6 Sep

All hype aside, the Kogi taco truck has revitalized korean barbeque, or at least has brought it to a new crowd. The Kogi truck combines korean bbq with mexican and american styles, serving up classic “kbbq” flavors in tacos, sliders, and burritos. For instance, the most popular order (and my personal favorite) is the short rib taco, which includes the distinct flavor of korean short ribs with salsa, onions, cilantro, lettuce, and kimchi, all served up in a tortilla. It’s a marvelous combination of flavors, something surprisingly similar yet wholly new. It tastes fresh, yet, on a carnivore’s level, completely satisfying. The idea of serving modern food tied to the past is a central part of head chef Roy Choi’s style. Most dishes on the menu feature classical flavors yet all somehow manage to taste new. This can equally be attributed to the style of how the dishes are served. Since Kogi is a truck, it travels to its locations and draws a large crowd each time. The chefs use Twitter and their own web site to notify followers what locations they will be at that week. My first Kogi experience was a revelation: a huge line of young, socially networked “foodies,” skateboarders on a half pipe, a DJ playing hip hop. It was definitely an eye-opener, and that was before we got the food. The tacos were incredible, unlike anything I’ve ever eaten before. Kogi feels distinctly “of this time”. This particular food truck has since launched the “food truck craze.” There are now hundreds of food trucks in California and even beyond, all on Facebook and Twitter. Kogi has invaded culinary magazines, with chef Roy Choi being named “Food and Wine Best New Chef of 2010.” His food is linked to the past while being firmly rooted in the present. I suggest the Short Rib Tacos or the Sliders, maybe the Kimchi Quesadilla. Everything is insanely delicious. Also, if you appreciate Kogi, check out Chego, Choi’s first restaurant. The prime rib sandwich is ridiculously tasty. -Sam

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