Happy National Fried Chicken Day

Thanks to my friend Mona, I was reminded this morning that today was National Fried Chicken Day.
Honestly, I was curious to its origin, and found that no entries for Fried Chicken Day exists in Wikipedia. (After all, if it’s not in Wikipedia, it doesn’t exist, right?) Suspicious, indeed… or, perhaps, a conspiracy?
Regardless, after seeing Mona’s post, images of steaming hot fried crispiness overwhelmed me for a fleeting moment, and I felt moved to at least pick out a few of my favorite places in San Francisco for variations of fried chicken.

I’m not a big foodie compared to others and I’m not a chicken connoisseur, but I can appreciate a good fried chicken dish like the next person. Of course, my circle of fried chicken is much different from a typical person from, let’s say, Atlanta – where the answer to the question “Where’s the best place to get fried chicken?” is usually “MY HOUSE!” Alas, my selection is  narrowed to my favorite Asian restaurants (with one exception). So without further adieu, my personal picks in honor of National Fried Chicken Day:

Capital’s Fried Chicken Wings (Chinatown) – Yelp4SQ

Capital Fried Chicken Wings
from http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmjocson/4385299423/

Some may consider Capital a hole-in-a-wall joint, but it’s a really just a normal mom-n-pop cash-only Chinese restaurant. But while they cover all the basic Chinese rice/noodle/family-style dishes, the fried chicken wings in the appetizer section is a mouth watering find. If you crave a fried salt and pepper style crunch, this is the place. There’s a joke in a yelp entry that the chicken wings must be laced with crack. Many a days where I have been completely satisfied with a few orders of chicken wings and a bowl of rice (well, two or three bowls, but who’s counting?).

San Tung – Dried Fried Chicken (Sunset District) – SiteYelp4SQ

San Tung Fried Chicken
from http://www.flickr.com/photos/rikomatic/5431470386/

The San Tung Chicken wings are the sweet glazed Ying to Capital Chicken’s salty Yang.
Their wings are so flavorful, that after the first bite, you end up at another level of carnal after each wing you finished, by the time you’re done, you’re part of an Asian version of Zombieland or have been cursed as an animagus of the Sunset. My take is that the honey glazed sauce seems to have the same consistency as blood, and starts getting messier after the first wing. You want to wipe you’re hands, but you’d rather have another wing, so you end up giving up being nice & clean and forgo all civil etiquette. It takes finger-lickin’ to another level.

One tip: I always need to remind myself that they are closed on Wednesdays. I think they chose that day because they know that’s the day that people are most likely in the mood for those addictive wings. Also be prepared for longs waits during the dinner hours.

Shin Toe Bul Yi’s Fried Chicken (Outer Sunset) – Yelp4SQ

courtesy  http://www.foodspotting.com/reviews/1994510

Even though I’m half-Korean, I’ll always forget the name of this restaurant. But I’ll never forget the OMG chicken… And compared to the other previous picks – this isn’t just wings, but this here’s the real deal, the whole enchilada (mmm, enchiladas…). Anyway, this fried chicken’s power comes from the juicy steam-tender flavor hidden within the crispy cover. You’ll appreciate all the different pieces of the chicken with this dish. You’ll find yourself constantly picking at it with your sensitive fingers because the pieces are so hot from being immediately served from the fryer, but you can’t stop because it’s sooo good once it hits your lips!

Honorable Mentions:

The cousin of San Tung in SOMA. It’s not as good as San Tung, but it’s quite close.

Citizen BandYelp4SQ
For the token traditional style (non-Asian) fried chicken – the first thing that comes to mind. Juicy.

Held in someone’s garage in the foggy netherworld of the Sunset district, their fried chicken and spicy chicken wings are complementary dishes to all the fruity soju drinks.

Known for their karaoke rooms and their corn and cheese, it’s their spicy Fire Chicken which goes great with yogurt soju.

Posthumous Award – NY:

Baden Baden
I was heart broken to hear Baden Baden closed down a couple of years ago. The next time I’m in NY, I’ll need to try out Bonchon Chicken (hat tip – Matthew) or Mad for Chicken

Unfortunately, I haven’t found a good fried chicken place in Japan, which I travel frequently, but that’s because I’m usually preoccupied with other things while I’m there. I’ll make sure to have a follow up, and I’m sure I’ll find something that matches up to the top ones I shared above.

