# Kyochon - Korean fried chicken

Cicely Jun 11, 2007 08:57 AM

Straight off the plane from Boston, my husband says he's been craving the fried wings from this chicken place that opened up a couple weeks ago, despite some craziness on a previous visit when they ran out of chicken. So we head over.

Right away though, we make a mistake. Despite looking like a McDonald's, there actually is table service at Kyochon. We ordered at the counter, which is apparently only for to-go orders. We were told it would take an hour and a half.

I thought, this chicken had better be awesome.

So we went a few doors down, passing a samgyeopsal place that's supposed to be really good and smells like it (samgyeopsal is grilled slices of pork belly), to get a drink and some ttukbokki, chewy rice cakes in spicy sauce, to tide us over.

An hour later, we decide to try our luck and return to Kyochon. No luck. We take a seat and wait some more. Fortunately, we had brought the Sunday paper.

To condense our long ordeal, we eventually got served, two hours after ordering. This was really because of the to-go mixup, the waitress said. I noticed she was telling other customers who ordered at table that the wait was 30-40 minutes. Still long, but manageable.

We got the original and the spicy wings. Usually I hate wings. I hate chicken skin and bones, and that's pretty much all there is. I like the crisp-skinned wings dusted with pepper salt at Furaibo, but that's it.

Now I can add Kyochon to that list. The wings were well fried, and there was no hint of flabby undercooked skin. The original wings seemed to have garlic bits embedded in the batter, which gave them a toasted-garlic flavor. My spicy wings were spicy, but oh so tasty... I thought the originals were bland by comparison, although my husband said that was because my taste buds had been singed by the hot wings. Very possible.

You get diced pickled daikon on the side. Not my thing, but I downed a few cubes to try to quench the fire inside.

So this place is clearly still trying to get their act together. Their menu also offers drumsticks (as "sticks") and whole chicken, but none of those were available. There's also chicken bulgogi, spicy chicken with chewy rice cakes, french fries and mozzarella sticks, but I didn't see anyone ordering them so I don't know if they're available.

A medium order of wings is $9, large is$16. Sodas are free. No beer, which is a shame because those wings would go perfectly with it.

I also have photos, which I'll post later.

There's also another branch in Torrance that's been open longer.

Kyochon
3833 W. 6th St.
Los Angeles 90020
213-739-9292

Kyochon
2515 Torrance Blvd.
Torrance 90503
310-320-9299

1. Went once and will never return. Their 18 pc friedchicken was loaded with MSG (I'm allergic to it) and was overcooked (dry and the coating hardened). I think Jonathan Gold is way off base on this one. That or the kitchen was having such a really disastrous off day I don't dare try again. Will stick instead with Larkin's Joint version.

1. re: dineomatic

agree about the gobs of MSG. The one and only time I had Kyochon wings, I could not sleep at all. I tossed and turned until 5 am. I can handle moderate amounts of MSG but large amounts give me insomnia. Damn tasty stuff, but if I ever do it again, it will be for lunch, not dinner. Now I just make my own with gochujang, garlic, honey & soy. It's a close enough rendition of the spicy version flavorwise and NO insomnia!

2. Based on all of the glowing reports here and elsewhere, we finally tried the Kyochon branch in Torrance. Nice thing about the location is that they give you one of those buzzer\beeper things to carry around with you as you peruse the offerings of the rest of the Freshia Asian food market and by the time you've checked out the monkfish heads and done a couple of rounds on the free kim chi samples , your order is ready. We opted for one order of hot wings and and another of the "original" flavor legs (a kind of garlicy soy sauce).

Were they good? Absolutely. We inhaled most of the bag while walking to the car (there really isn't anyplace to eat them at the stand itself). The twice-frying reduced the legs and wings down to the essential components of pure meat, thin crispy skin, and bone. Both sauces were good matches to the way the chicken had been cooked. Interestingly my wife thought that the hot sauce was a bit too hot for her even though she's a pro at heat. I didn't think that at all, and given that a number of posters have gone both ways on the heat index issue, I wonder if the spices used cause very different reactions in different people. Whatever...

