We all have that one place we’ve wanted to go into forever, but been too afraid to try alone. For some of us it’s an Ethiopian restaurant, for others it’s that Thai massage place that you’re not sure is a massage place or a “massage” place despite reading a bunch of reviews and asking around and waiting outside to gauge the clientele and attractiveness of the masseuses… but I digress. For the last 3 years, Pizza & Chicken Love Letter (yes, really) has been that place for me, and I was finally able to convince some people to accompany me on my expedition.
You’ll find Pizza & Chicken Love Letter, which we can all agree is the best-named restaurant in Orange County, in the back of the right side of HMart, the Korean supermarket in Irvine’s Diamond Jamboree shopping center. The menu is exactly what you would imagine: pizza, chicken, and sides, all made with uniquely Korean flavors. Their pizzas all have bulgogi (marinated BBQ meat, usually beef), sweet potatoes, or some combination thereof. The sides are pretty much all fried, and the chicken options range from regular fried chicken to flavored wings. After seeing the word “bacon” we had to order the Bulgogi & Bacon Pizza, and for a chicken option we all agreed on the Sweet Garlic Popcorn Chicken.
Some things in life just go together: peanut butter and jelly, peas and carrots, a framed Scarface poster and a framed Reservoir Dogs poster. You can go ahead and add pizza and chicken to that list. First thing we notice about the pizza is that it’s generously peppered with bits of bacon and beef bulgogi. After each of us grab a slice and sink out teeth in, our fears are instantly allayed: this a real pizza! Also, this is fucking delicious! Overly sweet at times and a bit heavy, but the chewy, rich textures of the meat merged well with the fattiness of the cheese. The sweet garlic popcorn chicken (the serving is huge!) is treated as such: crunchy, salty bits of flesh that are constantly shoved down our gullets, leaving our mouths watering for the next sweet and savory handful. The food also came with some sharp pickled radish and thousand-island-drizzled shredded cabbage on the side.
The price points are a huge plus, since we were able to comfortably feed 4 people for about 20 bucks. The service was super friendly and helpful, maybe because they noticed the mixture of wonder and fear on our faces at being out of our comfort zones. But fear not, ye of little faith: this is one love letter you’ll keep close to your heart.
Mile-High Club First-Class Business Economy
Check ‘em out at:
2600 Alton Pkwy
Irvine, CA 92606
Mon-Thu 11:00am – 10:00pm
Fri-Sun 11:00am – 11:00pm
Photography by Eunice Lee
~ Pizza and Chicken Love Letter Will Make You Swoon ~