Best Quail - 2013
LihoLiho Yacht Club
This past year brought a flock of dishes featuring California's state bird to menus across the city. With a respectful nod to the signature fried version at State Bird Provisions, the crispy quail at roving pop-up LihoLiho Yacht Club won our hearts. Chef Ravi Kapur grew up in Hawaii, and uses the Aloha State's international prism — drawing from Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, and Korean cuisines — to create his ever-shifting menu. It's seen in the quail, which is deep-fried in a crispy-crunchy topping and deliciously juicy inside. The glaze changes a little bit each time he cooks it, but the night we popped in, the quail was doused in a sticky honey sauce, enhanced with an umami kick with tamari, fish sauce, garlic, and Korean chili powder. Kapur's looking for a brick-and-mortar spot for his pop-up, and we hope the bird gets a permanent spot.