Would I go back and buy another order? Absolutely not. Despite the fact that we liked the chicken very, very much, it was waaaaaaaaaay overpriced. Four wings and four legs with tax ran $14.05. Put another way, each wing was$1.25 and each leg was $2.00, a hefty sum for me these days. And because the twice-frying process gets rid of a lot of the fat and because the chicken wings and legs were already trimmed down to their bare essentials, you're getting only a few succulent nibbles on each. In fact, we were still so hungry that we stopped later that day at an Albertson's to pick up a bag of 8 big pieces of fried chicken for$6.99.

Trust me, I have no problem dropping five bucks for a bite-sized morsel of good ahi or Spanish mackerel at a sushi bar but part of that money is paying for ambiance, showmanship, and table\bar service. I wouldn't blink twice if at Nobu they served the same four wings for $10 and in fact we'd all be raving how wonderful they are and such a deal. But at a fast food counter to pay so much money for such little pieces? No thanks, even with the cute designer carry-out bag. Should you try this once? Positively. At the moment, Kyochon, BonChon, and similar sources are the only places that cook chicken this way. But after that first test, my advice is to wait. Wait until some clever entrepreneur here in L.A. figures out how to do the same thing at a fraction of the cost and then you'll see all sorts of joints opening up across the county like California poppies after a spring rain. Imagine...Mexican-spiced Korean-style twice fried chicken! Then you'll see Armenian, Italian, French, Thai, Salvadoran, etc., etc... Why not? Once that happens, the world will be a perfect place. Nick 1 Reply 1. re: nick_shirley We dropped by the Torrance location last week for our second visit, with mixed results: Pro: Still juicy and delicious with a nice crunch The chickens seem to be bigger these days (good sized drumsticks anyway) Con: Still too much MSG They've ripped out the inside seating, so you either have to eat in the parking lot, or drive somewhere close before the grease cools... 2. Oh my gosh! After reading so many posts about Kyochon (both good and bad), I had to try it myself. It was a bit out of the way (I went to the one in Stanton...I live in Dana Point). I ordered the 20 piece wings. Half original and half spicy. I was by myself so I knew I'd take half of them home. However, as soon as my order was up I decided to eat them right there in the food court. Well.....the heavens parted and the angels sang and I heard harps playing!!!!!! It was a darn near spiritual experience for me. WOW they were so dang GOOD!!!! Now, I love buffalo wings to begin with. WingNuts in Costa Mesa and Aliso Viejo has been my favorite wing place.......up until now. These Kyochon wings were so amazing. Yes, they were expensive but I haven't tasted anything like them. Kinda like crack, or sorta like eating a Krispy Kreme donut that just came out of the fryer! They're so addictive. I'll definitely be back for some more of this 'Crack' wings! 1. Tried Kyochon myself for the first time today. Excellent taste, but I got a rare MSG headache afterwards. Usually, it takes quite a bit of MSG to give me a headache, so I think I'll avoid Kyochon in the future - it just wasn't worth it.... 2 Replies 1. re: J.L. my current fave is Chicken Day it's not as spicy as Kyochon (some ppl, ahem, SS, can't handle the spiciness anyway), the pieces are definitely larger, the crust equally crispy and the best part: cheaper w/ a less insane parking lot. the worst however, is easily: BBQ Chicken 698 S Vermont Ave # 101 Los Angeles, CA 90005 (213) 739-1047 schtick: chi kin fried in olive oil. not a good idea. ----- Chicken Day 301 S Western Ave Ste 108, Los Angeles, CA 90020 1. re: TonyC I am, as they say, a spice weenie, so I can't wait to try out Chicken Day. 2. Checked out the Kyochon hype yesterday. Phoned in and picked up, no hassles. 16 bucks for a whole chicken, opted for HOT spicy chicken Absolutely incredible. Love the flavor, love the crisp. Could eat again, and again, and again. It is kinda expensive though, but it fed 1 guy and 2 girls well enough. I, for one, enjoy the pickled daikon. Very good to offset the spiciness. Easily my favorite wings in LA now. 1 Reply 1. re: ns1 You talking about K or B? It's not clear. By mentioning daikon I'm assuming you are referring to k. 2. I'm a big fan of KyoChon so last night I had to try BonChon. I'll do a little comparison. K has a busy parking lot B has no parking lot but a pay garage around the corner on Catalina K looks like a nice but typical fast food place B looks like a Pinkberry K serves the chicken very very crispy. The meat is just crunch. B has a nice skin that smells oddly like frydough and the chicken meat is juicy Both K and B take 30 minutes so be ready to wait or call ahead. They are both good. Just depends what you are in the mood for. BonChon tastes healthier because the meat is juicy. I have tried KyoChon's grilled hot wings and would recommend them. 1. Kyochon is GOOD STIFF but it's so f-ing TINY. For the price, it's a rip-off. Now if Kyochon would use larger-sized birds, they would rule for eternity. 