Thursday, October 15, 2009

Night & Day with the Kogi BBQ Taco Truck - Video

L.A. served on a taco shell -- this is what Kogi Korean BBQ Truck has come up with. Peppered along Olympic Blvd. between Western and Alvarado are smoky Korean BBQ joints, and all over Los Angeles are Mexican restaurants and taco stands. Can we all get along? Well, Kogi's culturally blended combination of two cuisines proves we can!

This mash-up of Mexican stylings and Korean flavors typifies the L.A. culinary experience. This is food served curbside - literally street food. The Frank Gehry - like architecture of the Kogi's trademark BBQ Short Rib Taco, loaded with crazy cubes of smoky and sweet marinated beef short rib meat and piled precariously high with tangy, shredded cabbage, onion and sprinked with sesame seeds, is designated a historical landmark by this epicurean critic.

Kogi BBQ Truck is ground zero for L.A.'s nouveau taco truck renaissance. It all started last November, and now every month a new food- themed truck is popping up: including The Grilled Cheese Truck and Fishlips Sushi Truck. Hey, I love it -- the more the merrier for this cheap chef. And Kogi has added more trucks to total four, that roam L.A. streets past midnight.

A Kogi taco cost $2 plus tax, a great deal for such a unique taco. It is quite juicy from the meat marinade and slaw topping, so make sure to grab a couple of napkins. They serve tofu, chicken and spicy pork tacos along with fat burritos and even cheesy quesadillas with kimchi in the $5 range.

The taco shredded veggie topping is not traditional kimchi (normally fermented cabbage with salt, garlic and fish sauce; smelly-pungent and kick-ass hot) but a mildly hot and tangy slaw sprinkled with sesame seeds -- a cool crunchy contrast. In Korean "Kogi" means "meat" and the short rib taco meat was tender and flavorful. I loved it! The "barbecue" is not like in the South -- it's grilled, but the sauce is a marinade more like a light and spicy teriyaki.

If you want kimchi get a Korean Quesadilla. A unique mix of pickled cabbage and melted cheese folded into a grilled flour tortilla. An acquired taste for sure, but this cheap$kate found them strangely tasty. It is a complex flavor profile, and very salty - perfect bar food, if only taco trucks sold beer!

Another hit are their huge burritos. I had the Short Rib Burrito. It is built the same as a taco, double in size though, in a flour tortilla, and with the addition of shredded cheese -- it appeared to be a yellow and white mix (chedder and jack?) These burritos are guaranteed to satisfy anyone's big appetite after a booze-fueled night of Karaoke.

For The 99 Cent Chef's Kogi BBQ Taco Truck Video, I mashed-up night and day footage to create a tasty and arty short film. Ride along with the Chef from Manhattan Beach to Koreatown, from Hollywood to The Brig on Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach, for a midnight sidewalk meal and a midday lunch break. I hope you like my out-there video as much as I liked the fusion of Mexican/Korean cuisines. Warning, you will be hungry after watching this!

Kogi  BBQ Taco Truck - Video

Play it here. Video runs 3 minutes, 10 seconds.

Kogi Website:
Kogi Twitter - follow twitter to find truck locations daily:

Kogi Taqueria - restaurant
3500 Overland Blvd.
L.A., Ca. 90038
phone: 424) 326-3031

Truck menu:
Kogi Short Rib Taco: $2.50

To view video or embed from YouTube:


Anonymous said...

When I got my kimchi quesadilla, I also thought "if only they sold beer."

I thought it was a bit hyped up since the tacos were not enough flavor for me. I loved the kimchi quesadilla, but I grew up on kimchi ... I wrote a review on it too, on my blog - --- i enjoy your blog a lot. keep it up!

dave said...

very nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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