Sunday, April 26, 2009

Korean Fried Chicken: BBQ Chicken on Wilshire and Vermont

BBQ Chicken is a chain which recently opened a Koreatown location at 7th and Vermont. Contrary to what you may assume from the name, Korean BBQ doesn't serve much in the way of barbecue. In fact, according to their menu, the B-B-Q in BBQ Chicken stands for "Best of the Best Quality."

Instead, this is another of the Korean fried chicken joints, the major selling point of which seems to be that the chicken is fried in olive oil. I ordered a number of dishes to check it out.

The olive oil fried chicken, known as Olive Original Chicken, was very nice. The batter was crisp and light with a very mild seasoning. Generally, I haven't cared for the non-seasoned fried chicken at the various Korean chicken shops. Without the marinade, they tend to be bland, but I really liked this one which tasted fresh and had nice flavor from the olive oil.

The Teri-Q is more similar to the soy-garlic standards at places like KyoChon and BonChon, but the version at BBQ Chicken was greasy, overcooked and not as intensely flavorful as its competitors' chickens.

As with most of the Korean chicken joints, the further you move from standard fried chicken offerings, the more questionable the dish. The "seasoned chicken" at BBQ consists of fried chicken nuggets coated with a dreadful sauce tasting of sweetened ketchup, and the marinated barbecue chicken was a rubbery airplane-like dish (from the days when the actually served food on planes, that is).

The standout at BBQ Chicken is definitely the Olive Chicken; I can't imagine going back for anything else.

BBQ Chicken
698 S. Vermont Ave, #101 (SE corner)
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 739-1047

(Additional LA area locations in Fullerton and Irvine.)

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