When a staid Chase bank branch converts to slick, hip outlet No. 3 for a “Top Chef” enterprise, it’s proof that fried chicken is the high-flying concept of the moment. Toque about town Richard Blais fronts Crack Shack, a San Diego-based, fast-casual joint rigged to supply hot, crispy chicken feasts and cool cocktails in high volume. Beneath a savory crust is flavorful free-range chicken raised locally without antibiotics. Non-GMO eggs, too, so look for The Royale breakfast stack of bold chicken sausage, organic sunny-side egg, and smoked cheddar on a house-made English muffin. Steamy matzo ball pozole rates high on the pecking order for cold nights. Or build a meal from chicken pieces, trendy salads, and irresistible mini-biscuits with miso-maple butter. The kids meal includes a cookie du jour, but ice cream junkies will go straight for the soft-serve. With a retractable roof and furniture made from barn doors, the Costa Mesa outpost fits the 17th Street vibe.  196 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, 949-383-5040, crackshack.com.

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