Stall 239 – Vermont Ave, Los Angeles

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Stall 239 is a hole in the wall on Vermont, named after the number of the address. Street food is how it’s billed, and given that there isn’t a place to sit down I suppose that’s accurate. There are some classic deli sandwiches on the menu, but what caught my eye was the ‘specialty menu,’ with several interesting numbers listed. The Angry Bird caught my eye and is what you see above, a Taiwanese style fried chicken breast topped with a spicy coleslaw and served on a Hawaiian roll. I’ve seen some conflicting recipies on exactly what makes fried chicken Taiwanese style, but in this instance there was a distinct sweetness to it. That would be a nice contrast for a spicy coleslaw, but truth be told I found the coleslaw to be a bit bland. There’s a strong concept here, but the execution was lacking. Always tragic, that.

stall239-2I also went in for the Kalbi Smash, a combination of marinated Korean short ribs, grilled mushrooms, garlic, fried kimchi and mashed potatoes on ciabatta. I can’t really give this sandwich a fair shake, as the mashed potatoes weren’t ready when I stopped by and so I had the sandwich outside of its intended form. As it stands, though, it was quite good. I would note that that is Dutch crunch bread, and not ciabatta, but given how rare dutch crunch tends to be I’m not complaining. This one hit a good range of notes, sweet, savory, spicy, all playing well together. I’m curious about how it works with the straight starch of mashed potatoes included, so it seems that a return trip to Stall 239 is in order.

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