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Nov 1, 2008 10:32 AM

Help! Kyochon or Bonchon?

in the mood for wings. which do you prefer??

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  1. I've not tried Bpnchon but, yesterday, I brought Kyochon wings to a potluck Halloween party and they were a huge hit--first item to run out. I brought both varieties ("Hot and Sweet" and "Soy Garlic") and opinions were almost evenly divided as to which the other guests liked best, with an edge to the "Hot and Sweet."

    1. Both are very good, though I have a slight preference for BonChon as their extras (kaktugi, french fries) are better.

      1. Both are good. I prefer the spicy at Bonchon but the regular soy/garlic and Kyochon. They are very similar though, overall.

        1. I also have yet to try Bonchon, but my only quibble with Kyochon is their inconsistancy in the size of their wings (Torrance location). On a good day, the size of the wings makes me ponder whether the chickens from which they came from must have been mutants from a Nevada desert town. On a bad day, the smallish wings remind me that chickens weren't meant to fly home to roost. Worse, the finished product's meat can be dry, almost jerky-like.

          Just a heads-up on the Torrance location. Mrs. Bulavinaka was there (I think it was) two or three weeks ago and the former eating area adjacent to the food booths was closed for some kind of remodel. The only option was to do take-out - something about the city of Torrance not finding the eating area to be in code or something like that. If you're planning on going to this location (in the Fresia Market) and eating there, you might call first... 310-320-9299

          7 Replies
          1. re: bulavinaka

            I totally agree with bulavinaka. The wings strangely differ in size noticeably at times, and sometimes they are overcooked. When they're good, they're really tasty, but sometimes it's overdone (I suppose the luck of the draw w/ the kitchen staff working that day?).

            1. re: exilekiss

              Haven't had Bonchon, but the spicy chicken at Kyochon was excellent. Hot enough to make the grease worthwhile (and it really wasn't that greasy.)

            2. re: bulavinaka

              I have more of an issue with the degrading spiciness of the Torrance Kyochon than with the size of the wings. When they first opened, I remember having to stop often to cool my mouth down while eating their spicy wings. Since then, I've noticed the spicy has gottened progressively less spicy over time. The last time I got some a few weeks ago they barely registered a tingle. It feels like they've really changed the recipe for the sauce at this location to cater to people who aren't into the really spicy stuff. A much better option would have been to offer normal, medium, and spicy instead of just turning the spicy into a joke.

              1. re: huaqiao

                Kychon in Ktown isn't as spicy as it used to be -- just order exrtra hot?

                1. re: Hershey Bomar

                  Or try Bon Chon -- their spicy wings are really spicy.

                  1. re: a_and_w

                    I've tried both many times and now I'm a satisfied fan of Kyochon -- for the time being. Plus my dog loves the little bear they gave him.

                    Kychon had replaced Ye Rustic (in Los Feliz) as my go-to hot chicken wing place.

                2. re: huaqiao

                  We also have noticed that Kyochon's spice factor has dropped, but we actually have come to like it that way. If it's a move that will benefit more - even folks like Joe the Plumber - I'm okay with that. Rather than leaning toward extremes, lowering the level of heat is a little more democratic in its approach. Also, I personally have always felt that the spicy wings were a overly unctuous in their saucing. And like salt, it's better to under-spice than to over-spice. One can always throw on more heat, but retracting it? Well, like in politics, there are no take-backs...

                  I know everybody has different levels of comfort when it comes to food heat. I'm kinda Blue State, and like my food spicy, but not to the point of self-flagellation. I often used to cross the chile Rubicon in my younger years, whether on a dare or daring myself. Taking things to their extremes like slirping mouthfuls of the various chile sauces, judiciously sprinkling chile flakes on my already-spiced food at Thai restaurants, eating chilli satay in Thailand, spooning on tons of homemade sambal on to my MIL's Hokkien mi or yong tau foo, eating whole jalapenos and serranos, etc. That kind of waste and abuse has hopefully gone to the wayside now, along with beer bongs and the like. I try to think I'm now at least a little wiser, more responsible and nicer to myself as well as the world than I was before. I can sit through most dishes and meals and tolerate the heat, and while this country and world needs more tolerance, tolerating excessive amounts of spiciness is not my idea of enjoying.

                  My wife recently went Red State on me, where her once-hibernating tastebuds for serious heat have reawakened (she's from Malaysia). Like you, she was let down by the reduction of nukes at Kyochon. In fact, I didn't even notice it at first - she pointed it out to me. I told her it's like bad news. Sometimes its absence isn't noticed unless someone points it out. Acting like I reneged on some unwritten commitment to share the same level of heat, she went McCain on me, claiming I had become too timid. I retorted, explaining that there comes a time where change is needed, and now that is the time.

                  Adjusting the level of heat on Kyochon's wings has resulted in a more inclusive experience for more of our family. Although our daughter is still a little too young to experience, let alone embrace spicy food, our son is just now coming of age. He can just handle the heat from those spicy wings. He's beginning to feel his oats now often shuns my warnings, so like me, oftentimes experience is the best teacher. For me, the heat is just about right. While my wife still wishes Kyochon's spicy wings' heat was like the "old days", I've mentioned to her that if they were still at the "red alert" level, then only she and the few others like her would be served. Coming to terms with this, she now seems to realize that sometimes that a little sacrifice can benefit many. She now usually just dips the wings in what ever sambal she pulls out of the fridge and seems to enjoy them just the same.

                  Meeting somewhere in the middle has been good for us - somewhat of a small lesson on the bigger picture of life. Hopefully our country will embrace this lesson as well... :)

              2. between the two i prefer kyochon. but when it comes down to it my personal favorite hands-down is the wings served over at hite kwangjang on wilshire and western. the sweet and spicy sauce isn't baked into the chicken like kyochon/bonchon's, but rather the chicken is drowned in it like sweet-and-sour pork (tangsooyook)... pretty tasty. potato wedges are mixed in with the wings and sauce as well. just a little bit pricier than usual, but more than worth it!

                4 Replies
                1. re: d0pelikes0ap

                  On a tangential note, any recommendations for good tansooyok? I actually prefer beef to pork but am open to good versions of either.

                  1. re: a_and_w

                    Hijacked thread?

                    Anyways, my rec on tangsooyuk is young king on Olympic.
                    Best "tangsooyuk" in town imo. Can't vouch for the beef version though, always tend to go for pork. Excellent batter and awesome sauce,

                    Young King Chinese Restaurant

                    1. re: CostcoWater

             question off topic does not a threadjack make. Fans of Korean fried chicken are likely to have good information about Korean fried beef. Regardless, thanks for the rec.

                      1. re: CostcoWater

                        lol costcowater nice - i was about to recommend that very place to a_and_w! my parents have been taking me there since i was a little tyke and i wholeheartedly agree - best tangsooyook in town! :)