Wednesday, February 25, 2009

And the World Will Live As One

With all the weird tensions between Koreans and Mexicans both here and abroad, we're happy to see that, in the City of Angels at least, brothers gonna work it out:

As the sun begins to sink behind the Santa Monica Mountains and the northbound traffic thickens on the 405 freeway, the hungry refresh their browsers.

After obsessively checking the Twitter postings of the Korean taco maker to see where the truck will park next, they begin lining up — throngs of college students, club habitués, couples on dates and guys having conversations about spec scripts.

And they wait, sometimes well beyond an hour, all for the pleasure of spicy bites of pork, chicken or tofu soaked in red chili flake vinaigrette, short ribs doused in sesame-chili salsa roja or perhaps a blood sausage sautéed with kimchi, all of it wrapped in a soft taco shell.

The food at Kogi Korean BBQ-To-Go, the taco vendor that has overtaken Los Angeles, does not fit into any known culinary category. One man overheard on his cellphone as he waited in line on a recent night said it best: “It’s like this Korean Mexican fusion thing of crazy deliciousness.”

...The idea, Mr. Choi said, was to bring his ethnic background together with the sensibility and geography of Los Angeles, where Koreatown abuts Latino-dominated neighborhoods in midcity and where food cultures have long merged. Former Mexican restaurants, now Korean, serve burritos, and Mexican workers populate the kitchens of Korean restaurants.

“We tried to marry two cultures,” Mr. Choi said, “with this crazy idea of putting Korean barbecue meat inside a tortilla. We have never tried to make it any more pretentious or different from that, and we wanted to be very simple but delicious.”


Um, can we maybe work out a trade here?

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