So guys finally made it to Dak & Bop for some Korean fried chicken! Forgive me if you perceive this as ignorant, but when I think of fried chicken, I think of scenes like the Help where Minnie shows Ceila Foote the beauty of mounds of white crisco grease. A great American tradition that is often stereotypically attributed to African Americans. Right or wrong, that is where my mind goes when I hear fried chicken. I have taken ownership of this American food as something quintessentially a part of the African American cuisine. Consider me a little possessive over it if you will, so when I heard the phrase “Korean Fried Chicken” I admittedly shot down the idea of the fusion of Asian food and fried chicken.
A few months back I pushed down my own preconceived notions and visited Dak & Bop to try their signature Korean fried chicken. Well the first visit went over well enough that I decided to visit again for my work birthday lunch (more on my birthday celebrations later! Here is a breakdown of my experiences.
Location and Setup:
Dak & Bop is in the medical district in an office building. One of the downsides is that parking is pretty limited. You can search for street parking on the adjacent blocks or park in the attached garage. A portion of the garage is free for restaurant patrons, but as you can imagine “free” fills up fast. On my first visit I was relegated to the paid upper levels for a fee of five dollars *insert side eye emoji.* Thankfully, on my next trip we lucked up on a free parking spot. Once inside, the restaurant is divided into two sections, the first being the larger dining room space and the second being the bar area where you can grab food to go.
I have only visited Dak & Bop during the work hours so I skipped over the bar. I surveyed the offerings though and noticed a pretty detailed beer menu. A friend schooled me on “Chimek” which is the combination of beer and Korean chicken. I of course hit google to learn more and apparently it is all the rage in Korea and China (written about here in the Washington Post). Eating fried chicken sans beer seems to be the equivalent of a burger without fries to an American consumer. I offered this cultural lesson to say, on your non-work hour visit, get the beer so you can have the full Chimek experience.
On to the food because that is why you are here! On my first visit my eyes were bigger than my stomach! I ordered fries, mac and cheese AND the signature Korean Fried Chicken wings. Let’s take a moment to break down these categories shall we. Dak & Bop offers FIVE fries options. Plain fries, parmesan fries, truffle fries, parmesan truffle fries and kimchi fries. I could not decide between truffle or parmesan so I was grateful for the combination of the two. These fries were dripping with cheese and truffle oil. Then they provide you spicy ketchup to dip them in.
Similarly, there are several mac and cheese options too. The original mac and cheese, bacon & cheddar mac and cheese and bulgogi mac and cheese. I kept it simple and went with the original. I’ll be honest and say this was probably my least favorite item. I tasted more noodle than cheese and that always makes for unimpressive mac and cheese in my book. Do not get me wrong, it was not bad mac and cheese. It just did not wow me like the other items did.
Now for the main event, the chicken! I ordered what was once called the half and half. The menu changed so this option is no longer titled that, but if you ask they know what you are talking about. This is basically their plain “mild buffalo wings” Korean fried chicken is twice fried and the flavoring encompasses many of the typical Asian flavors. I generally am not a fan of Asian flavors, just not my favorite cuisine. Here, the chicken is a fusion of Asian flavors with a bit of what I would call your typical mild wing sauce. The thick coating that comes from being double fried was different but probably my favorite part of the chicken. Finger licking good, let me tell ya!
I have already managed to go twice before writing about it on my blog. That says a lot right there! Another thing to note is they are open late! So you can get your beer and chicken fill after dark as well