I’m here to tell you about my visit to Kim’s Chinese Restaurant, in the Kohl’s shopping center on Olsen, but my trip to lunch started very differently. My random selection actually took me to the place right next door, Koreana Plaza. I’ve been very excited to go here and see what it’s all about for a while now. This is a combo Asian market and food court. Tons of Yelp reviews rave about the wide variety and quality of food hidden inside. One half is a large grocery store and the other half is a very nice food court with about 3-6 stalls (it was hard to tell if each one was actually two businesses or not, at least one or two had different lines for their two registers). They were doing some construction on what looks to be a really fantastic patio area just out front. So I finally made it! Unfortunately, I looked over each and every menu, and did not see a single salad. I look forward to returning when I’m done with Rancho Salads, but it wasn’t in the cards this time.
Anyway, I headed to the next closest place. I stepped into Kim’s Chinese a bit before 11:15AM. Once inside, I realized I’ve been here once before, while looking for good Chinese in the area. It was very blah. I didn’t actually know if they had a salad. There was a guy (perhaps the Kim?) standing in the back taking a phone order as I approached the front counter. I grabbed a paper menu while I waited and skimmed it over, not finding anything in the realm of salads. Preparing myself to turn around and try for #3 as he hung up and greeted me, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask. He grabbed a separate lunch menu and showed me one line all by itself, Chinese Chicken Salad $6.95. I said great, that’s what I’m looking for! And then took a seat while he got it started immediately. He brought me a water as well.
Inside it’s a very classic and kind of dingy Chinese restaurant. I was the only customer until, about half way through my visit, two small groups were seated nearby. I recall my 1st experience being similar. Top 40 played over the speakers. Soon I had a cup of won ton soup delivered. The broth was very hot and subtly flavored. The wontons tasted…off. Maybe they were old, I don’t know, but they weren’t very good. My salad arrived about 5 minutes later. It was a large salad with a medium amount of deep fried chicken pieces, some fried chow mein noodles and some smashed peanuts sprinkled on top. This was pretty boring. I don’t order Chinese chicken salads often, if ever, but I do know that they can be very good when done right. This just felt like a chore of eating a head of iceberg lettuce with some crunchy bits here and there. The dressing was a bit too sweet, and the chicken, oh man, the chicken. I would not be surprised to find out that the chicken had been sitting under a heat lamp overnight. It was dry, not as crisp as you might expect, flavorless, and not even very warm. Every time I got a bite of one I was alarmed that I didn’t remember how bad it was, even though I had just experienced it moments before. So this pretty much was a repeat of my first visit. I cannot see myself ever returning.