1. Saw a sign - new branch opening up at Yes Plaza in Rowland Heights (Colima & Fullerton). Will get to see what the fuss is about. 3 Replies 1. re: notmartha EXCELLENT!! Right near my parents. :D --Dommy! 1. re: notmartha Nice! Thanks for the tip notmartha. Please let us know when it opens and how it is at the new location. :) 1. re: notmartha The branch in Rowland Heights is now open - you can smell the fried chicken in the parking lot half way across the plaza. It's not a restaurant - but rather a food court stall, but there are a nice indoor and outdoor seating areas for the food court. Got the half/half 10 pieces of chicken wings, without any of the waiting time others mentioned. We ordered some knife cut noodles, rice powder spare ribs, and wontons next door at No. 1 Noodle and we waited longer for those. Back to the chicken - very nice and crispy. The hot & sweet sauce is much more garlicky than the original, and I like that better, as the original is a bit too dry for me (especially the drumnettes - wish could get all wings). I loved that even coated with the sauce, the wings stayed crispy. Maybe next time I'll bring a bottle of buffalo sauce to try w/ the original. They also have a little ice cream machine where you can self-serve a tiny cup of ice cream - didn't try as I always go to Ce Fiore in the same plaza for dessert instead. 2. I really don't see what the big deal is with kyochon. is everyone so deprived of "crunchy" chicken that this mediocre bites of chicken blinds them into thinking this is the best fried chicken ever? don't get me wrong... i'm korean and i love fried chicken as much as the next person, but for crispy fried chicken, i think the the ultimate example would be the traditional korean type served at prince. Tender chicken meat underneath the thin, cripsy veil of skin is what it's all about. otherwise, you're relying on the batter and the sauce more than anything else. kyochon's original chicken has too much of the garlic and soy flavoring, and the spicy chicken is so gut-searingly spicy that you can't appreciate the meatiness of the bird. actually, the meat is not even all that meaty but rather puny compared to other fried chicken in k-town. 4 Replies 1. re: tuttifrutti Besides the PRINCE where else?... 1. re: Hershey Bomar OB Bear has great Korean style whole fried chicken, as well as other tasty treats. Get the small size chicken, not the big one though. (Small one is nice and crispy, the big one is just bigger and not as crispy imho) Hmm.... why do I feel the eyes of the Koreans focusing on me now?? *runs away* 1. re: jysh Just had OB Bear's fried chicken and I think i'ts great. On this day, it was definitely not as dry as Prince's. But with friedchicken, it could just be an off day. I have to say that Soju Town actually has a decent fried chicken too (tong dahk). I didn't encounter any dry parts at all. 2. re: tuttifrutti Yes, I really like the Prince. Not only for the chicken, but also for the space. I believe you can get the same kind of fried chicken at some Korean markets. 3. Crack-a-licious. This chicken is amazing (and addictive). I got the sticks, half regular, half spicy. The aroma on the drive home was intoxicating --a combo of garlic, and sweet, and spicy, it was all I could do to convince myself that eating freshly fried chicken was not a safe thing to do on the freeway. The spicy had a sweet and spicy glaze -- just the right amount of spice for me. Spicy and flavorful, but not mind numbing heat (which I don't like). The regular -- kind of hard to describe, very flavorful, I thought. And the closest thing I've ever tasted to the spicy wings at Furaibo, meaning, flavorful on several levels, with a very slight hint of heat. I have to give a nod to the cooks at Kyochon. The chicken was crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. While I love love love Furaibo -- their chicken (parts other than the wing) are often fried to leather. ----- Kyochon Chicken 3833 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020 Furaibo 2068 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025 8 Replies 1. re: debra An update on Kyochon. Still as delicious as ever, but the menu has changed, and prices are on the rise. Instead of a large or small order, you choose the # of sticks or wings you want -- the sticks were huge this time (full size, as opposed to the super scrawny ones they were serving). We also tried the grilled wings, which only come one way --Hot, and they were just that, super hot --they don't use the hot & sweet marinade they use on the fried items. These grilled wings were too hot for me, you could see the bits of chili stuck to the chicken. Enjoy! 