Football season is fast approaching and that means one thing: it's time to eat incredibly unhealthy food while watching other people exert themselves.
But what's a red-blooded American to do when it's almost coin-toss-time and you find yourself inconveniently saddled with a discerning palate? In Los Feliz, the divey and oppressively dark Ye Rustic Inn has been making some of the best buffalo wings in town for years. These wings, despite their kitchen transformation and healthy dose of wing sauce, still come out tasting like chicken--which is more than I can say for most of the versions you're likely to find.
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However, if you're secure in your patriotism, there are some foreign wings out there that you don't want to miss. Kyochon, a chain of Korean fried chicken shops, just might have what it takes to ween you off your buffalo sauce addiction. Their garlic soy wings will hit you in the nose first, exuding an aroma so seductive that even the most foreigner-hating Americans will find themselves stretching their fingers toward the plate like Indiana Jones for the Holy Grail. These wings are not at all sloppy, but clean, crisp and golden. The flavor is there, but packed on the inside, rather than out.
In the end, both have their merits and their rabid fans. So what's a lover of all things gridiron to do when people are coming over to watch the game? Delegate. Have one friend pick up from Ye Rustic, and the other from Kyochon. Then you can lay them all out on the table and see what happens. But if you had to choose one or the other, consider sticking with Kyochon, since your fingers won't be covered in red stains and you could put your arm around that girl you've been trying to hook up with since high school.
Ye Rustic Inn, 1831 Hillhurst Ave, L.A., (323) 662-5757., Kyochon Chicken, 3833 W 6th St, L.A., (213) 739-9292.