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10 Essential Korean Fried Chicken Spots in LA

Get golden-fried goodness straight from the motherland

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There are saturated markets, and then there’s fried chicken in Korea, where the assumption “everybody loves fried chicken” has given birth to more than 50,000 restaurants operating nationwide. The number of restaurants that serve fried chicken in South Korea surpassed the number of McDonald’s restaurants on planet earth in 2015.

That hyper-competitive marketplace is to the chicken-lover’s gain: Korean fried chicken is starting to take over the States, and LA isn’t exempt from a similar proliferation of golden fried birds slathered in syrupy glaze or gochujang-infused hot sauce. From chicken-and-beer focused pubs (chimaek), to family-friendly takeaway chicken shops, to pubs that just serve a mean tongdak (fried chicken with paper-like skin), LA is already home to perhaps the nation’s most competitive Korean fried chicken scene. Here now, the 10 essential Korean fried chicken spots in Los Angeles, presented from north to south.

EDIT August 23, 2018: An earlier version of this map included Lee’s Noodles, which has closed; The Prince takes its place on the list.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Bonchon Chicken

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710 W Las Tunas Dr #3
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 545-2380
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Though more recent Korean immigrants might scratch their heads (there are only a handful of Bonchon locations in the motherland), thoughtful touches like exclusively offering strips (no) and drumsticks (yes) ease diners into BonChon’s perfect marriage of salty-sweet soy garlic glaze and the schmaltzy, shattering crunch of chicken skin. Waits at its SGV location can range into Howlin’ Rays territory, but Korean fried chicken zealots eagerly crowd the entrance and peer longingly at diners seemingly taking their sweet time inside. It’s all proof positive that BonChon is in a category by itself.

2. Kyochon Chicken

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3833 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 739-9292
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The smell of Kyochon’s garlicky soy-sauce coated fried chicken is famous across the city already, likely emanating from those cute, soon-to-be-empty little white boxes. Its innocent, K-poppy charm would come off as saccharine if there wasn’t so much substance — spicy wings pack a serious punch, and the seemingly tame soy-garlic glaze seems to impart an epic, preternaturally garlic flavor. What Kyochon’s seasoning lacks in subtlety, it more than compensates in addictive flavor.

3. 동대문 닭한마리 - Dongdaemoon Dakhanmari

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3465 W 6th St Suite#300
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 380-0122

Dongdaemoon Dakhanmari isn’t just a mouthful in name only — it’s also one of the few places to serve deep-fried Korean rice cakes alongside their fried chicken. Though the restaurant actually specializes in jjimdak (a soy-based Korean chicken stew/meal-in-a-pot) and samgyetang (Korean-style chicken soup), it also does up a mean fried bird. DDM’s rendition is a whole chicken chopped before frying into nugget-like pieces with a trio of dipping sauces. Beware of the embedded bones!

4. The Gangjung

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621 S Western Ave Suite 302
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 915-0803

Dak gangjung refers to a very specific style of chicken preparation where chunks of chicken are battered up, fried and then tossed in a sweet-and-spicy sauce. Though oftentimes served on a menu that will include more traditional-style fried chicken, it’s a dish unto itself and entire streets in Korea are dedicated to stands that sell gangjung, as is the case in Sokcho’s dak gangjung alley. Koreatown’s The Gangjung is a practitioner of the style, where mountains of gangjung are served up alongside those thousand-island-drenched piles of slivered cabbage.

5. Hoho Chicken

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2625 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90057
(213) 384-9595

MacArthur Park’s Hoho Chicken actually takes the crumbly-crusted skin of a more traditionally Southern-style of fried chicken preparation and tosses it in a less viscous Korean glaze so that soy garlic and spicy gochujang-based sauces reach every nook and cranny of its crunchy skin. Served with plastic gloves, it’s a welcome change of pace for the smoother-skinned fried birds that are common in the Korean fried chicken genre.

