I would like to propose an overhaul of the acronym “KFC.” No longer should a certain national fast food chain have a monopoly over this particular string of consonants. A small shop in H-town is proving Korean Fried Chicken is a far better way to enjoy crispy poultry parts.

Dak & Bop isn’t the first or the only place in Houston that serves Korean-style fried chicken, which differs from the traditional American version by being fried twice during preparation. Ironically, this double fry creates a less greasy, crispier skin that flakes off pleasantly into your mouth with each bite. Furthermore, Korean fried chicken, including that offered at Dak & Bop, is often livened by more inventive seasonings and rubs that results in a spectrum of KFC flavor experiences.

Located in the Museum District, Dak & Bop is a lovely way to conclude a late afternoon of Monet-spotting at the MFAH. Yes, fried meat and impressionism do go together especially when the latter is served with sophisticated cocktails in a chic yet unprententious warehouse space decorated with jars of pickled cabbage and bonsai plants. Chicken is available in various numbers of wings, strips, drumsticks, and combinations thereof. The best tasting experiences come by trying the “hot and spicy” or “soy garlic” seasonings; the former is heated but not to the point of causing sweating, panting, and post-nasal drip and the latter boasts strong garlic notes that are satisfying enough to sacrifice post-dinner smooching with your date. Dak & Bop’s “plain jane” fried chicken is also zesty and delicious, and, speaking of similarly monikered “ladies”, would probably really hit the spot after a rendezvous with Mary Jane.

As for side dishes, the Asian citrus slaw is sweet, tart, and the perfect refreshing complement to your saltier main course. If, however, you prefer to balance your meat fats with dairy, then go for the mac and cheese. There’s definitely less macaroni than cheese, which drowns the noodles in its luscious molten form, but, hey if you demand equal proportions, look to Kraft. These accompaniments plus the chicken will certainly help you soak up all pre-prandial booze you’ve enjoyed before your meal at Dak & Bop’s whimsical hipster bar, where servers painstakingly mix cocktails such as ginger-infused Manhattan or the raucous Bohemian, with gin, lillet blanc, Campari, fennel syrup, and pineapple.

I can’t imagine not getting the fried chicken at Dak & Bop, but little birds (pun intended) say the bao sandwiches are also quite good.

Dak & Bop
1801 Binz St Ste 120
Houston, TX 77004

Joanna O'Leary

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