Korean fried chicken has hit Atlanta and the response has been positively cultish. What sets this new-fangled "KFC" apart is the double-frying method that produces a crunchy crust as greaseless as it is light. The manageable chunks of juicy chicken are then tossed in a sauce or served straight up. Most establishments fry each bird to order, so be prepared to wait around 15-20 minutes — a small price to pay for such perfect poultry.
Love Letter Pizza and Chicken: Brightly colored to-go bags and a wall of mouth-watering chicken and pizza photos greet you as you walk through the door of this Seoul-based franchise. The whole fried chicken has a smooth crust that shatters with each bite. The ever-present cubes of pickled daikon radish provide a welcome acidic contrast to the heat of the syrupy-sweet dipping sauce. 10820 Abbotts Bridge Road, Suite 350, Johns Creek. 770-813-8882.
ToreOre Chicken & Joy: There are numerous choices at this Korean chain inside the Johns Creek Super H Mart, but the standout version is the "garlic tasty chicken." The nubbly crust is embedded with caramelized garlic and the unmistakable flavor of peanut butter for a hint of sweetness. You can eat in the food court or take it away in an ingeniously designed box complete with steam vents. 10820 Abbotts Bridge Road, Johns Creek. 770-476-1205.
Ma Lul Ha Lu: The only inkling that this restaurant offers the coveted fried specialty is a sign that says, "chicken wings." The eatery is traditionally Korean with plenty of panchan (accompaniments), including a sizzling skillet of creamed corn. While the chicken is good on its own, a dunk into some sauce will have you licking your fingers after each crunch. 2550 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth. 770-476-8599.
Korean fried chicken, Johns Creek, Duluth, wings