6. 77 Kentucky

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698 Vermont Ave #101
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 263-2686
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77 Kentucky (pronounced chil-chil-Kentucky) takes its name partially from a famous chain of fried chicken restaurants, but that’s roughly where its similarities to the Colonel end. The restaurant boasts some of the juiciest white meat of any Korean fried chicken restaurant in the city. Add to that a delicious “Chinese chicken” (tossed in a Kung-pao style sauce), and it all might be enough to forgive those creepy menu illustrations that may or may not have have triggered memories of this writer’s old Korean school textbooks.

7. OB Bear

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3002 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 480-4910

Jonathan Gold’s favorite standby for Korean fried chicken is going strong in this dimly lit watering hole off 7th. Between the gangjung (sweet-sauced Korean fried chicken) and the genuine Korean-style tongdak (paper-skin fried Cornish hen), it’s not only just a great Korean-style pub, but one of the city’s foremost specialists in Korean fried chicken.

8. ChiMac Star

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3054 W 8th St
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 383-0003
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Chimaek, a Korean portmanteau of chicken and beer that refers to the establishments that serve fried chicken and beer, are as common as convenience stores in South Korea, and ChiMac Star faithfully brings the chimaek experience stateside. With neon lighting and a gastro-pub like ambiance, the restaurant’s not afraid to serve stir-fried chicken gizzards and soojaebi bundaegi, or silkworm larva stew, alongside its stellar fried chicken options.

9. BBQ Chicken DTLA

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442 E 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(323) 989-9000

BBQ Chicken is a loosely-governed (and as such, the largest) franchise of Korean fried chicken shops on earth. The quality of its chicken’s preparation from location-to-location varies wildly, but the honey garlic wings are a generally safe bet. The unique, sweet flavor of honey adds a dimension of flavor to the garlic that’s not as easily found elsewhere.

10. The Prince

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3198 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 389-1586
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Though it stakes its claim as being around since 1927 (when it was named The Windsor), The Prince puts out Korean tongdak, or fried paper-skin chicken, that’s become practically synonymous with the restaurant. Tucked into old-school New York steakhouse-like digs that acted as a set for several episodes of Mad Men, it’s one of the city’s most iconic spaces serving out a mean fried bird and affordable (yes, $10 a drink is relatively affordable in this day and age) cocktails.

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1. Bonchon Chicken

710 W Las Tunas Dr #3, San Gabriel, CA 91776

Though more recent Korean immigrants might scratch their heads (there are only a handful of Bonchon locations in the motherland), thoughtful touches like exclusively offering strips (no) and drumsticks (yes) ease diners into BonChon’s perfect marriage of salty-sweet soy garlic glaze and the schmaltzy, shattering crunch of chicken skin. Waits at its SGV location can range into Howlin’ Rays territory, but Korean fried chicken zealots eagerly crowd the entrance and peer longingly at diners seemingly taking their sweet time inside. It’s all proof positive that BonChon is in a category by itself.

710 W Las Tunas Dr #3
San Gabriel, CA 91776

2. Kyochon Chicken

3833 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020

The smell of Kyochon’s garlicky soy-sauce coated fried chicken is famous across the city already, likely emanating from those cute, soon-to-be-empty little white boxes. Its innocent, K-poppy charm would come off as saccharine if there wasn’t so much substance — spicy wings pack a serious punch, and the seemingly tame soy-garlic glaze seems to impart an epic, preternaturally garlic flavor. What Kyochon’s seasoning lacks in subtlety, it more than compensates in addictive flavor.

3833 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020

3. 동대문 닭한마리 - Dongdaemoon Dakhanmari

3465 W 6th St Suite#300, Los Angeles, CA 90020

Dongdaemoon Dakhanmari isn’t just a mouthful in name only — it’s also one of the few places to serve deep-fried Korean rice cakes alongside their fried chicken. Though the restaurant actually specializes in jjimdak (a soy-based Korean chicken stew/meal-in-a-pot) and samgyetang (Korean-style chicken soup), it also does up a mean fried bird. DDM’s rendition is a whole chicken chopped before frying into nugget-like pieces with a trio of dipping sauces. Beware of the embedded bones!

