Edible Finds: Kogi KBBQ Taco Truck

March 4, 2009

Huffing and puffing from the intense uphill bike ride there, I arrived only to see a line that went around the corner and down to who-knows-where. I double-checked with the the young couple at the tail of the queue.

"Is this the line for --?"

"Yep," they replied. Right. Apparently there are other people who also use this thing called The Internet. Well, how long could the wait be? They're just tacos. All you do is 1) scoop meat into taco, 2) serve taco, right? Suddenly, the line started moving, and we quietly followed it, an exodus of mostly students and locals marching down the dark residential block toward the promised land. And then we turned the corner.


Oh, crap. There were at least 50 people ahead of me in line, and that was a conservative guess. And they hadn't started serving yet, making us wait until after 8:00 before I could glimpse any movement at all inside the truck. And so we waited. And waited. And waited. After TWO HOURS of listening to the scruffy-haired pair ahead of me musing on whether Shaq's Twitter account was his own, and the chatty sorority girls behind me having a serious discussion about how to style their hair for the next Greek formal, I finally got to the front of the line. And they were out of kalbi. Out. Of. Kalbi.

OK. That's OK. Everybody calm down. "But you do have kimchi quesadillas left, right?" I had read somewhere on Yelp that the kimchi quesadillas were the stuff of dreams.

"We don't have any more cheese," said a pleasant-looking bespectacled fellow behind the counter. He should've been glad to be inside the truck, I thought. It was 9:45 pm and my stomach lining was being eaten from the inside out. How many more of these sorority girls would it take to rock this truck back and forth? I wondered.

Too hungry to engineer a mob mutiny, I ordered three spicy pork and three spicy chicken tacos and sourly handed the guy a twenty. Two hours for no kalbi and no kimchi quesadillas. This had better be the best Korean/Mexican fusion dish ever. Sitting down around 9:55 pm, my boyfriend (who had conveniently made his way over when I was close to the front of the line) and I finally got to dig into these mythical KBBQ tacos. The meat was tender, the sauce was tasty, and the vegetables were surprisingly fresh. Were they good? Yes. Were they two-hours-in-line-on-the-street good? Debatable.

Regardless, I'm glad I finally got to have a taste of the hot foodie trend, although I may just pick up tortillas and pre-marinated kalbi from Trader Joe's the next time I get a KBBQ taco craving.




It’s confirmed!The Kogi taco truck will be in Santa Ana in the Santiago Art District (http://www.santiagoartdistrict.com) on May 16th sometime between 7pm and 10pm.This is a great place for them to come out because there is plenty to do while waiting around for the truck. This particular night there will over 20 art galleries open, 2 bands in the courtyards and a Wii tennis tournament on a huge 50 foot screen at ART from the HIVE ( http://artfromthehive.com/?page_id=163 ).Directions are on both of the links above. See you there!!!!!!
Wow, two hours. That sucks, but at least you HAVE a Koji KBBQ. There is no such thing in San Francisco. I tried to track down the African truck in Chicago recently, but I missed it. I hear there is a dessert truck in NY. I appreciate the taco trucks here and all, but we need more mobile foods here!
I also heard about Kogi food fad, and had to make a trip from SF down to LA over the weekend to find out what the fuss was all about. I went to the Alibi lounge venue in Culver City, which serves the Kogi menu after 6pm. Got there at 6:15pm... and "only" had to wait 30 minutes. I got the kal bi tacos. When I bit into the taco... my body shook violently and I had to hold onto the table to keep from falling over. The flavor explosion in my mouth was amazing! The perfect amount of sweetness from the caramelized meat, sour from the lime cilantro, and sharp spice from the chili paste... My mouth is watering as I type this just recalling the experience. You definitely have to give it another shot Elaine. I love kogi!