Attention all taco lovers! According to a recent New York Times article by Jennifer Steinhauer, there is a Korean taco vendor riding around the streets of Los Angeles selling tacos…with a twist. Instead of ground beef, cheese, sour cream, and other standard accouterments, owners Roy Choi and Marguera pack their tacos with choices like tofu soaked in red chili flake vinaigrette, short ribs in sesame-chili salsa roja, and my personal favorite, blood sausage sautéed with kimchi. While taco traditionalists might shake their heads at such combinations, the food coming from Choi and Marguera’s Kogi Korean BBQ-To-Go truck has not only been a huge hit in L.A. – people are waiting up to two hours for these bad boys! – but it could also be a sign of big things to come for Korean cuisine.
In the last few years, second-generation Korean Angelenos and more recent immigrants have played their own variations on their traditional cuisine and taken it far beyond the boundaries of Korean-dominated neighborhoods. These chefs and entrepreneurs are fueled in large part by tech-boom money here and in South Korea, culinary-school educations and in some cases, their parents’ shifting perspectives about the profession of cooking. In the last year, new Korean restaurants have popped up on the powerhouse restaurant strips of Washington Boulevard in Culver City and Beverly Boulevard in West Hollywood. In an area of West Los Angeles dominated by Japanese restaurants, bibimbop has joined the fray.
Now that I’ve been exposed to the glory of Korean cuisine for the last 11 months, I am all for this new trend. Maybe some ojinga (squid) can make an appearance on the menu soon as well.
Make sure you read the whole article. It’s more of a cultural piece than an actual food review. After your finished, go buy yourself some taco shells and some kimchi and get freaky with it!
– More info on the Korean BBQ Taco from Kogi’s Official Site. Taco Bell ain’t got nothin‘ on this!