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Chicken Wing Battle: Ye Rustic Inn Vs. Kyochon

noahbites Aug 18, 2009 03:16 PM

Football season is fast approaching and that means one thing: it's time to eat incredibly unhealthy food while watching other people exert themselves. But what's a red-blooded American to do when it's almost coin-toss-time and you find yourself inconveniently saddled with a discerning palate? In Los Feliz, the divey and oppressively dark Ye Rustic Inn has been making some of the best buffalo wings in town for years. These wings, despite their kitchen transformation and healthy dose of wing sauce, still come out tasting like chicken--which is more than I can say for most of the versions you're likely to find.

However, if you're secure in your patriotism, there are some foreign wings out there that you don't want to miss. Kyochon, a chain of Korean fried chicken shops, just might have what it takes to ween you off your buffalo sauce addiction. Their garlic soy wings will hit you in the nose first, exuding an aroma so seductive that even the most foreigner-hating Americans will find themselves stretching their fingers toward the plate like Indiana Jones for the Holy Grail. These wings are not at all sloppy, but clean, crisp and golden. The flavor is there, but packed on the inside, rather than out.

In the end, both have their merits and their rabid fans. So what's a lover of all things gridiron to do when people are coming over to watch the game? Delegate. Have one friend pick up from Ye Rustic, and the other from Kyochon. Then you can lay them all out on the table and see what happens. But if you had to choose one or the other, consider sticking with Kyochon, since your fingers won't be covered in red stains and you could put your arm around that girl you've been trying to hook up with since high school.


Kyochon Chicken
3833 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020

Ye Rustic Inn
1831 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

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  1. ipsedixit RE: noahbites Aug 18, 2009 03:30 PM

    I'm really partial to the Sesame Chicken wings at Shakas.


    2 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit
      noahbites RE: ipsedixit Aug 18, 2009 04:16 PM

      Mm. Those look good. I seriously need to upgrade my Hawaiian food knowledge.

      1. re: ipsedixit
        peppermonkey RE: ipsedixit Aug 18, 2009 04:48 PM

        shakas is good flavorwise but the skin tends to be "saggy". Definitely not crispy like kyochon. I also love the ones at 8oz burger bar. But those are not really the same type of deal

      2. Phurstluv RE: noahbites Aug 18, 2009 03:33 PM

        Great read, thanks, made me smile today! :)

        And I can't wait for football season either!!

        3 Replies
        1. re: Phurstluv
          allyoucanet RE: Phurstluv Aug 18, 2009 04:40 PM

          No fair. Comparing Ye Rustic with Kyuchon is like comparing football with curling.

          1. re: allyoucanet
            noahbites RE: allyoucanet Aug 18, 2009 05:17 PM

            Well, maybe more like football and fútbol.

            1. re: allyoucanet
              Burger Boy RE: allyoucanet Aug 18, 2009 06:01 PM

              Not fair, Like cobbler and pie! Both very very good!

          2. r
            revets2 RE: noahbites Aug 18, 2009 07:10 PM

            PHOENIX FOOD BOUTIQUE at one of their many locations has amazing Crispy Garlic Chicken Wings. yum! we order them up and eat them outside while waiting to get a table at DIN TAI FUNG.

            1. m
              mdpilam RE: noahbites Aug 18, 2009 11:55 PM

              Are the ones at Ye Rustice Inn spicy (or do they do a spicy version)? I love me some SPICY wings...

              1 Reply
              1. re: mdpilam
                noahbites RE: mdpilam Aug 19, 2009 07:43 AM

                They come, if I remember correctly, in mild, medium, spicy and suicide.

              2. 1newyorkguy RE: noahbites Aug 19, 2009 12:02 AM

                A year ago things were different in my life. I wasn't a vegetarian and I lived on Hillhurst Ave. I went to Ye Old for beers a few times and never saw it as a place to eat anything. I saw some favorable online reviews for their wings and tried them one day. They are not good. I haven't tried the locations out here, but Wing Stop (at least back in my hometown in FL) blows Ye Old away.

                4 Replies
                1. re: 1newyorkguy
                  noahbites RE: 1newyorkguy Aug 19, 2009 07:44 AM

                  I was with somebody who had a similar reaction to you. It really comes down to, in my opinion, how crispy you want them. If you want heavily breaded wings with a lot of crunch and a really powerful wing sauce, then Ye Rustic probably isn't the place for you.

                  1. re: noahbites
                    1newyorkguy RE: noahbites Aug 19, 2009 09:16 AM

                    Yes..missing crunch and flavor..that's all :)

                    1. re: 1newyorkguy
                      noahbites RE: 1newyorkguy Aug 19, 2009 03:58 PM


                  2. re: 1newyorkguy
                    monku RE: 1newyorkguy Aug 19, 2009 05:05 PM

                    Agree on your assesment of the wings at Ye Rustic Inn, they were dried out and nothing notable about them. I don't understand the raves about them.
                    Kyochon...smallest wings I've ever seen and can also be dried out because they're so small.
                    Give me Hooter's wings over those two.

                    Hamburger Hamlet has some good wings if you can find a location (Pasadena on Lake is one).
                    Get them with their famous apricot sauce or buffalo sauce.......the wings are big, juicy and crispy the way chicken wings should be. Not from midget chickens.

                  3. OCAnn RE: noahbites Aug 19, 2009 08:16 AM

                    This made me chuckle. =) I like Kyochon's "clean, crisp and golden" garlicky chicken too, but I found it to be a tad too sweet for me. I still need to try their spicier version....

                    1. e
                      exilekiss RE: noahbites Aug 19, 2009 01:41 PM

                      Hi Noah,

                      Great writeup! :) Still haven't tried Ye Rustic Inn yet (I know, I know). I'll have to go soon. :)

                      1. a_and_w RE: noahbites Aug 19, 2009 01:48 PM

                        Great report and thread!

                        1. monku RE: noahbites Aug 19, 2009 05:12 PM

                          You want some good wings?
                          Check out the frozen fully cooked wings at Costco. They come in different flavors and they're damn good and convenient. Just pop them in the microwave. Depending on the kind they're like $12 for a 4-5 pound bag.
                          I'll put them up against YRI anytime.
                          Remember I said they were good and not great.

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