I’ve been wanting to try KFC for awhile now…. Not Kentucky Fried Chicken…. but Korean Fried Chicken. I heard about Kyo Chan and Bon Chan and truthfully, I don’t think I could remember the difference in terms of which one was supposedly better…. but at this point, I was just plain curious to try any kind of Korean fried chicken. My brother said he liked BBQ Chicken, so we headed down to the one in KTown.
We started off with some Spicy Korean Rice Cakes also known as Duk Bokki. I always have mixed feelings about these doughy logs of starch, and this time was no different. On one hand, the spicy red sauce is hot enough that it gives a good amount of flavor (sometimes too much so, but it was not too spicy at this place), but the soft, chewy texture is a little bit like baby food or something.
The salad and rice were nothing very special, but they were very necessary to cushion all the flavors from the spiciness, sweetness, and saltiness that lie ahead with the chicken. The salad was made with a tough kind of lettuce, almost like it was crossed with a cabbage…. or maybe it was cabbage, but the dressing was a creamy yet lighter version of Thousand Island. I actually liked the rice a lot. First of all, they used a short grain rice which was a little stickier… or maybe it was oilier considering how shiny it looked, and then they just fried it up with some corn and carrots. I think I ended up eating the whole bowl by myself, because everyone else focused on the chicken.
We ended up ordering three different kinds of chicken, the Original Fried Chicken, the seasoned chicken which was a mix of sweet and spicy, and spicy chicken also known as the Drumsticks of Fire.
The Original Fried Chicken was pretty decent. I noticed that the crispy skin was a little flakier and lighter than the typical fried chicken. I don’t know if it is the flour they use or if it’s the extra virgin olive oil they use to deep fry the chicken. Whatever the case, the taste was okay… not as much flavor as KFC but okay.
The seasoned chicken was coated in a sweet and spicy sauce which I found to be just a little teeny tiny bit too sweet for my taste buds. I liked it better than the original, but I think the sauce was too thick and sweet, and I made me feel a little sick after finishing a small piece.
The Drumsticks of Fire were probably the better tasting of all three chickens, but simultaneously, they were the ones I could eat the least of… mainly because they really set my tongue on FIRE! I literally took the smallest bite of a drumstick before giving the rest for Pdho to finish and I was panting and heaving like mad. I kept drinking coke and water and scarfed down the rest of the fried rice in hopes of coating my taste buds with something to take the spice out. Flavor-wise, these were definitely the best because there was the slightest bit of sweet that went with the initial kick in taste when you take a bite. Unfortunately, that kick turns into a beating after a few seconds and would have probably knocked me out had I eaten the whole thing. Admittedly, I have a low threshold for spiciness, but even my brother agreed that they were pretty hot.
Overall, I wasn’t too impressed with BBQ Chicken. It was okay… Pdho and I agreed that the best chicken wings a la “korean” style still comes from San Tung, but we’re not sure if those really count since it’s more of Korean-Chinese style. I”m curious to check out the other chains though to fairly compare the whole Korean Fried Chicken phenomenon, before I pass final judgement.
698 S Vermont Ave # 101
Los Angeles, CA 90005
PAFO Ratings for BBQ Chicken:
Price 2 ½ stars
Ambiance 3 stars
Food 2 ½ stars
Overall rating 3 stars