Animal's turkey leg is our new fried quail, then Spice Table's stuffed fried quail is our new turkey leg. Wait...that doesn't sound right. But the dish at Bryant Ng's Little Tokyo restaurant is truly dynamite, one that we'd definitely go back for. We haven't been to Spice Table for awhile, and it's good we checked in - the menu has changed a bit, with new items like the quail, congee with fresh scallop and cod in curry custard that's pretty amazing.
But that quail is hard to beat. Ng stuffs it with rice, mushrooms and dried salted egg - the stuffing recipe is his grandmother's - and fries the entire thing until it's golden brown and incredibly crisp. The coating, he says, is an ode to Pioneer Chicken, the Echo Park-born former national chain that's down to only three local locations. It's like a uniformly hardened shell that's even more delicious with a bite of tender rosy quail meat and rice stuffing. It's a meal in itself, but you may want grilled eggplant smothered with chile paste first, and a bowl of spiced Cognac soft serve ice cream after. Just because.