36. Chicken Marsala at Aioli

aioli.jpg
Edwin Goei
Marsala in a box!
Behold our annual 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!

At Aioli--a stall at the same Irvine food court which also houses Thai & Chinese Express--owner/chef Jordan Mullikin makes one of the best chicken Marsalas you may ever have. You may have recognized Mullikin at this food court before. He opened Chicago's Best in this very spot a few years ago, but then rebranded it Aioli so that he can cook dishes like, well, like the chicken Marsala and other things that don't quite fit under the Chicago food umbrella.

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"After seven years of building and owning Chicago's Best, Jordan realized that this was not what brought him satisfaction. He wanted to create and have fun cooking again. This is when he decided to change the restaurant's name and recreate his company focusing on what he loves, sauces!!!", Aioli's website says.

And what a sauce his Marsala is! It stings warmly of wine, and possesses a savory sweetness so good you'll want to squeegee every precious drop with your finger.

This critic would argue that there's no better chicken Marsala than this, despite being served in a foam container. And best of all: it's only about $8. The mashed potatoes tastes as though someone actually hand-mashed it with lots of butter; the chicken is perfectly cooked, juicy throughout; and the zucchini and carrots are still crisp-tender--all of this proving that great food court food is not a myth. And finding both Thai & Chinese Express' pad see ew and Aioli's chicken Marsala here is like running into Big Foot and Loch Ness Monster hanging out together at the same bar.

The List:

37. Phnom Penh Noodle & Cha-Kwai at Little La Lune
38. Fried Chicken at Disneyland's Plaza Inn
39. Cookie Monster Ice Cream from B. Candy
40. Bento Box from California Gogi Korean Grill
41. Jasmine Milk Tea Ice Cream at Afters Ice Cream
42. 79 Special at Hapi Sushi
43. Chicken Nuggets at The North Left
44. Spicy Lemon Garlic Chicken at Chicken Maison
45. Surround Sound Burrito at the Secret Spot
46. Cheesecake Beignets At Scott's Restaurant
47. Spam and Egg Banh Mi From Tan Hoang Huong
48. Marianne's 10-2- Ice Cream At Ruby's Diner
49. Chile Relleno Pretzel Cheeseburger at OC Fair
50. Lunch at Big Thunder Ranch at Disneyland
51. Pescado A Lo Macho at Muelle Peruvian Cantina
52. Cemita de Milanesa at La Cemita Poblana
53. Meatballs and Polenta at 320 Main
54. Shellfish (Ốc) at Hien Vuong Da Kao
55. Basic Bol at Boldo Bol
56. Bang Bang Shrimp at Bonefish Grill
57. 10-Item Plate at Thuan Kieu Noodle & Grill
58. Leche Frita at Cafe Sevilla
59. Happy Hour Sushi at Ginzaya
60. Red Beans and Rice at Disneyland's French Market
61. Consommé from Tacos y Birria El Güero
62. Fried Chicken Biscuit Sandwich at Little Sparrow
63. Breakfast Taco at Sapphire Laguna
64. Husky Burger at Husky Boy Burgers
65. Love Bagel from Koffee Klatch
66. Kouign Amann From The Crema Cafe & Bakery
67. Chili Lime Popcorn From Green Tomato Grill
68. PB & J At Hopscotch
69. Takuwan Sushi from AnQi by Crustacean
70. Ube Ensaymadas from The Ensaymada Project
71. Pork Bánh Mì at the OC Poultry and Rotisserie Market
72. Tacos Gobernador from Mariscos Los Corales
73. Dutch Baby at the Original Pancake House
74. Doughnuts from Sidecar
75. Lengua Tacos at La Chonita
76. Oysters from Carlsbad Aquafarm at the Orange Homegrown Farmers Market
77. Lemon Miso Crab Melt at Umami Burger in Laguna Beach
78. Pani Puri from Adya
79. The Pocket at the Pocket Burger
80. Gyro Sandwich from Paul's Place
81. Slice of Heaven at Pie-Not
82. Taquitos at El Toro Bravo
83. Peanut Butter and Jelly Donut at the Donuttery
84. Dan Dan Mian at Wei-Shian Noodle
85. Beef Burger at Rider's Club Café
86. Smoked Trout at Provenance
87. Small Plates at A&J Restaurant
88. Corn Cheese at Zoomak Asian Bistro
89. Pumpkin Curry at Bhan Baitong
90. Poke at Costco Tustin II
91. Pambazo at Tacos Radioactivos
92. Beef Pho at Pho Crystal Noodle House
93. Breakfast Burrito from Cafe Calacas
94. Koobideh Plate from Grill Cafe
95. Tacos de Cecina from Alebrije's
96. Jajangmyeong from Ching Chinese Express
97. Breakfast Sausage from Da-Le Ranch
98. Any Special Dinner by Old Vine Cafe's Mark McDonald
99. Tres Amigos Burrito from Piaggio on Wheels
100. Bacon-Wrapped Dates from Lola Gaspar

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Location Info

AIOLI- Freshly Crafted Food

2540 Main St., Irvine, CA

Category: Restaurant


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2 comments
Ann Dantsuka Ehl
Ann Dantsuka Ehl

David, click on the link/article; three restaurants @ Disneyland we need to try! =)

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