Dec 2008

KyoChon – Los Angeles (Koreatown)


KyoChon has been on my ‘To Eat’ list ever since our fair city’s restaurant guru Jonathan Gold named it the Best Fried Chicken in the L.A. Weekly‘s Best of L.A. issue. Mr. Gold writes:

Korean fried chicken really is an evolutionary leap forward — marinated in a cabinet full of spices, saturated with garlic, double-fried to a shattering, thin-skinned snap dramatic enough to wake a sleeping baby in an adjoining room.

Quite a sell, right? After our Tar Pits outing, The Astronomer, my mom and I swung by KyoChon in Koreatown to sample their highly-praised offerings.


The brightly lit restaurant was packed (and slightly understaffed) on the Saturday afternoon we visited. Even though KyoChon looks like a typical American fast food joint, ordering takes place table side and the bill is presented at the end of the meal. On the restaurant’s wall is a cryptic slogan that reads: “Healthy Food For Ecstatic Body & Soul.” Firstly, what does that mean? And secondly, let’s not kid ourselves—this place serves up fried chicken!


At KyoChon, the chicken is prepared to order, which means a thirty minute wait is fair game. To keep patrons from bitching and moaning about the substantial lull, KyoChon offers free soft serve. The Astronomer nibbled on a little cup of chocolate fro-yo to keep his blood sugar level steady.


The three of us shared a twenty piece wing platter ($16.99)—ten pieces with garlic soy sauce and ten with hot sweet sauce. What makes Korean-style fried chicken radically different from Southern fried chicken is an “Asian frying technique that renders out the fat in the skin, transforming it into a thin, crackly and almost transparent crust,” according to Julia Moskin of the New York Times. In her article Koreans Share Their Secret for Chicken With a Crunch she explores the process in depth.

The chicken is unseasoned, barely dredged in very fine flour and then dipped into a thin batter before going into the fryer. The oil temperature is a relatively low 350 degrees, and the chicken is cooked in two separate stages.

After 10 minutes, the chicken is removed from the oil, shaken vigorously in a wire strainer and allowed to cool for two minutes. This slows the cooking process, preventing the crust from getting too brown before the meat cooks through. It also shaves off all those crusty nubs and crags that American cooks strive for. After 10 more minutes in the fryer, the chicken is smooth, compact, golden-brown, and done.


The garlic soy sauce wings were easy to love. The snappy texture was appealing and the garlicky flavors were fantastic. A definite crowd pleaser.


The hot sweet sauce wings were addictive even though they caused an intense burning sensation in my mouth. At first bite, the wing’s sweet sauce pervaded my senses. A few chews later, my tongue was on fire due to the Korean red peppers. Yow! Even though my nose was running and I was beginning to sweat, I went in for another. And then another because they’re so good!


To curb the wicked spiciness, I melted ice cubes on my tongue and popped a couple cubes of pickled radish ($1) in my mouth. Pickled radishes, which taste briny, sweet and crunchy, are a typical accompaniment to Korean fried chicken and serve as a much-needed foil to the fiery wings.


The wings platter came with a coleslaw of shredded cabbage topped with mayonnaise and ketchup. Pass.


KyoChon > Bonchon > Chicken Day > Hite Kwang-Jang.

3833 W. 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Phone: 213-739-9292

KyoChon Chicken on Urbanspoon

Kyochon Chicken in Los Angeles

Previous Post
Next Post

12 thoughts on “KyoChon – Los Angeles (Koreatown)

  1. Raine – Mmmm hmmm! I want another twenty piece platter ASAP!

    Miss Adventure
    – The coleslaw was definitely scary. A fresh Vietnamese goi would’ve been the perfect complement/ Btw, KyoChon also offers whole chickens and chicken legs 🙂 I’ve heard the whole chicken ($17.99) is the way to go.

    – I totally know what you’re feeling! While I was writing this post, I craved me some KyoChon badly.

  2. ahhh! I have read about this place and am still waiting for KFC to hit NoCal… sounds delicious! I’ll have to get by with San Tung until then. Now you have me all drooling about wickd spiciness

  3. the reason for the slogan about health is that korean fried chicken is fried in olive oil…

    and to food hoe, korean fried chicken is already in nor cal. take a look around lawrence (by el camino) in santa clara or telegraph ave in oakland.

    my favorite place closed down because they were caught selling drinks to the berkeley kids… but come on. why close down a place for selling drinks to college kids? their gonna drink anyway. you took away my fave. now i just go to the back ups.

  4. Pingback: [Quick Bite] Calgary: Fuze on Fourth « food = life
  5. Just tried this place, a little underwhelming, I was thinking that it would be like 99 Chicken, a great KFC place near SanJose. I’m going to have to try Bonchon and Chicken Day and get back to you. BTW, Hae Ha Heng, a Thai place in K-town has great fried chicken skin.

  6. I hope this is as good as the Kyochon’s in Busan, Korea!! I always loved going to Texas Street just for Kyochons chicken! Now that I’m back in the states…this is awesome. Time to go eat all the chicken wings!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *