Sunday, January 8, 2017

Side Chick: Hainan Chicken Rice

Over Thanksgiving Break, I had the opportunity to go visit a new Hainan Chicken Rice join in Westfield Santa Anita called Side Chick.  Now as a seasoned Hainan Chicken Rice consumer, both in Los Angeles as well as in Singapore, I tend to have a specific perspective when it comes to chicken rice.  My go to, is always Savoy Kitchen in Alhambra.  There, the chicken and rice are absolutely amazing and the portions are always on point.  It's a hard place to get into because parking is next to impossible and there's always a line.  However, that never deters me from making a visit and grabbing two plates.  Naturally, when I heard about this new place from my friend at USC, I knew I needed to come at some point.

Side Chick is located in the Westfield Mall in Santa Anita.  It's right next to the race track and the mall has copious amounts of parking.  The place was a little bit hard to find as it was in a different food court than I had original thought, as it was in a secondary upper eating area next to Ding Tai Fung.  It's small, and there are a few sporadic food court-esque tables and chairs.  There wasn't much foot traffic so there was no line at the counter.  They are opening a new EMC Seafood & Raw Bar next door, so it's bound to get crowded fairly soon.  The menu is quite limited, with maybe 5-6 items.  I ordered the mix plate with both white and dark meat as well as a serving of stir-fried vegetables.

You can also request for either dark or white for just 1$ extra.  The rice came with three sauces, a scallion-ginger sauce, soy-based sauce and a chili sauce.  The rice itself was topped with fried scallions and there was some pickled cucumber garnish on the side.  Everything smelled quite aromatic and the portion was quite substantial.  The rice was clearly cooked with chicken fat or chicken broth, as is the standard, and the fried scallions provided a noticeable crunch.  The chicken was done very well, very juicy.  Everything was de-boned and the flavors were all spot on.  The soy-based sauce was quite sweet and helped bind all the flavors together.  While the rice was not as fragrant as Savoy Kitchen, I did like how the rice and chicken portions were satisfactory.  Ultimately, I found that the flavors were not as strong or powerful as Savoy Kitchen's.  The price for the chicken rice was about the same as Savoy Kitchen's.  For the entire experience, I think Side Chick may be better, as there's always parking and there's no line.  If I was only focusing on food, then I my preference would still be Savoy.  

I really enjoyed my visit to Side Chick and it's nice to have another choice for Hainan Chicken Rice in LA.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Brief Blog Retrospective

Last year, I revitalized my blog to what it was designed to be.  A reviews site with pieces written from my own personal experience.  Since restarting it in March, I've had a lot of fun visiting, eating and writing about different places in LA.  I am excited to continue this blog into the new year with more posts about different places to eat.  I also can't wait to finish my series on "The Best Ramen Bowls in LA" as it has taken me across different neighborhoods eating some amazing bowls.  Finally, I also want to begin adding more reviews in other things, such as books and movies.  I recently read Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult and it was one of the best things I've read this year.  Look out for something in that area fairly soon.  Thank you so much to my readers who support me and who invite me to have great food.