Slideshow: Staff Picks: The Best Things We Ate in January

Fried Chicken at Local: Mission Eatery in San Francisco
Fried Chicken at Local: Mission Eatery in San Francisco
"It's only available on Fridays at lunch, but the fried chicken at Local: Mission Eatery on 24th Street is worth coordinating your schedule around. Shatteringly crisp crust, crazy-moist and truly chickeny tasting interior; this stuff is pretty close to the fried chicken of my dreams. The chickens come from Amber and Son Farm in Sebastapol. They're brined in saltwater overnight and then for two days in spiced buttermilk before cooking." Maggie Hoffman, Serious Drinks editor

[Photograph: Maggie Hoffman]

Khao Soi in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Khao Soi in Chiang Mai, Thailand
"After a whirlwind of a few days in Bangkok, I settled into the much mellower northern town of Chiang Mai and meal #1 was this. When I told my tuk-tuk driver that I wanted to go 'here' on my map, over to the other side of the Ping river to Khao Soi Lamduan Faham, he gave me a huge grin. That was a very good sign. Khao Soi is a Burmese-influenced noodle dish made with flat noodles in a coconut milk-based curry broth that you slurp up with deep-fried and crispy noodle curls on top, pickled greens, onions, a strong squeeze of lime juice, and ground chilies. It was the best 30 baht (about a dollar) I spent in Thailand." Erin Zimmer, National Managing Editor

[Photograph: Erin Zimmer]

Bone Marrow and Sea Urchin from The Marrow in NYC
Bone Marrow and Sea Urchin from The Marrow in NYC
"I'm not a surf and turf fan, because more often than not it's really surf with turf, the land and sea elements failing to merge together in a meaningful way. But I can't stop thinking about the bone marrow and sea urchin dish I had (or should I say, have now had three times) at The Marrow. It's pretty simple. Roasted bone marrow topped with strips of sea urchin roe, a Meyer lemon aïoli, crispy cubes of fried potato, and some celery sprouts. But when you spread some on the crunchy grilled sour dough, sprinkle it with a little salt, and bit down, it comes together in perfect synergy.

The urchin starts off hidden; its texture is so similar to that of the custardy marrow. But as it all melts across your tongue, those complex, briny, savory flavors start to come through in a way that actually enhances the flavor of the marrow itself. Just as a dash of glutamate-rich fish sauce or soy sauce can boost meaty flavors, the sea urchin actually makes the marrow taste more like marrow, if you know what I mean. It's ingenious and fantastic." J.Kenji Lopez-Alt, Chief Creative Officer

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Spicy Eggplant and Tomato at Tacis Beyti in Brooklyn
Spicy Eggplant and Tomato at Tacis Beyti in Brooklyn
"There's a lot to love about Tacis Beyti, one of the top Turkish restaurants in Brooklyn. But more than anything else, I think, is this dish of eggplant cubes cooked down into meaty, chewy, caramelized versions of themselves, then run through with the twang of tomato and a blast of chili heat. The eggplant's texture is extraordinary, the flavors are bright and clear, and the pool of olive oil is just made for bread sopping." Max Falkowitz, Serious Eats New York Editor

[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

Purple Majesty at Next in Chicago
Purple Majesty at Next in Chicago
"I realize this sounds ridiculous, and perhaps the 10 previous courses leading up to this one had something to do with it, but the Purple Majesty course during The Hunt menu at Next is the bite this month I can't stop thinking about. Essentially just a baked potato, the small spud was wrapped in aluminum foil and cooked over coals, so that it was fluffy and tender, but also laced with smoke. Of course, it helped that it was served with the restaurant's tangy freshly churned butter, which probably would have made anything taste great." Nick Kindelsperger, Chicago Editor

Read more here >>

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Agedashi Tofu at Kiss Seafood in San Francisco
Agedashi Tofu at Kiss Seafood in San Francisco
"The best bite(s) I had in January were during the omakase at Kiss Seafood, a Japanese restaurant in San Francisco. It's a super small spot run by single couple (husband makes the food, wife is the waitress). The sushi and sashimi were fresh and delicious but the cooked plates were just as good. This is their take on agedashi tofu. The big triangular things are cooked radish, the green tube is seaweed, and the square is fried tofu. The whole plate is doused in a broth that has an intense umami flavor but also an underlying sweetness. It was warm and comforting but also surprisingly light. I could have eaten another bowl." Carrie Vasios, Sweets Editor

[Photograph: John Mullins]

Lunch at Nopalito in San Francisco
Lunch at Nopalito in San Francisco
"I've been a fan of San Francisco's Nopa restaurant practically since the day I moved here, but somehow failed to get to their Mexican offshoot, Nopalito, until now. A lunch consisting of fresh, zingy ceviche with ripe avocado, a tender tamal stuffed with butternut squash and topped with rich mole, and a giant portion of the excellent carnitas really impressed me. The carnitas had that magical combination of moist, flavor-packed interior and crisp edges, perfect for topping with tomatillo salsa. (Or, let's be serious, eating excessively by the messy handful long after I'd vowed to stop.)" Maggie Hoffman, Serious Drinks editor

[Photograph: Kennejima on Flickr]

Homemade Chicken and Penne Vodka Cream Sauce
Homemade Chicken and Penne Vodka Cream Sauce
"We made this dish for my parents' wedding anniversary dinner, to tremendous success. (Recipe here.) Just when I thought the sauce couldn't get any better, we added the cream - and boy were we glad we did. Our only tweak: stir in a handful of spinach right before serving for a splash of color. Make this tonight." Jessica Leibowitz, Videographer

[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

Fazzoletti from Osteria Morini in NYC
Fazzoletti from Osteria Morini in NYC
"We went to Osteria Morini for my Dad's birthday dinner and I had the fazzoletti (pictured here) and pegai (amongst other things) but those two pasta dishes totally stood out. The fazzoletti was my main dish and was stuffed with ricotta and kale...two of my favorite things!" Jen Weinberg, Ad Sales Director

[Photograph: Foodspotting]