Saturday, September 19, 2009
Earlier in the year, I tried Korean pizza at Mr. Pizza Factory and last year, I did a one day smackdown between two popular Korean fried chicken joints, Bon Chon and Kyochon. Mr. Pizza Factory's pizzas were hit and miss while Kyochon won hands down over Bon Chon. Given those two experiences, I was really curious to see what the food was going to be like at Pizza and Chicken Love Letter, a restaurant that featured both Korean pizza and chicken and how they would compare.
One night, a group of us mosied there for dinner and we shared 3 pizzas and orders of Spicy Garlic Chicken and Sweet Garlic Chicken. Appetizers arrived in the shape of a big plate of coleslaw topped with Thousand Island Dressing, a chili sauce and corn kernels followed by a bowl of cubed vinegared radish. Both the coleslaw and radish were also accompaniments to our chicken at Bon Chon and Kyochon. Does anyone know why these two items are usually served with Korean fried chicken? Inquiring minds want to know.
The first of our three pizzas to arrive was the Sweet Potato Pizza with onion, bell pepper, sweet potato, sausage, corn, pineapple, ham and cheese. I took a bite and the first word that came to mind was "bland." It needed more flavor, which could have easily come from sausage that's well seasoned, but in this case, it wasn't. You'd think that the pineapple would add a little tartness, but it didn't. The sweet potato could have added sweetness, but there didn't seem to be a lot of it on the pizza.
It was by no means a bad pizza. It was just okay. The crust was also not what I would have expected. It had a pastry like texture as opposed to being more bread-like, if that makes sense. I'm still on the fence as to whether I liked it or just tolerated it.
We also ordered the Sweet Potato Gold Pizza, which essentially had the same ingredients as the Sweet Potato Pizza, but it had a sweet potato mouse inside the crust. They were a bit spare with that sweet potato mousse, but it did add something a little extra in a good way to this pizza. A similar, but much better version of this Sweet Potato Gold Pizza can be had at Mr. Pizza Factory.
Our last pizza was the Bulgogi Pizza. I actually liked it better than either of the Sweet Potato Pizzas, which actually isn't saying much. The bulgogi didn't seem like bulgogi to me. It was more like sausage or ground beef, but at least, the meat had some good flavor to it which is more than I could say about the Bulgogi Pizza we also had at Mr. Pizza Factory.
When it came to their chicken offerings, I was for the most part happy with them. The Spicy Garlic Chicken definitely had a kick to them. The radishes actually were pretty helpful at times to cool the palate. As for the Sweet Garlic Chicken, it hit just the right balance of being sweet without being overly sweet. They don't quite compare to Kyochon, but overall, they were pretty good.
My one issue was that the glaze for both the spicy and sweet chicken was at times so overwhelmingly thick that you'd be left with little globs all over your finger tips after eating one. I don't have a problem licking my fingers, but not to the point that I'd be in danger of running out of saliva to clean all that glaze off. Lots and lots of napkins gave up their life during the eating of this chicken.
Overall, I wouldn't consider Pizza and Chicken Love Letter a destination restaurant for me, but the prices were quite reasonable and in fact, they had various combo pizza and chicken combination to choose from that also included soft drinks. The restaurant had a nice casual ambiance and was quiet enough so that conversation could actually happen and while the food may not have been spectacular, it was still satisfying and fed your hunger. If I happen to be in the neighborhood, I'd consider stopping for the chicken, just as long there were plenty of napkins on hand.
Pizza and Chicken Love Letter
12238 Artesia Boulevard
Artesia, CA 90701