Bonchon (Korean fried chicken)

Bonchon is a chain restaurant, with franchises all over the world that specializes in Korean fried chicken. We visited the restaurant in Fairfax, Virginia.
It is best to call ahead and place your order, as the chicken can take 30+ minutes to prepare. You can get a combination of wings/drumsticks or white meat. There are two glazes—a soy glaze and a spicy glaze (you can also get your order done half-and-half).
The fried chicken is done well. The chicken is moist, and the batter is surprisingly grease free (for fried chicken, that is). The soy glaze has a slight sweetness to it, but it’s subtle and not overpowering. The spicy glaze is extremely spicy (and I say that as someone who loves spicy food). Essentially, the chicken has been coated in siracha sauce, so adjust your expectations accordingly.
We also ordered the kimchi (very good), the kimchi coleslaw (the coleslaw fans in the family loved this), and the bulgogi (highly mediocre—not much flavor at all).
The biggest complaint we had about the restaurant was the service. After calling ahead with our order, the restaurant somehow lost the order, and there was a significant delay, and only part of our order was prepared. That happens, despite any restaurant’s best intentions. The key is how to handle the mistake. Bonchon’s reaction to the mistake was to then avoid our table for the remainder of the meal. This meant no refills on drinks, no additional napkins, no service whatsoever. No one noticed the missing part of our order, as it appeared on the bill. I don’t expect excellent service at a restaurant like this, which is clearly a bare bones, minimalist restaurant (fairly typical for most Asian hole-in-the-wall places), but I do expect competent service or, at worst, an acknowledgment that service has been below expectations and an attempt to rectify mistakes.
Bonchon is a great alternative to Popeye’s or KFC for fried chicken, as the fried chicken is superior to either of those places. But have some realistic expectations about the quality of the service. I give the restaurant a C+ and plan to take our business elsewhere.

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