1. re: debra Confirmed. 17 bucks for a whole chicken. 15 bucks for 20 wings. 1 dollar for daikon radish. Original sucks. Hot is excellent. 1. re: ns1 Hot used to be hotter... can you maybe request different spice levels? 1. re: Hershey Bomar You should try, but it all seems very "stepford" to me. What they used to call Hot (as in original or hot) is now called "spicy & sweet", it was never very hot, and original is now called something like "garlic & soy". If you like sinus clearing HOT hot, go for the grilled wings. They are only offered one way, in their own HOT glaze. Maybe they'll give you a side of the grilled wing glaze, or dip the sticks in it for you...worth a shot if that's what you're looking for. Although, you'll have to be the judge tastewise, the HOT just tasted HOT to me, not as tasty as the two other options on the fried chicken parts -- a combo could be just what you're looking for though. 1. re: debra so you have never asked about spice levels? 1. re: Hershey Bomar Kyochon never asked me for the spiciness level. BTW, their fried rice is HOT! I think it uses the same chicken bulgogi. I liked the fried wings with the spicy & sweet sauce because it's just really dry without it. But the 'sticks' (drumstick) I like better in the original - there's enough meat not to feel like I am eating sawdust. 1. re: notmartha The chicken with rice is HOT! I agree and it don't dissipate quickly - fantastic stuff. 2. re: Hershey Bomar It's definitely NOT as hot as it used to be. I love my spice, and the old whole chicken got my mouth on fire, but the new wings were pretty disappointing as far as heat goes. Still delicious though. 2. I recently found out Kyochon delivers, at least in the Koreatown area. I ordered wings and was told it would be about 35min. and it was about 35min. 1. i finally tried kyochon last nite as well- i was a tad bit disappointed after all the hype from friends and others. it's def garlic-y which is always fine with me.. but the marinade wasn't all that great. i rem this korean bar (called the love shack) in sac that had rilly good spicy wings and AWESOME white cubed daikon (which was the most disappointing item at kyochon). the one saving grace was the crunchiness of the batter... as someone previously described, it seemed double battered/breaded/fried.. yummers!! sadly, i did not get a teddy. i noticed a couple ppl around me had them but i didn't realize they were from kyochon. ah well. 5 Replies 1. re: namstermonster teddy was for customers who ordered a large. since we ordered the medium, the people right after us got the last teddy. either way, we were really glad we only ordered the medium because we had only ate half the order. 1. re: banquisha Must be the end of the promo and they're running low on the teddy bears. The night I went, everyone got one, and I ordered a medium. Some takeout orders got two. Oh well. 1. re: slacker I got my bear last night for two mediums -- what am I gonna do with a bear? The spicy wasn't as spicy as I remember. Maybe the chicken and rice I had last time was to blame. 2. re: banquisha we ordered a large and didn't get a teddy... good thing i thought it was ugly hehe o__O 1. re: namstermonster Ugly! My dog loves it... 2. Went there last night and must say that we were really disappointed. Let me just start off by saying that the service was really great. They ran out of wings so, we ordered a medium spicy combo to split between the two of us. Then there was the wait... which was fine because, thanks to you all, we were expecting it. We would have been really put off by a 30min wait for fried chicken if we didn't know going in. Our wings came and I noticed that they weren't piping hot. Took a bite and then realized that they weren't spicy. Wasn't sure if they put the correct order in so, we asked the waiter if that was the "spicy." No... they messed up and were very apologetic. No problem, just get us the spicy. Then there was the wait again... Our spicy wings came and the first couple of bites were OK but then, we were just overwhelmed by the garlic. There was just waaaay too much garlic and it really overpowered any other flavors that would be in the mix. There was no depth in the flavor and all that was saving it was the texture of the fried chicken. I can still taste the garlic in my mouth and, that was last night. Yuck. We were really hoping to find another fried thing to be addicted to but, this wasn't it. A blessing in disguise since, its really far for us and it probably isn't that great for you anyway. We certainly wouldn't drive that far again for KyoChon. 