Big Blue

My son picked up some soda at the corner store and chose Big Blue. It’s the first time I heard of it, but I’m unfortunately not into Soda outside of the usual suspects. What was interesting was that the website at the bottom of the label was www.bigred.com.

Isn’t that kinda sorta a FAIL?

In the meantime, took a swig of Big Blue. Not for me. Got that cream soda taste. Needless to say, my son drank up the whole bottle.

Poignant moments

There’s nothing like using what matters to you the most to make poignant moments. UK’s been on a roll with some really solid commercials.

During my stay at SXSW

I decided to try not to tweet anything about my real-time experiences of SXSW. Unless there’s a genuine interaction of the people that I’m meeting to recognize my relationship with them or there’s some important insights from a session, I feel tweeting about it just generally showing off, and is disrespectful to those not at SXSW. Maybe I’m being sensitive or being a pussy about it. I’ll still check-in with foursquare or gowalla – I just won’t post it to Twitter. Perhaps, I’ll  just try to send pics via ping to my flicker, posterous or perhaps facebook. If people want to see my real-time experiences at SXSW, they’ll see it through those sites.

If anything, I will post when I’ll be talking at my scheduled engagements, in case people want to see any streams available.

The Cool Scientific Name of What I’m Going Through…

So, I’ll be going through a Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy. Such a cool sounding name that I dare you to google it. (Small warning: this may not be for the quesy if you decide to check it out any further…)

Essentially I’ll have 4 holes in my body in a combination of camera, lights, and incision!
I can’t help but to think of a certain game of needles and marbles. All in all, it should be a simple surgery, and I appreciate all the support. Just the thought of having an organ pulled out of me is still a little disturbing.

The killer for me? No eating or drinking after midnight until surgery at 12pm. I’ll be interested to see how I’ll feel after recovery.


I’m going under the knife…

I’m going to have surgery to lose an organ in two days…

I guess that sounds a little bit dramatic. Well, it certainly was an unexpected series of unfortunate events. Actually, it was just one – and it ended up with a planned removal of my gall bladder.

Two weeks ago, at 2am, I was struck with a writhing pain in my abdomen that left me nauseous and curled in a standard fetal position. I ended up in emergency where I went through a series of tests including x-rays, ultrasound, and then the CAT scan – the white stargate ring that takes your body to another dimension. As the pain subsided thanks to a dose of a pain-killing syrup that happened to be stronger that vicodin, the ER doctor diagnosed me with a classic case of gallstones. Then, to my surprise, I was nearly scheduled for immediate surgery, before I put on the brakes and asked to slow down. Luckily, my case was not serious enough to warrant an emergency surgery.

After being discharged, I scheduled an appointment with my personal physician, where he recommended me to a surgeon – who happened to be a top-notch doctor- and according to Yelp –  five stars (thank god, you don’t see much of those for doctors…). After reviewing my files, the doc showed me my gallstones on the CAT scan screen, and had recommended to have my gall bladder – an organ that I don’t need to live – removed. The surgery would take about 90 minutes and I’d be out of the hospital by the end of the day – with 4 holes on my body and a without an organ I don’t really need (will post more on the gory details).

Now, another thing that makes things interesting is that I’ll be flying to France for LeWeb where I’ll be tending to a Seesmic booth, and then heading to Bucharest to meet with our coworkers at our office. Fortunately, the doctor shared that the recovery time from surgery is expected to be enough for me to fly out to Paris. We’ll definitely see.

We could have scheduled it after my trip, but the surgeon was planning a vacation overseas the day I was scheduled to come back, so I would have had to have scheduled it in January. Judging by my medical charts, I could have waited to have it done then, but the risk was another potential episode of visiting the ER. So with the surgeon available on Tuesday – part of the juggle for scheduling was not just the doctor’s time, but also the surgery facilities. Lo and behold, we found a spot among the four that happened to fit the surgeon’s availability. So, Tuesday it is… Next, I’m going to a lab for an EKG test on Monday morning. I don’t even know what an EKG really is…

Update: So the EKG was pretty easy – as Nathanael Boehm mentioned – 15 seconds – got the results with a sheet of paper of a bunch of squiggly lines. A precautionary monitor of your heart. Should be fine.