Lim's, Von's, more Bon Chon - KFC for Houston

Lim’s, the company that came up with Korean Fried Chicken, has opened their first US location in Chinatown.


Houston Press

At last, one of these places convenient to me :grinning:

And according to the Press article, Von’s, a chain out of California is coming too, to Koreatown. Plus more Bon Chon locations.

I’ve never heard of Lim’s or Von’s.



(Just kidding - that’s like ten minutes from me.)

Edited to add: I’m so old it took me a while to understand that “KFC” meant KOREAN Fried Chicken. It will always mean something else to me.

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Yeah. I have to stop and think sometimes…UH OH… I just realized and offer my sincere apologies to Lambowner. KFC is as bad as GOOF, EADO, etc. I shoulda made a New Year’s Resolution to not use those anymore.

(Here’s the lastest one - ADLA - which Forbes claims Houstonians use to refer to Avenida de las Americas. Comments on Swamplot and a link to the article - scroll up).

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In another life, I lived in CA and Vons was the only option, but it was a good one. I hope they sell tri-tips and artichokes 10 cents each like in the olden days, but I doubt it.

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I miss the 99 cent a dozen, not each raw oysters at Joe Lee’s Kemah in the 1880’s before Fertitta destroyed the Kemah Boardwalk.

1880’s is not a misstep as I tell the millennials at work I was born in 1812 when the inquiring little minds want to know what year I was born.

None of them has heard of the War of 1812.

Von’s looks like it will be behind the Mambo’s on the NW corner of Long Point and Witte in the shopping center. I, we drive by once or twice a week after HEB trips.

I’ll keep an eye on construction and will visit and report a month or so after they open and have a chance to settle in.

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A high school teacher once asked and extra point question on and exam: “when was the war of 1812?” You guessed it, many students didn’t get that point.

Reminds me of the softball questions they would lob at us in 1830, okay 1975 Sharpstown High for extra credit. I think I had a 103 A plus average in a history class.

We fretted when two of our favorite lunch spots, Henry’s and Massey’s BBQ on Bissonnet went from a buck to 1.25 for sliced beef sandwiches.

This is Von’s Chicken. I don’t think it’s affiliated with Von’s the supermarket. Hey, but isn’t Von’s just Kroger?

Oh well then, never mind!

I’ve seen tri-tip at TJ’s.

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Me too come to think of it. Planning a trip there today. My 20 something son has discovered TJ’s, and I giggle every time he talks about his finds. He recently snap chatted a photo of his favorite new snack.


I went to Bonchon this week in Katy and ordered 1/2 -1/2 spicy and soy garlic wings. I enjoyed it and would definitely stop again, but I give Hoodadak the edge on the fries.


Thanks for the report, Lambowner. You motivated me to get off my duff and go out so I headed over to Lim’s. I encountered the worst traffic I’ve ever run into in Chinatown - no idea why.

Neat little place, where Seoul House’s Chinatown location was, in the back of the big Kim Son on Bellaire (which just happens to be right across the street from Golden Dum Sum, the dim sum place I’ve been to a couple of times). A very friendly (and very young) staff; Korean girl pop group videos on the big screen the whole time I was there.

A simple two page menu card; I didn’t pay any attention to anything except the chicken but later wished I had. I ordered a half order of the soy garlic and some fries.

This came out first; I hadn’t been expecting it but was glad to see it. Possibly the best pickled daikon I’ve had, crisper than any I’ve had before. I had eaten some before snapping the pic. This was almost all gone by the time the chicken came out.

Whoa! I said as this arrived, and the waitress just smiled and backed away from the table. That’s enough for a family of four, I think (and only $4). The Press review said they were as good as McDonald’s but mine were greasier, not as crisp, and lacking in salt. I gobbled about a quarter of that pile anyway and the portion I took home weighed more than 7 oz. A cup of ketchup came out belatedly and I tried some with that but they were better without the ketchup.

The last thing to come out before the chicken was a bucket with some spare napkins. I was sure I was going to need them.

I had forgotten all about the chips, mentioned in a few reviews on YELP. They were better than the fries - not great but better.

The chicken had the thickest and crispest crust of any I’ve had I think. I was immediately impressed. I started on the leg, then the large wing. A half order at The Toreore at Super H Mart is 7 pieces and I’ve never finished it in one sitting. I brought 2 of these pieces home.

Unfortunately the chicken was over-cooked and dry and I got tired of all the fried stuff and wanted something other than the daikon and chips.

I’m hoping the over-cooking issue was an aberration and I will certainly give this place another try since it’s relatively close. I had not read the Press article as a rave and while there are a number of 5 star reviews on YELP, the pictures haven’t impressed much. I went in expecting to come out thinking Hoodadak was the best I had had but this is definitely a contendah, Stella.

I got a look at a platter of the regular and it looked better than mine. At the table behind mine were two of what I assume were the ‘lunch boxes’ and they looked very good. I didn’t think to ask if they had a printed version of the menu to take with me.

Just a note: if you go and think you’re going to avoid traffic by going out the side road, forget it. There is no back way. All the streets end in dead ends or turn-arounds so suck it up and fight your way into the hordes on Bellaire :sunglasses:.



Great report!

I finally got around to heading up to the Polish Grocery store and Super H Mart today. Unfortunately, PG is closed on Mondays. I hadn’t been up there in a while and didn’t remember that.

I stopped at Super H Mart anyway and ordered from The Toreore, the Korean fried chicken outlet in the food court. They tell you it will take 20 minutes so I did some shopping which I had to cut short to get back to the chicken before it got cold.

