Best Rotisserie Chicken - 2009
At Thai Lotus, the crew is Thai and the food obviously Thai, unkinked for the American palate, presented the way the best immigrant cuisines are — as recalled from home. The menu is, for the most part, a standard retelling of the country's culinary history: lad na and pad thai, curried this and that, and "hot" meaning hot-hot, like crying gasoline hot. But it takes one small diversion, into a section marked "Rotisserie" that has only one dish listed: a rotisserie chicken that is flat-out amazing. After you order it, you can hear the thunking of the cleaver as the chicken is deconstructed — and when it arrives, accompanied by rice and a bowl of thick red sauce flecked with dried hot pepper, it's steaming like something out of a commercial. Under that steam, the chicken has been roughly hacked into bone-spurred chunks, its golden-brown and fatty skin perfectly roasted and still attached, the meat inside juicy and incredibly tender.