Beautiful is not a word often used to describe beef jerky, but a plate of Hot Café's Lao dry fried beef jerky is indeed a thing of beauty. The deep, lacquered mahogany-hued jagged twists and curls of jerky arrive like a small serving of modern sculpture dotted with white sesame seeds. Then you delicately lift a piece into your mouth, and the crunch and the chew and the sweet and the spice confirm the beauty. This is no convenience store, teriyaki-soaked, plastic bag-encased jerky. This is art, served inside a somewhat seedy strip mall south of the airport - the exact kind of place one should find great beef jerky (convenience stores and gas stations be damned).
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