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May 5, 2008 08:28 PM

Korean Style Fried Chicken?

Are there any suggestions for places that serve fried chicken in korean style?

Forgive me for not being 'in the know' about these things. I'm asking on behalf of a coworker.

Any feedback on Trendy Bean Cafe in Santa Clara?

I'm specifically looking for food in San Francisco FiDi (Financial District ) area or the Sunnyvale/Mountain View/Peninsula area.

Trendy Bean Cafe
1054 Kiely Blvd, Santa Clara, CA

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  1. Have you tried San Tung? They also have some at Umasan. I haven't been there yet but I've been meaning to try 99 Chicken in santa clara.

    1. Coco Ban is divey Korean joint with a blade runner esque feel -- the fried chicken is rather good -- spicey -- and tasty -- the soju drink are typically over sweet like teenage girls tend to drink. Don't get the corn appetizer -- cold canned corn with something conisdered cheese. ONe time they served warm beer. Very nice. Coco Ban is a drinking establishment that serves good Korean bites -- so if that's what you are into check it out..

      3 Replies
      1. re: pointthemoon

        Are you talking about Coco Bang on Taylor in the TL? I enjoyed the dukbokki very much, they made it with jap chae, which was a surprisingly good combination. But even better was the savory sauce it was served with, not your average sweetened gochu jang.

        I ordered the regular fried chicken (half) which came in pieces of chicken rather than intact. I guess I was expecting "tong-dak". I didn't really like the heavy batter though.

        How's the "fire chicken", their specialty?

        550 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA 94102

        1. re: DezzerSF

          yup that's the place -- forgot the address...

        2. re: pointthemoon

          I went to Cocobang when they opened a couple of years ago and was lukewarm. My out-of-date post is here:

          Another option is Shin Toe Bul Yi, in the Outer Sunset. It is also known as Chick'n'Deli and specializes in Korean fried chicken wings. Their wings are unsauced, with a crispy batter, and come with pickled daikon radish cubes. If that's the style of Korean fried chicken you want, check them out.

          Shin Toe Bul Yi
          2001 Taraval St, San Francisco, CA 94116

        3. Only Korean I've heard of in the FiDi is the Sorabol stand in Rincon Center.

          Best Korean fried chicken I've had in SF:

          3814 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122

          7 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Wow, the infamous restaurant in a "garage". What else do you like there?

            1. re: DezzerSF

              The soju and beer are good. Feels more like a bar than a restaurant. 6pm to 2am.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                There's also Korean food at John's Snack and Deli on Battery St.


                1. re: Xiao Yang

                  XY - Thanks for mentioning John's Snack & Deli. I've enjoyed many Korean lunches from this tiny place. Min, the owner, is great and his mom is often there with him making kim bap and other dishes for the lunch rush. Also, if you're really craving a particular dish, Min will sometimes talk his mom into making it for you. Homemade Korean food in the FiDi - fabulous.

                2. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Any thoughts on how these places compare to the much hyped NY Korean Fried chicken places like Bon Chon?

                  1. re: iwantmytwodollars

                    Bon Chon is actually a Korean mega-chain. They have at least one branch in LA, AFAIK

                3. 99 Chicken in Santa Clara is really good. I've only had the spicy sauce version, not the regular. They fry it much longer than "normal" fried chicken - takes about 20 mins after you order. So, it's crispier and has almost not fat under the skin. But the meat is moist. It's good.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Hoss

                    I've been to 99 Chicken a few times and really like their regular version (I've tried all the versions since we usually go with a big group), but only if you put that 'special spice' (most likely MSG) on it. I find the spicy sauce version to be too saucy -- you lose most of the crispy skin which is what makes it so good. The wings are also good there.

                    However a friend says there's a really good Korean roasted chicken place (can't remember the name now) nearby in Santa Clara that's better than 99 Chicken. Haven't tried it though. It may be a tip for the poster later on who asked.

                    1. re: PekoePeony

                      I think the place near 99 chicken may be Hwa Gae Jang Tu. Any reports?

                      1. re: DezzerSF

                        Just stopped by 99chicken for takeout... They quote the wait time as 15 minutes, but it is indeed more like 20-25 minutes.

                        Quality is pretty good for my limited experience...

                      2. re: PekoePeony

                        Do you mean Tutti Cafe & Grill, same side of El Camino about 1/2 mile down?

                        Tutti's Cafe and Grill
                        3075 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA

                      3. re: Hoss

                        I'll second (or is that third) the 99 Chicken rec - it's really good. Just be prepared to wait 20-25 minutes for your chicken after you've waited for your table. But it is worth it -moist on the inside, crispy on the outside, light coating, hardly any grease. BTW - they only serve legs and wings, if that matters to you. We usually get the spicy sauce on the side as opposed to on the chicken so we avoid it getting soggy...

                      4. While we're on the topic, does anyone know where to get good Korean style whole roasted/fried chicken aka Tong dak?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: DezzerSF

                          I saw a good-looking version go by at Dan Sung Sa in Oakland. We had already ordered too much so put that on the list for next visit.

                          1. re: DezzerSF

                            Tutti's Cafe and Grill
                            3075 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA