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Let's Do Lunch: KyoChon

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There are some great lunches to be had in this town, and we want to celebrate the midday meal. So, let's do lunch, shall we?

That's right: It's KFC time. Only for this fried chicken, that "K" stands for Korean, and the place of choice is KyoChon in Koreatown.

LAist's cheap eats maven has enthused about KyoChon before, but for me, well, I confess, this was virgin territory. So I joined some friends for a good old fashioned chow down, and I can't help but agree with the J. Gold himself--that this fried chicken is one of the best tastes in town.

It's all about the wings at KyoChon, we're told; don't bother with the whole chicken because it's just not the same thing. The chicken is double fried, which is how it gets that delectable crispy exterior with plenty of nooks and crannies where the lip-smackingly good sauces can gather and adhere.

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We went for three sets of ten wings, one set each of the Signature Soy Garlic, Hot & Sweet, and Honey. Their Soy Garlic fills your mouth with the sweet and pungent garlic and the salt of the soy sauce, while the Hot & Sweet is mostly on the hot side--it will slowly scorch your mouth with a building heat that, by the time you're pushing back your chair to head out, will have your nose watering. Order a side of pickled radish to cool your tastebuds.

But the favorite were the Honey wings, with their sweet, sticky, satisfying crunch. A relatively new menu item, they emerged as the dark horse winner of the lot. Eat one after eating a Hot & Sweet wing and let a little of the lingering burn meet the Honey flavor.

The potato wedges were decent side companions, particularly because their fluffy-dense and fried texture gave balance to the spice and crunch of the wings. KyoChon no longer serves kimchi fried rice, but suggested we try the Rice Ball instead; it was fun to tear into, and had a nice spice, but wasn't worth a special trip.

Wings, wings, and more wings is the name of the game here. The drawback to KyoChon at lunch is that the service can lag (despite the table call buzzers) and you might head back to your workplace with some serious fire-mouth and garlic breath. The small taste-cup of vanilla ice cream they serve you will go a little way to help with that, but make sure you've got some mints in your desk drawer, and some lunchtime companions who will share the pain, the bill, and the mighty, mighty wings with you.

There are 4 KyoChon locations in the Los Angeles area.