The item that seems to have gotten the most attention on my recent Saturday Stuffs post was the closing of BBQ Chicken. I received a couple of emails about it. I guess even though I wasn't a fan, other were. I did mention in Saturday's post that I had seen what looked like a "KFC" stand in Zion Market that evening......so I returned to check it out.
The place only does chicken, nothing else....no starches....
The menu also seems to only feature wings, drumsticks, and boneless crispy pieces, though I could be wrong. The older woman and gentleman were nice, but really felt more comfortable speaking Korean.
The prices didn't seem to bad, even thought it's take-out and chicken only. And heck, anyone that knows me understands that I love my chicken wings.
Anyway, I ordered a regular "Wings" ($7.99) and Sweet Soy ($8.99). I was told that my chicken would take fifteen minutes, which meant it was cooked fresh, a good sign. What was not that great was when I returned after about 10 minutes to find the guy constantly fiddling with the wings in the fryer. He kept taking pieces and cutting them with a knife to make sure it was cooked. C'mon, wings make up about 40% of your menu, that looked real amateur. Plus, all the cutting means that juices escape and my wings would be drier than they should. I know this place is new, but I'd think if you opened a place that only makes fried chicken, you'd know how to make without having to cut into every piece to make sure it's cooked then dumping them back in the fryer...... One of the great aspects about KFC chicken is the double fry. It's a technique I use myself. I didn't notice that happening here.....
Actually Gala does give you some Mul Kimchi, "water kimchi", a traditional accompaniment of KFC, which is on the extra sour side, but at least crisp and palate cleansing.
I work just a few blocks away and the chicken did smell pretty good. Opening my package I noticed that the take-out containers are kept open to prevent the chicken from getting soggy. I also noticed that I got what looked like "Spicy" wings instead of the Sweet Soy like I wanted.
So for those who keep score on the Kyochon-o-meter, there are six good sized wings per order. Though I prefer smaller wings which mean a better skin to meat ratio. Anyway, that's $1.33 per wing for original and $1.50 for Spicy......kind of on the pricey side, more than Kyochon if memory serves me.
And this ain't no Kyochon.
I found that while the batter was light, it was not as crisp as it looked. It was also very lightly seasoned, at least for my taste, and it had a greasiness to it. The drumettes were on the tough and dry side.
The Spicy really was more sweet and sticky than spicy.
The wing weren't really coated very well and I noticed that this batter goes soggy pretty quickly. The flavor was almost the same as the Sweet and Spicy chicken of BBQ Chicken, perhaps not as cloyingly sweet, but close. In fact, the chicken here just seemed like "BBQ Chicken lite", a step backwards from BBQ Chicken. Ditto for the tough and dry drumettes here.
So, you know I wasn't a fan of BBQ Chicken. You also know that I don't think the chicken here is not as good as BBQ Chicken was. You get the picture, right? Perhaps my friend Jenne is right; I'm just too darned picky. Anyway, I'm hoping that all of this are just grand opening issues and will be resolved. I'll try and visit in a couple of months and see.......
7655 Clairemont Mesa Blvd (Inside of Zion Market)
San Diego, CA 92111
Tues - Sat 11am-7pm