Aria’s Fried Chicken Sings

Fried chicken afficionados will love what comes out from this tiny restaurant in the Tenderloin.

A nicely decorated hole in the wall
A well-decorated hole in the wall

Okay, “restaurant” is a bit of a stretch. Equipped with two shaky tables, six chairs and a counter (no stools), it’s not the typical sort of place for hours-long lingering.

But Aria’s fried chicken is so delicious, you might end up staying for seconds!

Blah blah blah
There is only medium and large.
Size apparently matters here.

What does Korean American fried chicken taste like? Aria’s original Crispy Chicken are chunks of chicken thighs seasoned simply with a light dusting of flour, salt, and pepper with mouthwatering results: crispy but not crunchy, seasoned to perfection, not too greasy, wonderfully juicy and tender, and pure, fresh chicken-ness.

The result of being minimally seasoned and handled is the chicken becomes the perfect vessel for any condiment, including the two on the menu (sweet & spicy and garlic & soy sauce). Maybe it’s the use of skinless chicken thighs or maybe it’s the cottonseed oil, but it would appear that the pleasant Korean couple (she does most of the cooking while he runs the cashier) has the formula for perfect fried chicken all figured out.

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The choir has gathered…
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… this diva takes centerstage…
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So crispy, so juicy

An order of the nine-piece chicken comes with a small cup of “Mama’s homemade style sweet & sour radish.” Take a bite of chicken with a cube of radish – your taste buds will thank you for the beautiful harmony of flavors: bright and oily, crispy and crunchy, salt and sweet and vinegar! If you’ve never thought that a bite of chicken could ever feel refreshing, this combination will change your mind.

Aria's secret weapon
It’s always the quiet ones that surprise you.

THE VERDICT:

A medium portion of chicken fried before your very eyes and that’s a good size for two, will set you back only $7 and change, making this well-worth your time and money (cash only!)

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