Day: November 28th, 2007

BonChon birthday

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007 | All Things, Drinks, Eats, Friends

In honor of HYB’s birthday (week), we ended up at BonChon Chicken in K-town tonight. The boys’ last run for newly trendy Korean fried chicken on the day before Thanksgiving didn’t work out when they arrived at 314 Fifth Avenue to find the place unexpectedly shuttered. Random closings occur not all that infrequently, apparently; Yelpers recommend that you call ahead for hours, despite what BonChon’s printed materials list as their hours of operation.

Bon Chon chopsticks

At 8pm this Wednesday, though, the bar restaurant was hopping. Although we were well prepared for a wait, the delay ended being rather longer than we expected, in part due to the infuriating flakiness of the hostess, who slipped in one newly arrived group ahead of ours. To be clear, I am aware of the practical necessity of seating by party size, and this was definitely just a case of poor management. We narrowly avoided a scene — those B brothers are feisty! — which got the evening off to a rocky start, but things could only improve from there.

I do like this chicken, but is it worth the hour’s wait for a midweek table? And the $40 cost for large (16-piece?) platters each of both “hot spicy” and “soy garlic” flavors?

Bon Chon chicken

The birthday boy thought not, but judging from the crowds that pack this place most nights, BonChon has no shortage of devotees. And wow, the “hot spicy” sauce is just that, in a way that sneaks up on you after just a couple of flats/drumettes/drumsticks. Alternating in pieces of the non-spicy soy garlic variety helps some to quench the fire, as do the accompanying cubes of sweet pickled daikon radish. (I’m not as much a fan of the Thousand Island dressed shredded cabbage.) Beer, too — in our case, a $25(!) pitcher of Killian’s Irish Red.

On the BonChon website, the chicken is promoted as food for “health conscious consumers“: “tasteful & nutritiously enriched” with “collagen ingredients promoting healthy and delicious texture and taste.” Seems I’ve heard this one before, and much as I’d like to believe it, I’m not entirely convinced.

Dubious health claims aside, I’m still looking to expand my K(orean)FC horizons. In July, The Voice’s Robert Sietsema took a look at four Flushing franchises along the strip of Northern Boulevard between 150th and 160th Streets: Kyedong (150-54 Northern Blvd.), KyoChon (156-50 Northern Blvd.), BonChon (157-18 Northern Blvd.), and Cheogajip (160-24A Northern Blvd.). He rated BonChon a solid “B” — better than Cheogajip, but not as good as either KyoChon or Kyedong Chicken.

Hmm… Korean Fried Chicken Crawl 2008?

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