Crispy Adobo Wings, $7
Poleng Lounge, Fulton & Masonic
It was bound to happen. Dumpy hip hop club Storyville has been reincarnated as Poleng Lounge. Almost all the bases are covered: communal ottomans, reclaimed-wood tables, dreadlocked DJ, exotic house cocktails and an alluring list of South Asian tapas.
It’s a worthy cover-up, indeed, but as all those nearby renters know, Western Addition roots can be stubborn. Hmm… Is that duct-taped pipe above me bouncing the halogen spotlight into my eyes? Is that stale beer smell coming from me, or wafting in from the back room? Is the language-challenged waitress looking at me funny because she recognizes me from a Tenderloin massage parlor? Any why am I – of all people – the most stylish unpaid person in the room?
Fortunately they make a damn good – and highly original – plate of wings. Six lightly fried and juicy drumettes with a tangy glaze that tickles the tongue. The sensation is delicate and balanced, a little bit of spice and a little bit of citrus. (I guess that's what Adobo means?) The meat is clean off the bone, and the skin is sealed but not dry. There’s no dipping sauce, and rightfully so, but an accompanying pickled squash salad provides the kick a spicy traditionalist may be looking for.