This restaurant has experimented endlessly with quail throughout its existence. The dish has appeared on the menu in several iterations. I’ve had a cowboy comfort food version of the bird with buttermilk biscuits and pinto beans, an ancho-mustard sauce glazed version, and a recent brunch incarnation was pancake-battered, fried and served with maple and hot sauce in egg foam.
The most recent version, currently available at dinner for ($18) includes a creamy egg salad and a savory Japanese-inspired soy caramel, made on one visit with fish and lamb bones and on another with smoked chicken feet. The whole bird is dredged with pumpkin and sesame seeds and fried to a clean, crunchy finish in sunflower seed oil, with pickled jalapeno slapping some puckered tang on the dish.
You can get this dish at Odd Duck, the restaurant co-owned by chef Bryce Gilmore, who recently received his fourth finalist nod for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Southwest award.