomatoes.

But the item in an effort to show my factor that Chicken Maison is capable of doing whatever it bloody properly needs? The Chinese chicken salad. Save for the too-bitter red cabbage, that is the exceptional bastardization of a bastard dish you will locate anywhere. Containing all the prerequisites (Mandarin-orange wedges, strips of chook, torn romaine lettuce, sesame seeds), it is tossed in a dressing perfectly formulated to be tart-sweet however in no way insipid. And whilst the taste gets picked up with the aid of the delicate Persian cucumbers or soaked up into the fried pita chips used as croutons, you forget about why you ever scorned different variations.

As appropriate as it is, though, it is truely just a primer for what I remember Chicken Maison’s real reason: the kebabs. These are substantial matters, gilded in char. No kebab specimen is extra glorious or generously portioned than the kafta. Order one for lunch, and you’ll need not anything else for the relaxation of the day. Aggressively seasoned and made fragrant with diced onion, spices and mint, this molded meat cylinder has the thickness of a boa constrictor and the duration of a submarine sandwich-without problems five burgers’ really worth of crumbly, juice-dripping floor pork.

Lamb, pork steak and chicken additionally get the kebab remedy. You’ll discover every bamboo-skewered morsel too large to place your mouth round; knife and fork are required. All are fireplace-licked and smoke-seeped, but the lamb kebab turns into nothing short of amazing whilst eaten with a simple buttered baked potato and a char-flecked grilled veggie kebab-in which a mushroom, onion, tomato, zucchini and bell pepper get impaled on a stick.

And, of path, there may be hummus, and it is good, topped with diced tomatoes and parsley. I suggest selecting it to occupy spot No. 1 on your first blend aspect dish. The 2d spot? Well, there are too many to listing right here. I just like the house potato salad. It eschews mayo for vinegar (or is it lemon?) as dressing. Pick it over the rice, even supposing it has raisins it.

For dessert? Brownies. Yes, Chicken Maison has super tarts-not-too-candy, chewy, cocoa-y blocks wrapped in cellophane and hearty sufficient for two. It’s more proof that the location does soup to nuts. Oh, I failed to point out the soup? There’s soup.

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