Locals can now celebrate the reopening of area restaurants, and for Reston residents, a big culinary—and exotic—treat has opened in Plaza America, a few doors down from Whole Foods. That’s Bonchon, a Korean restaurant group that offers both traditional and modernized Korean chicken dishes, plus much more. For anyone who craves chicken in any way, shape, or form, Bonchon is an ideal destination.
According to Bonchon’s main website, the whole fried chicken concept derives from South Korea, as is quoted on the web: “The Bonchon Korean Fried Chicken concept was inspired by restaurants in ‘my hometown’ (Bonchon translated) in South Korea specializing in ultra-crispy twice-fried fowl.” The word “bonchon” means “my hometown,” which must reflect where the founder got the inspiration for these homey and tempting fried chicken, fried rice, and other South Korean faves.
Presently during restricted indoor seating because of the pandemic, this tiny restaurant offers very limited seating with a table and bench or two and a stand-up counter for eating. On a recent day, it seems that take-out orders were the solution for the patrons who dropped in.
What is available? At the ordering counter, patrons can read through an enormous overhead menu broken into starters, main dishes, salads, soups, and sides, and, of course a range of their signature fried chicken dishes. Or for easier pickings, management hands out paper menus that duplicate the offerings. As it turns out, the luncheon specials menu is considerably shorter than the regular selections.
So for those dropping in midday, that’s a good place to start. First up is the restaurant’s signature fried chicken—spicy, soy-garlic, or half-and-half. Then patrons can choose between wings, drums, strips, boneless wings or a combo, plus Korean-ish sides…onion rings are not really Korean, after all.
Also not Korean, not really, is another luncheon option that pairs Korean flavors of spicy and crunchy chicken pieces into taco wraps, dressed with a sweetish sauce and thickened with lettuce pieces and some coleslaw Talk about combining cultures: this dish is a smash hit. Other luncheon options include bibimbap, a bowl of warmed white rice with addons; house fried rice, plain or dressed up with chicken, bulgogi, or seafood; and chicken katsu, a Japanese-sourced dish of crunchy-fried strips of chicken.
All worth a try, lunch or dinner….
11652 Plaza America Dr., Reston. 703-789-9464. Daily: 11 a.m to 8:30 p.m.