Eat This Now: Fire Chicken at Dancen


[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

There's not much from the road that would convince you to give Dancen a try, let alone that it'd have something on its menu as fantastic as fire chicken ($12). As is often the case, I have LTHForum to thank for the intel, and I now understand why the Korean bar is considered a Great Neighborhood Restaurant. But do know that this is first and foremost a bar. So do what Dennis and I did on a recent visit and make yourself comfortable, order a bowl of makgeolli, and, then and only then, take a look at the tiny menu.

I sampled a few things, all of which were satisfying and spicy, but the fire chicken (called Buldak in Korean) really stuck out. Essentially it's just hunks of marinated and red-tinged chicken thigh that are tossed on a grill and cooked until charred and crispy. As others have noted, the dish is excellent drunk food—salty, spicy, crispy, and juicy. Honestly, it's kind of embarrassing how great the item is considering how many bars just chuck chicken wings into the fryer and hope for the best. More fire chicken, please!