Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Kogi Korean Tacos: its time to burst the bubble
The Kogi taco truck just maybe the most talked about food truck/taco truck ever. It brought national media attention to what many Angelenos already knew, some of the best food around, comes from food trucks. His fusion of Korean BBQ and the corn tortilla spawned many imitators, encouraged other chefs to turn to the mobile kitchen with their own culinary vision(Banh mi, Indian Frankies, burger and BBQ) and most importantly encourage more of the public to forsake the image of a "dirty roach coach" and embrace street food in the 21st century.
With all this I thank Kogi for what he has done, but I cant say I'm that wild about his tacos. I like tacos, in fact I love them, especially after drinking, and I enjoy Korean BBQ but the combination does not match the hype and certainly does not justify the time spent in the insanely long lines the Kogi Truck often touts.
I went with a sampling of the Beef(short rib) the Chicken and the Pork. Pork was the winner by a mile, a bit spicier than the other two, juicy and embraces the culinary fusion experiment the best. Chicken was second and frankly, a bit boring compared to the pork. After two tacos I "get" the Kogi experience, its a taco with a sweet and sour flavor that takes to some meats better than others. When I got to the beef I guess I hit the wall . . .
. . . Taco let down.
Normally I find beef to be my most favorite thing about Korean BBQ, especially short rib. In taco form however, the beef flavor is diluted in the sweet and sour flavor effect and is not complimented by the cabbage filler.
End of the day, give me a straight up Carne Asada taco(or even better, Suadero) any day over one these tacos. Im glad Kogi is around and am forever impressed with what it has accomplished but dont expect to find me in one of these lines unless I'm so blitzed that I think Im at Taco Zone.