4 Replies 1. re: banquisha To me it's all about the crispiness. If you like crispy wings then you'll love Kyochon. I like getting half hot and half original -- it's a balancing act. The hot are just too hot for me. 1. re: banquisha Wow, their spicy wasn't spicy...that must be an aberation. I didn't have wings, just their whole chicken, and it rocked my mouth (a mouth that handle some fire) with spice. I do agree the garlic is overwhelming and I wouldn't mind that toned down in comparison to the other ingredients but I like the spice. 1. re: Ciao Bob I think I might have confused everyone... When they sent the first order out, they were the ORIGINAL... not the spicy as we had ordered. That is why they weren't spicy! 2. re: banquisha Agree that the garlic is too overwhelming, even though I love The Boiling Crab, but for fried chicken it just made that wonderful crispy chicken seem too heavy. I think the thing to do is alternate between Kyochon and The Prince. 3. They're currently giving away little stuffed bears with each order. It has "Kyochon" stitched into the underside of one foot, and a ribbon with the Kyochon name printed on it. Not that big on stuffed animals, but it's really cute! But I am big on freebies. lol 2 Replies 1. re: slacker Hehe! Freebies are the best! I have been wanting to try this place, because I love Korean Fried Chicken! Thanks for the info! 1. re: Nacasia I actually ended up going here today! I too noticed the various sizes! I actually liked it! Although, I had to use my hands, I can not eat those wings with chop sticks, even though I tried! Oh! And, yes, I got a very cute teddy bear with my order! 2. We went to the Torrance Location this weekend inside of Freshia... OMG! Great wings... Although they are a bit on the small side, they are nicely meaty and so flavorful!! Also the Torrance location, while busy, is not quite so hectic, I don't think we waited more than 15 minutes for our order to come out... --Dommy! 5 Replies 1. re: Dommy The drumsticks seem to be the best deal out of the whole bunch. Per pirikara last summer, the whole chicken still takes too long and the chunks are definitely less meaty than the drumstick orders. remember sauce supreme telling me kyochon's "spicy" wings were too spicy to handle hence he had to trek elsewhere to fill his stomach but... they were just about perfect to me. there's something awfully good about the way KC's skin's crispiness transitions so nonchalantly into the meat. it's as if someone used whiteout on the line that separated skin from flesh. very odd. very good. and every order of chicken (at least of all the people who dine-in) gets cabbage + dicon. didn't see any exceptions... 1. re: TonyC TonyC basically just called me out as being a spice weenie. Thanks, Tony. I took the leftover Kyochon wings to-go, reheated them in my oven (obviously baked rather than fried) and they still managed to slay me in all their garlicky and peppery goodness. Order all the spicy you want, I'm going for medium. 1. re: SauceSupreme They do reheat well, don't they? My husband is 100% Korean and he can't stand the spicy, but I love it. But when you say medium, don't you mean regular? I don't recall their having a medium (as in medium spicy). It's either spicy or not. 1. re: Cicely Yeah, I mean regular, but I said medium to illustrate that it's far from mild. 2. re: Dommy I've only eaten there once and I also noticed that some wings were small, while others were much larger. What's up with that? Is it normal for them to serve their wings in various sizes? 3. Went there tonight after so much goading from other people saying You Have To Go. I gotta say, they were all right. I ordered the combo of wings and drumettes for$16. Like a fool, I ordered it hot instead of medium, and I found myself all but drinking the pickled daikon to help cool it down. Again, the presence of table service threw me off, but it was pretty empty and so we immediately sat and were promptly given our order.

