The Indonesian fried chicken at Merry's House of Chicken makes elmomonster gloriously happy. It's called ayam goreng kremesan, "which roughly translates to 'fried chicken with crispy crumbly things,'" says elmomonster, "a golden brown, half-bird deeply seeped of its marinade and showered with the granular crumbles of its disembodied crust. Think of this addictive substance also as a seasoning, because it is. This crisp rice-flour-based batter sings the same notes that the bird does, but concentrated in a molecular sense, a flavor present in every explosively crunchy, tempura-crossed-with-granola crumb."
The chicken comes with house-made sambal, "an intensely sweet, and intensely hot chili and tomato paste inflected by the stinky, funky, umami-rich accents of terasi, Indonesia's indigenous fermented shrimp paste," says elmomonster. It's lip-numbing, tongue-flaming, brow-sweatening stuff. It's also miserably addictive, and you'll sacrifice your gut lining for another taste of the stuff.
Also excellent: nasi goring petai, a fried rice dish with noodle, meat, chile, and a nutty, tropical legume called petai beans. The beans, notes elmomonster, are notorious for making "your pee smell worse than if you ate a whole bushel of asparagus." There's also excellent nasi bungkus—banana-leaf-wrapped rice, "which is what a take-out meal would look like if drive-thrus existed in the jungle," explains elmomonster.
Merry's House of Chicken [Inland Empire]
2550 E. Amar Road, Suite A5, West Covina