Located in Lakewood, this new restaurant serves fried chicken, four ways. Brother and sister duo, Ivy and John Pham opened Kickin’ Chicken in July 2020 after a four month delay due to COVID-19 related restaurant closures. The menu focuses on highlighting chicken with flavors from multiple regions.
“There were a lot of unknowns. With restaurants closing around us it was kind of a black curtain hanging over us,” Ivy said. With over 15 years of experience cooking with family and a strong love for food, both Ivy and John decided to open a restaurant dedicated to providing fast food with good quality.“Chicken has always been such a versatile food and more recently become a hot new trend. We wanted to change it up and focus on chicken through different regions of the world,” Ivy said.
But while the chicken is the focus, the menu was built from the bottom up. The sides were picked and in turn influenced the different styles of chicken dishes. The sides include an eclectic selection from Mexican street corn and fried rice to Vietnamese slaw and French fries — pairing perfectly with each of the four entrées.
The menu includes a chicken sandwich (fried chicken thighs on buttered Texas toast topped with slaw, pickles and Kickin’ sauce), simple chicken tenders, chicken and waffles (chicken tenders on a cheddar jalapeño bubble waffle topped with whipped butter and syrup) and lastly chicken katsu over fried rice with a side of macaroni salad.
Though the fare offers a few different staples from multiple regions, it seems to come together in an enticing way. The list of sauces also represents a unique selection including the signature Kickin’ sauce, buffalo ranch, golden garlic blue cheese, jalapeño honey mustard and a sweet chili.
The Phams’ have also sprinkled their Vietnamese heritage throughout the menu with a Vietnamese iced coffee and Vietnamese style slaw.
With everything that has happened in 2020, both Ivy and John remain optimistic. They’ve had their own run-in with unfortunate circumstances from restaurant closures to apparent vandalism. On the restaurant’s opening day there was a rock thrown through the window and more recently their trash can was set on fire.
“We are looking into these acts and we hope they aren’t a product of hate. We hope it’s just a coincidence. We choose to stay positive. We actually kept the rock that shattered the window and named it Bob. It’s sitting on display in the restaurant. That aside, we’ve been fortunate that the restaurant industry is slowly going back to normal with COVID restrictions and business is picking up,” Ivy said. “Good food is good food no matter what region it comes from.”
Kickin’ Chicken is located at 275 S. Union Blvd., Lakewood. It is open Sunday through Monday from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
All Photography By Adrienne Thomas