The garlic flavor on the chicken was great, and it was fried in a manner where everything was exceptionally crisp, even moreso than FuRaiBo's salt and pepper chicken wings. Let's call it wings that were deliciously incinerated.

1. Granted, the chicken here is great. But would it kill them to have some plain white rice and maybe salad or vegetable on the menu? As it is, it's like having bar food without the bar.

5 Replies
1. re: hawaiianhathi

I agree! I really needed something to cut the grease but the only starch they had was fried rice and possibly french fries.

1. re: hrhboo

I think I'm packing some musubi the next time I go. Eating the riceballs will not only help cut the grease but will also act as an edible napkin...

1. re: bulavinaka

Well they do have the Chicken and Rice dish... maybe if you ask nicely they can add some plain rice... Also the torrance location is in a food court where you can get various other veggie optons. I got Veggie Dol Sot Bimbimbap... it went VERY well... :)

--Dommy!

1. re: Dommy

They'll give you plain rice if you ask for it, I always ask for plain rice. You can also ask them for the cabbage and thousand island "salad" too - it's usually given as a side dish with the chicken and rice cakes but if you ask for it, they'll give it to you separately - it's a nice accompaniment to the wings.

1. re: spkspk

They gave the cabbage to us with our medium order of wings. :)

--Dommy!

2. Finally gave in and had the wife get me some take out wings from Kyochon (the one on 6th street). It was the large order original, and the three of us (wife, kid and I) shared it as sort of a late dinner/snack.

They were crispy with a soy/garlic glaze which felt/tasted a bit sticky. Went pretty nicely with Beer as it was a bit too salty to be eaten on it's own. Only bad thing to report was that as I was eating it, I was afraid it was loaded with MSG. I can't verify this, but later that evening I was all up and hyper like I usually am when I get MSG.

9 Replies
1. re: jysh

jysh - would you say the large order is enough for a dinner, shared between two people? I walked in there this past Sunday, and was a little shocked at the price of the wings (15.99), but it makes more sense if it can be split in two.

1. re: jennp

the 8.99 one is even more than enough for one and a half.

1. re: kevin

wow! good thing my friend and I didn't both order the $15.99 wings. We just ended up leaving cause we thought it was too expensive. 1. re: jennp you and your friend should easily be able to split a 15.99 order. for the two of you. it does feel expensive because it has the environment and feeling of a fast-food chain, it does feel even like a corporate fast-food one, albeit korean style though. 1. re: kevin Actually, two very hungry chowhounds did just FINE with one Medium Wing Order ($8.99)

--Dommy!

2. re: jennp

I think the $15.99 order had 15 wings in it? not sure if you consider that large enough for dinner for 2 ppl if you are just eating wings. Maybe if you drank 2 bottles of beer with it each hehe... But not sure I'll be trying these again any time soon. The MSG headache just got me good later. 1. re: jysh i also felt heavy and numb but it might have been from the garlic in the wings, which i didn't feel until afterwards. not a fan of msg either. 1. re: kevin Yeah, there's something utterly artificial about the chicken. I shared a$15.99 whole chicken with a friend last night. Took at least 30 minutes for them to bring the order. =( The chicken was tasty as heck, but in a sort of KFC-artificial-additives sort of way. Though I realize I'm particularly sensitive to that sort of stuff. My stomach was a little uneasy after the 15th piece or so.

1. re: pirikara

I thought I was the only one having stomach problems! The two times I've eaten there, my stomach was also uneasy. It's tasty stuff.

2. yo cicely, have you tried Han Kook Supermarket chicken wings?
i know a few korean fools who swear by this place. its on my list.
i also love the wings at dan sung sah.

3 Replies
1. re: modernist

I have couple of korean friends that swear by the hankook supermarket wings. (I haven't tried it myself) I don't know how it compares to kyochon though.

I love dan sung sah for everything, including their chicken wings.

1. re: spicychow

Could you provide addresses for Hankook supermarket and Dan sung sah? Thank you!

1. re: Tinitime

Oops, I had Hannam and Hankook market confused. The one that my friends like is Hannam, located on New Hampshire and Olympic. I think Hankook is located on Western. But all the korean markets have very similar, spicy chicken wings.

Dan Sung Sah is my favorite korean drinking place, with korean ladies cooking in the middle. It's dark and divey with lots of graffiti on the walls, but they have some good appetizers that go with soju/beer. They're located on northwest corner of 6th and Berendo, in a strip mall. I like their kimchi kimbap, spicy pork, chick wings, chicken gizzards with garlic, but not a big fan of their skewers. It helps if you like soju!

2. I picked up a menu this morning from the 6th St. location but haven't eaten there yet. The menu has a "large" order and "medium" order. Can you tell me how many wings are in each order?

Thanks.

It's by weight and the large is about a pound, so I think there were about 30 mini wings in an order.

2. pics...

1. I went to KyoChon tonight with a Korean friend. It was a bit crazy. We were waited on by no less than four different servers of the very young but eager staff; clearly they are still trying to work out the kinks as far as service goes. We were informed right away that soft drinks were free. While this was nice, some beer would have been very welcome.

