bop 'til you drop
Hot Korean fried chicken restaurant sizzles with new Lazybrook/Timbergrove outpost
Lazybrook and Timbergrove, the wait for Korean fried chicken has come to an end. Houston's second location of Dak & Bop quietly opened last week in the former La Vista space at 1805 W. 18th St.
Dak & Bop owner Jason Cho made a few cosmetic tweaks to the space. Inside, diners will find new flooring, new paint, and new, gray-colored fabric on the banquettes. The changes give the space a serene feeling, and the minimal design really puts the spotlight on the restaurant's food.
Of course, the menu starts with Dak & Bop's signature Korean fried chicken. Available as wings, strips, or legs, the chicken comes in one of three sauces: soy garlic, medium spicy, or hot n spicy. Each piece is fried twice to ensure maximum crispiness.
Dak & Bop's original location in the Museum District blends its Korean fare with some Mexican touches in the form of dishes such as empanadas and elotes. At the new location, Cho has gone in a more European direction with dishes that include a scallop crudo, Brussels sprouts bisque, flatbreads, and pastas such as the shrimp scampi-inspired Seafood Yaki-Soba.
Other dishes draw on more explicitly Korean elements. For example, the restaurant's garlic bread — a torta that's stuffed with cream cheese and marscapone that's then dipped in garlic butter — takes its inspiration from a popular Korean street food. One of the flatbreads uses a sauce similar to Jajangmyeon, the essential Korean black bean noodle dish.
To execute these new dishes, Cho added chef Jordan Economy to his team. The veteran chef has worked at establishments ranging from Doris Metropolitan and Traveler's Table to Rudyard's and 8th Wonder Brewery. Economy tells CultureMap that the challenge of learning how to Korean dishes and the ability to help Cho open two more restaurants — a Galleria-area outpost of South Korean coffee shop Tom N Toms and a Korean steakhouse called Karne in The Heights — have him convinced that he's finally found a long-term home.
Beverage options focus on craft beer and cocktails. Cho partnered with Midtown's Under the Radar brewery to create a lemongrass kolsch that's exclusive to his restaurants. Some of the cocktails, such as the Honeymoon in Jeju, incorporate soju, a popular Korean spirit.
The new Dak & Bop is currently open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday beginning at 4 pm. Lunch and brunch will follow over the course of the next few weeks.