8. Calbi BBQ

October 9, 2009

I had to go to Highland Park to feed some cats, yesterday. So I used that as an excuse to go as far as Korea Town for my food trucky lunch. I do realize I will soon have to venture out to the west side for my mission, but I am still trying to keep it local, and happenstance-esque, for as long as I am able.

I was Tweeted from Calbi BBQ that they were in K-Town, and I had heard from my roommate, Chris, that they were quite good. I was feeling adventurous. They were on my list. Done.

I got a parking place directly in front of the truck, parked on Serrano, right off of Wilshire, and sidled up to the order window. Zero line – score! I asked the woman taking my order for suggestions – as always – and she asked me if I like spicy. I do. So upon her suggestion, I ordered both pork and a beef taco ($2 each). I added some Sriracha, in my very decorative way (see photo), and plopped down to try everything out.

Honestly, I don’t have a world of words for this experience. Maybe I shouldn't have had Kogi first, because it has really tainted things for me. I will begin by saying that this was, by far, the messiest food truck experience to date. You know when a sandwich, or whatever, is just so messy and impossible to eat that you get kind of flabbergasted and just want to give up and walk away? Maybe it's just me, but that’s how I felt about these tacos.

Moving right along… Calbi is another Kogi wannabe, and still doesn’t rival its mentor. It’s not bad, but it’s trying so hard to be “the same” and it’s, simply, not. The tacos both had romaine, cabbage, celery, red radish, cilantro, white and green onion, cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, egg, sesame seeds, and their respective meats in a flour tortilla. The pork was actually very good - tangy, sweet and spicy, but overshadowed by the volume everything else involved. The beef was, simply, not very interesting. And that’s pretty much, it.

I am so happy that there are so many Korean-Mexican food trucks in the world, and that this new food trend is exploding so beautifully, but I have yet to taste anything in this realm (being the Korean/Mexican fusion category) to rival Kogi.


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