The only items available tonight were the whole chicken in original or spicy ($15.99), spicy chicken with rice cakes ($6.99), or chicken fried rice (\$6.99). There was confusion as to whether the fried rice was available or not. We saw it on several tables, even though we weren't told it was a0vailable, so I asked if we could order that, too. We were told it was available, too, then that it wasn't, then that it was. But by the second time we were offered it, we declined. That was fine, because we had more than enough food for two (and then some).

First to arrive were cubes of daikon to break up the spiciness of the chicken. The spicy chicken with rice cakes featured sliced dark meat chicken with spicy peppers, green onions, sesame seeds, and tubes of mochi-like rice cakes, all in a thick, spicy pepper sauce. It's the sort of dish my friend tells me is common in every Korean household. It took much longer for our friend chicken to arrive. This may have something to do with the fact that KyoChon subscribes to the Slow Food movement -- in a way. From the poster in the restaurant, my friend read that they fried the chicken in oil for five minutes before frying it in butter (!) for five minutes, then returning it to the oil. "Can you taste the butter?", she asked. I could.

The whole chicken is essentially a small fryer that's been cut into small, irregular pieces. We ordered it half-and-half, between the original and spicy. The spicy was good, with a mild heat that crept up on us. But we both agreed that the original, a blend of subtle sweetness and a hint of garlic and seasonings, was the superior of the two. Both were juicy and cruncy without the excessive crust of Southern fried chicken. It was just excellent fried chicken, unique and flavorful. My friend wondered if it would justify the expense, but she agreed it was worth the sixteen bucks.

KyoChon's fried chicken would be great with beer, and it's the kind of food that would go great with sports or other special occasion television. I might recommend waiting for the operation to get its feet underneath it. They didn't have wings tonight, not to mention the other extended items of the menu (chicken bulgogi, etc.). Once the staff both in the dining room and kitchen get some miles on them, KyoChon should be an even better addition to the Koreatown dining scene.

2 Replies
1. re: Woolsey

Is this KyoChon chicken similar to ayam bumbu you'd get in an Indonesian restaurant (no breaded crust)?

1. re: misseatalot

I don't think I'm had ayam bumbu, but, from your description, it sounds like it's similar to what's sometimes sold as "broasted chicken" in the South. (Broasted chicken was initally chicken fried in a special pressure cooker, but it came to be used colloquially for unbreaded fried chicken.)

KyoChon's fried chicken reminds me more of Texas fried chicken, which is distinguished by a relatively thin crunchy layer of flour coating it, as opposed to the more familiar Southern fried chicken, which has the thicker, crinklier coating that is the standard fried chicken in America.

2. hey cicely,

so is it a very casual joint. and also is it open for lunch too or only dinner? since no beer , they don't got a liquor license? anyone know if we can bring beer/wine (BYOB)?
thanks.

1. re: kevin

Tried to get their wings tonight but they said they ran out of wings by 5 PM. They were only selling their whole chicken but you'd have to wait an hour for it to be prepared. Can't wait to try this and will call tomorrow before I go.

2. This reminds me of a new casual fried chicken place that I noticed the other day in Garden Grove. It's in the California Market center directly to the left of the popular tofu place.

It looks a bit like a mini sports bar with tv monitors, Korean and American beer ads, small tables, etc. I haven't had a chance to try it but it looked promising. There was a favorable East Coast newspaper review in the window so perhaps it's afflilated with a small chain or something. The oil smelled great but I didn't catch the name of the place.

Has anyone tried this place?

1. I remembered this thread or one similar to it regarding the korean fried chicken wings while I was out yesterday at the Galleria Market in Northridge. There were a couple of places in their food court that offered the fried chicken wings, I noticed. I have not yet tried them but if you're in the Northridge/ SFV area and are craving them, at least you'll know where to find them.

1. my husband reminds me that I forgot a few things:

-There is a smoking section, with a large open window/section of wall.

-Bring a sweater (it's cold in the smoking section and the other section is small, so you might get stuck there even if you don't smoke)

-The owner said he's working on getting a beer license.

-The chickens are flavored with garlic, soy sauce and 23 secret ingredients, and the sauce is supposedly flown in from Korea.

1. Taking another look at that famed NYT article on Korean fried chicken, I notice it says that the double-frying technique they use (much like the Belgian way with frites) was developed by Kyochon. Lucky us! That story doesn't mention a Kyochon in NY, but there is one now (in Flushing), not that we need to care.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/07/din...