Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Truck That Started It All

For over the last year, food trucks have been all the rage in Los Angeles.  While Mexican taco trucks have been around for awhile, primarily catering to the working Latin American community, Kogi, a Korean BBQ taco truck, really brought the concept to all segments of the community, from office workers to students.  Since the popularization of Kogi, trucks have proliferated, serving anything from sushi, to Vietnamese food, to Philly cheesesteaks, to southern BBQ.   As they roam around the city, they regularly blast their whereabouts through twitter. Even Kogi has now expanded to four trucks to satisfy demand in this sprawling city, in addition to serving its food at Alibi Room in Culver City and starting a dedicated restaurant, Chego in Culver City.
Usually I don't have the dedication to track these trucks down and wait in the inevitably long lines, but I decided to chase down Kogi today to do some research as I am planning on serving up an Asian taco bar at my Memorial Day BBQ.  I tried Kogi at Alibi Room a few months ago, but I already forgot what accompaniments the tacos were served with.  Fortunately for me, the Kogi "roja" was going to be in Brentwood today from noon-3pm behind an office building less than 1.5 miles away from my house.  I hopped on my bike and was in line by 12:05pm.  There were about 15 people ahead of me already waiting and the truck opened its windows at 12:15pm.  The line and service was relatively quick and by 12:30pm I had my tacos.  In order to ensure that I tried everything, I ordered the korean short rib tacos, the spicy pork tacos and the chicken tacos.  Turned out the topping was the same in all three tacos.  They were quite tasty; the meat was nice and flavorful and I liked the cabbage, lettuce, green onion, white onion, sesame "slaw" that they served on top, I definitely think I can recreate it at home easily.  I already have good recipes for Korean bbq short ribs and a Japanese yuzu chicken, and I think I will add a spicy pork, bulgogi style, thanks to today's tastings.
It's hard to see, but from right, clockwise: short rib taco, chicken taco, spicy pork taco

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