3465 W 6th St Suite#300
Los Angeles, CA 90020

4. The Gangjung

621 S Western Ave Suite 302, Los Angeles, CA 90005

Dak gangjung refers to a very specific style of chicken preparation where chunks of chicken are battered up, fried and then tossed in a sweet-and-spicy sauce. Though oftentimes served on a menu that will include more traditional-style fried chicken, it’s a dish unto itself and entire streets in Korea are dedicated to stands that sell gangjung, as is the case in Sokcho’s dak gangjung alley. Koreatown’s The Gangjung is a practitioner of the style, where mountains of gangjung are served up alongside those thousand-island-drenched piles of slivered cabbage.

621 S Western Ave Suite 302
Los Angeles, CA 90005

5. Hoho Chicken

2625 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

MacArthur Park’s Hoho Chicken actually takes the crumbly-crusted skin of a more traditionally Southern-style of fried chicken preparation and tosses it in a less viscous Korean glaze so that soy garlic and spicy gochujang-based sauces reach every nook and cranny of its crunchy skin. Served with plastic gloves, it’s a welcome change of pace for the smoother-skinned fried birds that are common in the Korean fried chicken genre.

2625 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90057

6. 77 Kentucky

698 Vermont Ave #101, Los Angeles, CA 90005

77 Kentucky (pronounced chil-chil-Kentucky) takes its name partially from a famous chain of fried chicken restaurants, but that’s roughly where its similarities to the Colonel end. The restaurant boasts some of the juiciest white meat of any Korean fried chicken restaurant in the city. Add to that a delicious “Chinese chicken” (tossed in a Kung-pao style sauce), and it all might be enough to forgive those creepy menu illustrations that may or may not have have triggered memories of this writer’s old Korean school textbooks.

698 Vermont Ave #101
Los Angeles, CA 90005

7. OB Bear

3002 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005

Jonathan Gold’s favorite standby for Korean fried chicken is going strong in this dimly lit watering hole off 7th. Between the gangjung (sweet-sauced Korean fried chicken) and the genuine Korean-style tongdak (paper-skin fried Cornish hen), it’s not only just a great Korean-style pub, but one of the city’s foremost specialists in Korean fried chicken.

3002 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90005

8. ChiMac Star

3054 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005

Chimaek, a Korean portmanteau of chicken and beer that refers to the establishments that serve fried chicken and beer, are as common as convenience stores in South Korea, and ChiMac Star faithfully brings the chimaek experience stateside. With neon lighting and a gastro-pub like ambiance, the restaurant’s not afraid to serve stir-fried chicken gizzards and soojaebi bundaegi, or silkworm larva stew, alongside its stellar fried chicken options.

3054 W 8th St
Los Angeles, CA 90005

9. BBQ Chicken DTLA

442 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

BBQ Chicken is a loosely-governed (and as such, the largest) franchise of Korean fried chicken shops on earth. The quality of its chicken’s preparation from location-to-location varies wildly, but the honey garlic wings are a generally safe bet. The unique, sweet flavor of honey adds a dimension of flavor to the garlic that’s not as easily found elsewhere.

442 E 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

10. The Prince

3198 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005

Though it stakes its claim as being around since 1927 (when it was named The Windsor), The Prince puts out Korean tongdak, or fried paper-skin chicken, that’s become practically synonymous with the restaurant. Tucked into old-school New York steakhouse-like digs that acted as a set for several episodes of Mad Men, it’s one of the city’s most iconic spaces serving out a mean fried bird and affordable (yes, $10 a drink is relatively affordable in this day and age) cocktails.

3198 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90005

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