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Restaurant review: Honey Krush will create buzz among Bruins with minor improvements

The entrance to Honey Krush is pictured. The new cafe recently opened in Westwood and offers a variety of drinks and protein-based meals. (Jeremy Chen/Daily Bruin senior staff)

"Honey Krush"

1136 Westwood Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90024

By Christopher Buchanan

Oct. 23, 2023 2:51 p.m.

This post was updated Oct. 24 at 9:07 p.m.

A new Korean cafe offering organic desserts will leave Bruins buzzing.

Honey Krush officially opened Sept. 23 as a health-conscious option for South Korean-inspired dessert and protein-based recipes in Westwood. Founded by college associates Brian Ko and Richard Han, the cafe caters to the simplistic, comfort-seeking palate of an on-the-go student with a to-the-point protein selection to accompany a diverse range of boba, teas and other organic options.

A considerable distance away from university housing and the Hill, Honey Krush is inconveniently situated on Westwood Boulevard, across the street from the Hammer Museum. Additionally, the cafe’s small storefront struggles to differentiate itself from a generic Westwood shop. Upon entering, a dazzling honeycomb lighting scheme, loud yellow counter and pastel blue chairs contrast the mundane exterior, yet leave more aesthetic flair to be desired. Lighthearted K-pop tracks brighten the otherwise bland environment, creating a more comfortable atmosphere.

After being pleasantly greeted by a cashier, customers are directed to a digestible food menu that leaves little room for interpretation. Sweet and simple, Honey Krush offers two meal options: a choice of three or six tenders or wings affordably priced at $7.89 and $12.89, respectively. Options for sides, including popcorn chicken, onion rings, sweet potato or potato chips, can be purchased individually or added onto a combo meal.

(Jeremy Chen/Daily Bruin senior staff)
A number of dishes served at Honey Krush are pictured. The two main meal options include wings and tenders. (Jeremy Chen/Daily Bruin senior staff)

 

The menu also offers fully customizable drinks with different fruit and tea bases, a wide range of lactose-free milk alternatives and various foam flavors. Drink prices range from $5.00 for a standard iced tea to $9.50 for a protein drink, which are a tad out of a casual dining price range and comparable to a small meal from the establishment. Honey Krush also offers matcha, coffee, fruit tea and various other organic options to refresh customers.

Drinks and food are delivered to indoor tables in paper boats quickly and without error, which furthers the casual and efficient feel of the cafe. However, many patrons of the business seemed to prefer a to-go meal, partially because of the unestablished customer base and lack of ambience in the new cafe.

The blueberry cream cheese latte had a refreshing and apparent organic element. But whether it was an intentional choice or a byproduct of all organic ingredients, large blueberry pieces obstructed the smooth and airy textures produced by the cream cheese foam. Nevertheless, the texture was redeemed entirely by natural blueberry flavors, enhanced by artificial sweeteners and glimpses of cheesecake which draped the tongue on every sip. As the latte dissipated, the unflattering textures became increasingly avoidable for a more pleasurable conclusion than anticipated.

(Jeremy Chen/Daily Bruin senior staff)
Two drinks offered at Honey Krush sit on a table. The menu includes customizable drinks with a variety of fruit and tea bases. (Jeremy Chen/Daily Bruin senior staff)

 

Several sauce options are provided to complement reasonably sized, generously seasoned and crispy chicken wings with a tender interior. The queen of the hive was the sweet and spicy flavor – a reddish-brown, runny sauce enhanced the wings’ flavor and brought a tingle to the back of the tongue. The signature honey soy garlic sauce achieved an equilibrium of sweetness and aroma, with pleasantly strong flashes of garlic scattered throughout. Unfortunately, the classic buffalo was underwhelming in terms of heat but maintained a savory-sweet flavor that could not live up to the specialty options.

Honey Krush relied on conventional sides. The popcorn chicken was true to name in size, but the crispy bite-sized pieces were average in flavor unless paired with a sauce, similar to the masterfully textured but flavorless onion rings. Externally crisp potato chips – which could be deemed fries because of their soft interior – paired exceptionally well with a dash of ketchup and surprisingly, honey soy garlic sauce. The overall quality of the sides without any additives was lackluster, but proved to be reliably enjoyable when involved in a meal.

Students might have trouble finding the worth in the odyssey of a trip to Honey Krush, but the college-driven environment and cuisine offer an enjoyable eating experience on a night out in Westwood. If the cafe gains steam in the community, it could serve as a satisfying meal for students in need of comfort food.

With some minor improvements, Bruins and Honey Krush will be like bees with honey.

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Christopher Buchanan
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