8246 Laguna Blvd

Elk Grove, CA 95758

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Located on the busy stretch of Laguna Boulevard near Highway 99, Bonchon finally opened its doors during its soft opening to a busy crowd. Known for their Korean fried chicken and sauces, Bonchon brings their international popularity to the valley. As we entered the packed restaurant, a hostess quickly seated us at an open table. We were provided with menus with most items available, but some items like the Bibimbap and others are unavailable until a later date. The tables were pretty cramped next to adjacent tables, but there was enough room to get by.

Today, we decided to order the small (10 pcs) chicken strips with half soy garlic and half spicy glaze as well as the Bull Dak. The chicken strips arrived in a large platter accompanied with a bowl of pickled radish. The chicken had a thin crispy outside that had an even crunch throughout each piece. Unfortunately, the actual chicken meat was borderline dry. The soy-garlic glaze was light and savory, but was not bold enough. The spicy glaze did add an essence of heat, but still lacked body. The picked radish did help cleanse the palate between the two flavors. I would assume that the wings or drums would be juicier since they are dark meat. The bull dak is served with a side of rice and vegetables, which helps complete the meal. The spicy chicken with rice cakes topped with onions, scallions, and mozzarella cheese definitely lives up to its fiery spicy rating. If you like spicy food and can handle the korean spicy ramen, you will like the bull dak. The chicken pieces are fairly small mixed in with the few large pieces of rice cake, but the red sauce was dauntingly spicy. The cheese helps mellow the spiciness a little, but not enough. If you don’t do well with extreme spiciness, then this dish may not be for you as you will drink multiple cups of ice water during your meal.

Overall, the soft opening for Bonchon seemed successful, and there were many other menu items that we wanted to come back to try. Their hours are quite limited at the time for 5PM to 9PM daily with no takeout option, but hopefully that all changes once they have their grand opening. Prices are reasonable for a Korean restaurant, but may seem high. Service was excellent, but food did take some time to come out of the kitchen. In the meantime, you can watch one of the six TV’s mounted on the walls. If you love Korean food and want to try something different, you must give Bonchon a try.

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