Checking in on Kyochon Hype

Kyochon in Koreatown scored a "Best of" in the LA Weekly for "Best Fried Chicken." Being a fan of the most soulful of the soul food variety, I felt obliged to check up on the situation.

LA Weekly reported, "It has become evident in the last year that Korean fried chicken really is an evolutionary leap forward — marinated in a cabinet full of spices, saturated with garlic, double-fried to a shattering, thin-skinned snap dramatic enough to wake a sleeping baby in an adjoining room."

And then I tried it. WOW. Their spicy chicken is garlicky, lemony, lip-smacking and intense, but it should come with a warning label. Unlike the milder spicy verson of the Popeye's variety, those fiery red drumsticks will straight clear your sinuses. Kyochon serves crisped rice chicken strips, a light, fried chicken breast crusted over with salty Rice Krispies. It was nice, but tame. The cereal crust is more gimmick than a flavor enhancer. With such ingenuity with their batters, you'd think that their dipping sauces wouldn't be poured from giant Smart and Final-type gallons of sauce. But they are. Their spicy Chicken with Rice Cake dish gave us a dose of vegetables with our protein-heavy meal. Spring onions, chewy tubes of rice cake and chicken were stir-fried in a scarlet-hued garlic-laden pepper sauce. It was a dish worthy of the most high-end of Korean BBQ establishments that side of Hancock Park.

While a restaurant has yet to trump my favorite fried chicken, Popeyes (simmer down KFCers!)I'm not quite finished with Kyochon yet. People on Yelp are raving about the Garlic Soy Chicken, using one word and one word only to describe it - addicting. Besides, I like their service. The waitstaff swings by only when you push the big button sitting on the edge of your table. They're like friendly, fried chicken-wielding robots.


Happy Valentine's Day Los Angeles!!! Here's a Dating Alternative...

One will steal all your mineral makeup. One can build you a patio.

I still shudder when driving past lines outside of clubs. Packed with shivering women in various states of undress pressed against one another for warmth, they pay way too much for valet parking and argue over who can fit what into their tiny, tiny purses.

The irony is that they endure this in hopes of finding the one person who can save them from nights like this. It's not that they're looking for marriage. They're willing to settle for good sex and the ability to stay in on Friday nights. They'd trade their stilettos and cocktails for sweatpants and Blockbuster in a heartbeat, and who could blame them?

But until we achieve these comfort zones, we're hit left and right with all sorts of zingers. Guys with better-manicured hands than us, guys that listen to Tom Leykis, guys that ask for less rice in their sushi rolls because they're watching their carbs, guys with porn addictions, Jewish guys with abusive attachments to their mothers, actors (ugh), band guys (double ugh), rappers (infinity ugh).

No wonder some women are turning to Hot Prison Pals. Sure, they're convicts but at least you know where they are at night. And one can only hope they're using that precious time pumping iron and brushing up on the classics, like To Kill a Mockingbird. Here are a few fun examples on what you can find on Hot Prison Pals...

"I speak with a rumble and it has a way with hearts. I write a lot of poetry. I enjoy rubbing oil into may mate's skin, as I enjoy having it rubbed into my own."

- Chas Boone

"As you can see I'm presently incarcerated and charged with four things. Murder, aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, burglary of habitation, and an aggravated kidnapping of an adult person between the ages of 27-30. I try to explain as much as possible so that no one judges a book only by it's cover."

- Corey Locke


Storm Watch, 2010!

Or not. Networks will do anything for a rating. Fear and paranoia in the hearts of viewers is a surefire recipe for good ratings and big advertisers.

That being said, winter has been kicking our asses seven ways 'til Sunday. Eleven feet on snow in the high Sierras, ice storms in the Midwest and blizzards on the East Coast. Here in Southern California, the rain has been nonstop. The natives are whining and the transplants are enthralled. Rain is romantic.

I was taken by a phenomenon in my backyard. The dry desert heat parches the land until everything is brittle, crackling. Our fence, which had been saturated with buckets of rain water for weeks, was suddenly exposed to a warm ray of sun. The wood boiled and fizzed, spewing billowing clouds of steam. It looked as if the cabin were on fire. I had to share.