Best Culinary Neologism - 2010
Gamja fries from Namu's farmers' market stand
1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111
San Francisco's dense cultural mix produces some strange and wonderful foods: garlic-basil naan, Filipino sisig tacos, steamed whole-wheat chicken buns. Hell, the Mission burrito is one of our native culinary mashups. This year, we're most captivated by Dennis Lee's Korean take on chili-cheese fries, which he fully admits is stoner food that plays on the similarities between the Korean word for potatoes and the Rasta word for Mary Jane. He starts with delicately crisp fries and then spoons over chopped beef, green onions, and dollops of ground kimchi relish, then squiggles Japanese Kewpie mayo and sweet-spicy chile sauce overtop. Unfortunately, you'll have to be a wake-and-baker to appreciate the gamja fries, since they're available only at lunch.