Just had Kogi BBQ in NYC (and you didn’t).

Sooooo… since LA’s much-hyped Kogi BBQ is in NYC for the Citymeals on Wheels fundraiser, and they realize that many people would a) like to try their Korean BBQ meets Taco Truck fare but b) probably doesn’t have $1200 to spend on a fundraiser if they’re eating at friggin’ taco trucks, they teamed up with one of NY’s mobile food purveyors, The Dessert Truck. From 12-1 today, they had a $4 combo tasting plate on offer–Kimchi Quesadilla paired with a Chocolate Mousse with a PB center garnished with caramel popcorn.

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I arrived maybe 20 minutes early and there were 40 people in line already. By the time noon rolled around, there were easily 200 people in line. Pictures of FOOD AFTER THE JUMP!!!!

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The people standing there in the street were at about the point you could see the full extent of the line, and people just stood there chastising themselves and wondering what the hell they were going to do for lunch now. (by the way, that asian girl in the street has NO IDEA how to use Twitter). In any case, since there were so many people, they limited people’s orders to one per person, which meant that of course I was going to have to buy a hot dog to supplement this if I was going to have any hope of making it through the afternoon. I did get a fist-bump from one of the dudes in the truck because I was wearing an LA hat. I was thinking of parlaying that into another order, but civility prevailed.

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Sure, but how about the food? I waited for TWO HOURS in LA to try the tacos and it was well worth it. I love food and I hate hype, so it was bound to be a disaster, but my spicy pork tacos and short rib tacos were WELL worth it. The familiar juicy korean bbq meats paired with the tortillas and cabbage from a taco truck, but then married with some sort of chili/sesame/soy salsa that just takes it into the stratosphere.  This is the Kogi BBQ experience that I have been raving about, the tacos worth waiting two hours for. This is the Kogi BBQ experience that I wanted all those New Yorkers in line with me to have, if this was to be their first experience, it had better deliver on all that hype.

p1010594The Kimchi Quesadilla was alright, but seemed a bit ham-fisted. I’m not sure the cheese was a proper foil for the cooked kimchi, the overall texture was a little eh. I like my kimchi either snappy and fresh, or grilled up with some pork belly and some sort of dipping sauce.  Where the tacos are an inspired marriage of culinary traditions, the kimchi quesadilla seemed like something one of my stoner friends would throw together in a pinch. I know they’re working out of a borrowed space and whatnot, but… I was just hoping they’d represent PROPER.

p1010595Holy hell the Dessert Truck chocolate mousse was amazing though.

p1010591Someone said that someone from Top Chef was in the truck, but I never watch that show, so I have no idea. Tell me in the comments.

**edit* Lee Ann Wong is going to be executive chef of Kogi BBQ East Coast! *ahem* from Top Chef.

2 thoughts on “Just had Kogi BBQ in NYC (and you didn’t).

  1. Wow! So that’s what all the hype is about! Read about the Kogi trucks in L.A. couple weeks ago (NY Times??) and commented to a Korean friend we should start one here (though the skills are lackin) now me thinks otherwise. Anyone know where I can buy a lunch truck cheap? 😛

  2. I’m with ya, although I think we’d have some stiff competition with the Kogi peeps since Top Chef chick is running their east coast ops.

    Their tacos are amazing, wish they’d brought them during this visit.

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