If a bite of crunchy, juicy chicken hits the spot for you, then you’ve got to try Korean fried chicken. What makes Korean fried chicken unique is its thin, crispy skin which contrasts with American fried chicken, which has a thick crust that’s often made even thicker by soaking the chicken in buttermilk. Korean fried chicken itself is not as oily as other styles of fried chicken because the skin is only lightly battered and the chicken is fried twice, making the skin very crunchy and keeping the meat deliciously moist. After frying, the chicken pieces are covered in either garlic or spicy sauces, giving customers the option to customize the flavor of their fried chicken. If this sounds like something you’d want to try, head over to Vons Chicken. Until the opening of Vons Chicken in Isla Vista, there had not been any options for Korean fried chicken in the Isla Vista or Santa Barbara area. Luckily for us, we finally get to indulge in this delicious cuisine!
My first visit to Vons Chicken was on a weekday afternoon. I barely avoided the lunch rush, as the line started to extend outside the door only a few minutes after I placed my order. I opted for the lunch special, in which you can choose your chosen flavor of the chicken, two sides and the type of chicken pieces you want. I chose the option for two drumsticks and two wings of the Crispy Fried Chicken, which had a garlic soy glaze, and fries and coleslaw as my sides.
I’m always skeptical of the quality of I.V. food, but this chicken did not disappoint. The skin was perfectly crispy and crunchy and the meat was well seasoned and moist. The garlic flavor from the glaze also gave the chicken a unique flavor that is lacking from ordinary American fried chicken. Although the portion was small, the coleslaw was tasty and helped balance out all the savoriness of the chicken. The only gripe I had with my meal was that the fries were not seasoned at all and did not come with dipping sauce, so I would go for another side next time. As for the portion sizes, the four pieces of chicken were perfect and I left the restaurant feeling pretty full.
I’d definitely come back to try the other types of fried chicken and the other menu items. If you like a good deal, I would recommend visiting the restaurant when they have their lunch special since it’s around $10, and you can easily run up a high bill if you go during regular hours when the special isn’t offered.