Every so often, we love a good piece of fried chicken; there’s just nothing quite like it. So when a craving hit us recently, off we went hunting for a tasty specimen. Instead of going the usual route, we set our hearts on a slightly different version, in Koreatown’s Kko Kko Nara.
When we got there at about half past eight on a Tuesday night, the place was buzzing, so much so that we had to wait a full forty five minutes for a table. But we figured; it was for a good cause. We finally scored a table and immediately got down to business with their signature fried chicken combo platter ($25, small), ji po ($22) and kimchi jun gol ($25). The first to arrive, the warm ji po (fish jerky) was a good start. The thin strips of dried fish were well-seasoned with a slightly sweet taste, and we alternated between dipping it in mayonnaise and chili paste. Our platter of fried chicken goodness came next, with three pieces of each flavor: Original, garlic soy, and sweet and spicy. What we thought would be the holy trinity turned out to be a letdown. The original was the most disappointing, just plain old greasy chicken that lacked both flavor and crunch. We fared better with the garlic soy version, which was just tasty enough to escape the fate of the original. But it was the sweet and spicy rendition that really got our attention—crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside, covered in a sticky red glaze that we found hard to resist. As far as we were concerned, the kimchi jun gol with pieces of tofu, mushrooms, glass vermicelli and of course, kimchi, was pretty ordinary by any measure. We went with pork as our meat of choice and it was tough and bland, despite the fiery soup. Not a winning dish by any stretch.
It’s only worth a visit if you’re in the area, but we can’t bring ourselves to go back for largely mediocre fare and sloppy service.
Free-flow is our new favorite word.
You might even walk away with a weekend staycay.
For those who will travel for food.