I ordered the Garlic Plus, 7 piece order ($9.99), supposed to be half a chicken. The leg and wing are both smaller than at Lim’s, the breast and thigh are cut into sections so they’re of similar size and fry more evenly.

This was excellent fried chicken, moist and juicy and flavorful but unfortunately not a great example of Korean fried chicken because there wasn’t anything remarkable about the crispiness of the coating. I’ve had crispier/crunchier chicken at Church’s and Popeye’s, I’m sure.

The daikon is served in the pickling liquid and is blander and not as crisp as Lim’s.

Points to Lim’s for the superior crust and daikon; points to Toreore for not overcooking the bird.

I don’t know if they have regular fries - I didn’t look at the menu carefully - but they have kimchee fries which seem to be very popular with Yelpers but the pictures aren’t appealing to me.

I’ll be back up here in the near future to get to the Polish place and I need to go back here and look again for some things I didn’t find. Katherine Shilcutt has raved about the kimchee fried rice at another stand and I may try that. Super H Mart is one of the few grocery store food courts I’ll eat in.

I may try to hit another Korean fried chicken place, too, since, after all, fried chicken is really good for you :grin:

ETA: This place provides large, thin plastic gloves in lieu of chopsticks or other eating utensils. Actually, pretty neat. There are thin napkins which would be completely inadequate without the gloves but they’re hardly needed.

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I made it over to Dak and Bop today in the Museum District (about 3 blocks east of the South Freeway). I wasn’t really hungry and almost blew it off but I’m glad I didn’t.

I started with an 8th Wonder Rocket Fuel, my first taste of any of the beers from that brewery. It’s described as a Vietnamese Coffee Porter. After I ordered it I remembered that while I love Vietnamese Coffee, Porter is one of my least favorite styles of beer. Well, up until now, anyway. I really enjoyed this and would order again.

They have separate sections of the menu for their offerings of fries and mac n’ cheese, plus they have baos, salads, and a few sides. I thought the Asian slaw sounded like a good fit for fried chicken but out of nearly 500 pictures on YELP it is only shown 4 times and 2 of the pics have comments indicating it is tasteless. I think the side salad was pictured only once - not a very popular offering, either. The corn on the cob looks good but I was afraid it would be too much so I just went for the Cold Corn Salad.

Kernel corn, minced green and red bell pepper and red onion and parsley with a mayo based simple dressing. Not bad but nothing special at all. I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the portion. There are some complaints on YELP about the skimpiness but that was at least a cup and a half.

But that was nothing compared to the chicken.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when they placed this in front of me. That’s called a Small Mix, 4 wings plus one drumstick, in the Medium Spicy sauce. Wings are either flaps or drumsticks, not both, kitchen’s choice, and the largest of those flaps was approaching 5". I’ve never seen wing pieces that big before. This was more than enough for me.

The crust was even more amazing - it blows every other Korean fried chicken I’ve had out of the water, even with the sauce to perhaps take some of the crispiness off. And the sauce was perfect for my taste buds.

The chicken itself was nothing special so far as I could tell; maybe a little underdone but just lost, taste-wise, underneath the crust and sauce. I think I’d like to try this sauce-less, just to concentrate on the crust and meat.

What I saw at other tables - the baos look rather small, the fries and mac servings look huge (unless what I was seeing was a ‘family size’ portion, which isn’t shown as an option on the website menu).

I still think (!) I want to get out to Hoodadak again and Bon Chon plus a place up on Hammerly I’ve found on Yelp called Friends Kitchen and a revisit to Lim’s, but my next meal of Korean fried chicken will be right back here at Dak and Bop :sunglasses:.

The room is very noisy. There’s free parking on the ground floor of the building’s parking garage but with a Barnaby’s next door on one side and Bosta Kitchen on the other, I’d imagine garage space is at a premium at meal times. I think the website or maybe it’s Yelp reviewers say there’s plenty of free parking on neighborhood streets but signs posted in the windows say don’t park on Chenevert, the street along the west side of the building, or you’ll get towed. You have to go out on the sidewalk to enter the restaurant, there’s no entrance from the garage.

Dak and Bop, 1801 Binz. Recommended!

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They don’t look too crunchy…but looks can be deceiving. Perhaps it’s “shattery” crisp, something I really like.

Hmmm. Can you be a bit more specific? Define shattery :grin::grin::grin:.

If you mean like biting into a tostada or crispy taco shell, no. I guess the reason that shatters is there’s no gluten? Whatever the crust is made of here it almost certainly has gluten so it doesn’t shatter.

I’ve been trying to think of something to compare it to. The closest of the other places is Lim’s but you haven’t had that (and that was probably tougher than it was supposed to be since the pieces were overcooked).

The best I can come up with is crispy crust on a chicken fried steak that hasn’t been besodden with gravy; but then, tastes vary on CFS too, don’t they. I like mine crispy and I like the edges where there’s no meat, just a double thickness of crust… But that’s not it, either.

My first bite was like the first bite of the Orange Beef at Cooking Girl. It was like ‘Uh-oh. This is good.’ Like crack good. (Corrected from Orange Chicken).

None of the pictures really looks crunchy. That’s due to the saucing.

BTW I might have mentioned above that the chicken leg at the top of the picture is normal size (maybe a little on the small side, length-wise). So the wing flaps are as big as a leg.

I’ve been having worrying second thoughts that the reason I couldn’t taste the chicken is because it was tasteless. That would be a bummer.

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I meant drummette and the menu says you’re supposed to get an even mix of flaps and drummettes and no special orders are allowed.