A few years back on a business trip to Seoul, our client and host met us at our hotel to welcome us for a few days of meetings. Without much fanfare, we simply walked across the wide boulevard from the hotel and into the undistinguished small retail plaza on the lower floors of an office building. We found a small table in the nearby Kkanbu Chicken, a local chimaek — chicken and beer — chain. With one jet-lagged bite, it dawned on me that Koreans had something special going on with fried chicken.
Two thoughts popped into mind. First, it was the very best fried chicken I had ever had. It had a distinctive crunchy, crisp skin that wasn’t heavy or greasy. It was seasoned with bold Asian flavors — garlicy, savory, sweet, and tangy. I washed down each bite with a refreshing, light Korean lager and contemplated my second thought. Should a culture that already ruled BBQ really own fried chicken too? Well, if that humble first meal off the plane was a sign, then the answer is yes. Koreans should very much control the world’s fried chicken.
If you have never had your own chicken epiphany, I invite you to check out the places below. If you have, the joy of sublime, satisfying KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) delivery is a few clicks away.
Family-run, literal TL hole in the wall serving chicken and Korean street food
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Happy #tlishtacotuesday! Our new taco especial is made with locally made pastrami by Pete Timken of Pete’s Meats, plus a mustard-manzano aioli, caraway-cabbage slaw and a @lapalmasf flour tortilla. #tacolicious #tlish #tacotuesday
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Boneless and skinless non-gmo Korean fried chicken thighs with mama's secret sauce on top.
Boneless and skinless non-gmo chicken thighs. Sauce on the side.
Garlic soy or Sweet spicy
Local Civic Center/TL establishment. Pre-order for lunch or early dinner.
Chicken wings with our own sweet and sour sauce.
Chicken wings with our own soy sauce.
Chicken wings our own tangy sweet a spicy sauce.
The world has finally caught up with this long-standing neighborhood favorite. Available from 5:30pm to 10:30pm.
Sauce on the side
Sauce on the Side
You can get a fix of KFC from this homey, longtime (20+ years) Parkside family operation. But, they also have a wide range of Korean favorites.
Deep-fried chicken with house special sauce.