Coco Bang (Korean fire chicken) report
I went with much eagerness last week to the Korean fire chicken place at 550 Taylor, which was spotted a few weeks back (see link below). We went very early (6-ish); the space and the vibe is mellow, hip, and dark. I could imagine it much more raucous at the night goes on, but not for us early-birds.
Overall, the food was disappointing.
The house special, fire chicken, comes piled high on a small fajita-like platter. I liked the sticky, spicy sauce very much -- it's the sweet spiciness that I really like in Korean food rather than the sour spiciness that comes from vinegary heat. But the chicken, which was in half-inch-thick jagged slices, was too tough. I don't think it was from overcooking, but rather from over-marinating, because the chicken was tough in a bouncy way rather than in a stringy way. Still, I liked this dish best.
We got fried chicken in special sauce. The server steered us toward the sauced version rather than the dry version, which turned out to be a mistake. The thick sauce took the crispiness out of the chicken's batter, and as a result the chicken pieces were covered in a limp, soggy mess. This chicken comes on the bone. I much prefer the fried chicken at Shin Toe Bul Yi on Taraval.
Dokbokki -- sauteed korean chewy rice cakes -- were also a disappointment. They were too soft and the sauce too sweet. I did, however, like the inclusion of sliced fish cake, which adds a different taste that is a complementary texture.
Food is reasonably priced, at $10-12 for each of the dishes. Drinks, however, are crazy: we chose not to order the $15 draft beer that, as best we understood, was not a pitcher but instead a smallish mug. I guess their model is that the food is there to accompany high-margin drinking, which would not only explain the pricing but also the lack of care that went into the food.
The sign above the door still says Korean fire chicken, but the restaurant's name is Coco Bang.
Here's the original post by umetaro:
re: Melanie Wong
Eh. No, I don't think so. I'm inspired to seek out better versions next time I'm in LA, or New York, or Seoul (should I be so lucky), but no craving to go back.
If I want blow-my-head-off spicing, I'll go to China Village, or Z&Y, or Old Mandarin Islamic, or even Osha Thai for their Osha Tom Yum Noodle Soup (which is tasty only when extra spicy, otherwise it's too sweet).