Kochix is nestled in a little corner of no-man’s-land between Bloomingdale, Shaw, Ledroit Park, and Truxton Circle that I often walk through while trying to nonchalantly look behind me. I’ve borne witness to more than one arrest at the bus stop across the street. As a result, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve walked past this little neighborhood spot and thought “Ummmmm no.” Even walking in here to pick up my order, it reminded me of traveling in South America, where every meal is an adventure in Should I really be eating this right now? Their storefront and their menu are barebones to the point of looking like a money laundering scheme, but the inside smells of amazing fry batter, and I felt like 4.5 stars on google don’t lie.
My husband and I split an order of yaki mandu, a bulgogi bap, and a small order of wings, which we were tipped off to order with “very hot” sauce as a special request.
It turns out that google stars do lie. The mandu (bottom center) were nicely fried but fairly bland and only lightly stuffed with veggies. They needed a sauce and some more filling. The bulgogi bap (right) featured nice, soft beef and lots of well-cooked onions and cabbage on top of sticky rice, but it too was disappointingly plain. I threw some hot sauce on that puppy and it improved immensely. It could have used a fried egg too. There was nothing wrong with it, but I should never be able to make an ethnic dish better than people of that ethnicity who own a restaurant that serves said ethnicity’s food. This was sadly the case with the bulgogi.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Kochix only really shined in the execution of the wings. They were fried to crunchy perfection. The meat inside was moist. The special extra-hot sauce was as advertised: sweet, tangy, and nose-runningly spicy, if extremely messy.
Price: $10 per person.
Bottom line: I can really only recommend the wings, which were outstanding. I wish they served tenders as well because sometimes you just don’t feel like getting sauce everywhere on your body and don’t really feel like working hard for your food. Were I to rate the meal as a whole on google, I’d probably give 2.85 stars (that seems right). Only the wings were deserving of 4.5