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Review: Corky’s Kitchen has the best fried chicken in Orange County

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Corkys Kitchen has the best fried chicken in Orange County

When people think of great fried chicken, they normally think of a chicken restaurant. Perhaps they prefer a chain like Popeye’s or Church’s. Maybe they go with a local flavor; here in Orange County there’s the Chicken Coop that often gets people going. What most don’t know is that the absolute best fried chicken in the area actually belongs to a bakery.

Corky’s Kitchen and Bakery has the best fried chicken I’ve tried this side of Mississippi. Yes, I’ve had better at places like Watershed on Peachtree in Atlanta and Beasley’s Chicken in Raleigh, but the west coast isn’t known for good southern fried chicken. That’s why Corky’s shines.

Be sure to call ahead, though. They don’t always serve it and it takes an hour to cook. I learned that lesson the hard way.

Corky’s is open 24-hours, which is unfortunate because I live close and often have late night cravings. Their all-day breakfast menu draws my attention when I’m not in the mood for chicken. Theirs is one of the best chicken fried steaks I’ve had outside of Oklahoma (where everyone seems to have the best chicken fried steak in the land).

My kids love to go for the pies. I’m not a pie guy, but judging by their reactions Corky’s baking prowess is clear.

My one complaint: the gravy for the biscuits and gravy doesn’t have anything in it. I know I’m nitpicking but it wouldn’t be a fair review if I didn’t point out at least one flaw. It’s white gravy. No sausage, barely any spices, and you have to add salt and pepper to make it work. Not a huge deal, but worth noting.

They call themselves a homestyle kitchen. In Southern California, that’s hard to find. Corky’s is the place to go for chicken or breakfast at any hour, day or night.

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Entertainment and Sports

Binge-worthy show: The Night Of

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Shows you shouldnt overlook The Night Of

In one of the longest binge sessions I’ve ever done, I watched the only season of HBO’s The Night Of in one night. Apropos, I suppose.

This show really was exceptional, but with a catch. Tone and feeling spoilers ahead – no plot details will be exposed.

From beginning to end, the theme of this 8-episode limited series is discomfort. You are supposed to feel uncomfortable within the first few minutes of the first episode and at no point until the credits roll in the final episode are you supposed to feel okay. The catch is, if you want shows to make you feel happy, hopeful, or redeemed, you won’t find it here. Nobody grows in a positive manner. Nobody is better off in the end than they were in the beginning.

Yet somehow the show falls short of ever being truly depressing. It’s not Leaving Las Vegas or Requiem for a Dream. In fact, I can’t think of a single high-quality television show or movie that could keep the constant drums of discomfort going throughout and still not leave the viewer feeling depressed.

You won’t be feeling joie de vivre at the end, but you won’t feel tremendous sadness, either. Watching The Night Of is like eating a meal with nearly too much vinegar. It shocks the taste buds initially but the shock fades with each subsequent bite. It’s enjoyable, but only because you appreciate the infusion of potent flavors.

The acting by the whole cast (with the exception of one poor performance that I won’t call out) was exceptional. One might think that powerhouse actors John Turtorro or Michael K. Williams may have stolen the show, but it was the Emmy-winning standout performance of Riz Ahmed that has drawn him so much attention. It was well-deserved.

The story was pretty good. Nothing too original. It had bits and pieces from various movies and shows that we’ve all seen before. However, the way the story was told is arguably the best use of symbols and parallels I’ve ever seen on television. Creators Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List) and Richard Price (The Wire) worked in these symbols and parallels throughout the entire run of the series. Some were blatant. Some were subtle. All were extremely well told. This more than anything is why a decent story could be told in such a fresh manner.

HBO is known for incredible dramas. The Night Of is arguably in their top 3. That’s saying a lot considering they made The WireSopranos, and True Detective, but you’ll never be able to argue with me unless you watch it.

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