It's not just L's exhortations that got me back on here today. I've missed you, m'dearies! Life has been crazy of late, and honestly doesn't seem to be letting up, but I have been baking and eating a lot and know you're all dying to know the deets! So. Today I want to tell you a little story about the Kogi Taco Truck.
I first discovered Kogi's existence a couple months ago at the authenticity of food lecture. As mentioned in the original blog, this was an event brought to fruition by the Zocalo lecture series. (I mention this mostly because I didn't supply the link last time, which was totally my bad.) As threatened, I did join Twitter just to follow the truck--I was just so amazed at this living, breathing example of viral advertising! Blame my time at LL for that. However, we hadn't actually made the leap to trying the increasingly infamous tacos. I'm an old woman, people. I need to go to bed at 10PM!
Finally, though, we decided to take the plunge. I was in SoPas for a production of Faust (which was very good-you should check it out!) on Saturday and on a whim decided to see where the Kogi truck was going to be that night. Lo and behold, this was posted:
ROJA: 1PM-3PM@The Brig - Abbot Kinney and Palm in Venice;6PM-9PM@Buena Park - tbd;10:30PM-1AM@Eagle Rock - 4372 Eagle Rock Blvd.
Roja is one of their two trucks; the other is Verde. I wondered briefly if one was superior to the other, but whatevs! Eagle Rock...just a few miles from the opera! I ordered David to eat lightly so we would be in top form.
We arrived at about 10:40--found a parking spot just around the corner--walked up the hill--
There were around 25 people in front of us in line. It was a pretty young crowd, I'm guessing mostly Occidental College peeps and maybe some adventurous fellow Trojans. There was a smattering of older folks too, which kind of perplexed as the night went on.
The line continued to grow after we arrived--it was probably about a block long. Compared to the crowds at Pink's, this was child's play. Except the line wasn't moving.
Honey, it did say 10:30, right?
You get the picture. Finally, around 11:15 or so, we moved up about two feet. And so on. Those smart (?) enough to get to the truck uber early began to walk by (smugly, imho) with their tightly aluminum wrapped containers-no one was eager to risk their hard-earned nosh getting chilled by the cool night air.
Eventually we reached the front of the truck, and were actually able to view the menu. They offered four fillings for tacos or burritos: short ribs, pork, chicken and tofu. Each taco is a recession friendly $2. We opted for three each of the chicken and tofu. After about a second of arm twisting, I also convinced D to go in for the Chef's special of the night, a Chocolate Brownie with spicy peanuts. Dinner for less than $20 is always welcome!
Oh, what time was it? Yeah...12:30. Ish.
So, was the food worth it? Let's begin with dessert, since it's what we ate first: The brownie was extremely fudgey and decent, but pretty lacking in the spice department--a little disappointing considering it was the Chef's special. The chicken and tofu tacos were both tasty. According to the Kogi site, "All our tacos are topped with: sesame-chili salsa roja; julienne romaine lettuce and cabbage tossed in Korean chili-soy vinaigrette; cilantro-green onion-lime relish; crushed sesame seeds; sea salt; and garnished with lime wedge, orange wedge and red radish wedge." It's a long list, but everything on there is minimal and makes for a really delicious, flavorful blend. The chicken was nicely grilled but again a little lacking in spice. The tofu was better, a bit spicier (maybe because it's more of a blank slate than chicken?) but too soft. I think my main complaint is that I wish they used firm tofu rather than silken.
Honestly, there are VERY few things in this world I believe are worth waiting around for two hours in the chilly night air on a street corner in LA. I don't regret checking this out, though. I'm happy we went, and would like to go again...but I think next time maybe we'll check out an earlier stop closer to home. If you have some time one night, I would recommend you check it out too! You've been warned.
So sorry I didn't take pics of our experience, but the ones on the Kogi website are better than any my camera would take anyway. :) As I said at the beginning, I have been keeping busy with (mostly) baking projects, and will post some pics for your gandering pleasure.
Back to work I go! I'll be back soon, I promise (my fingers may or may not be crossed as I type this).