Jul 14, 2010

Anatomy of a Street Goldmine: Kogi BBQ

The baby started it all - Kogi BBQ Spicy Pork and Short Rib Tacos ($2).
These were not underrated at all and certainly worth the trip. 

There isn't a food truck more popular than LA's Kogi Korean BBQ. On its July issue, Food & Wine magazine features on the cover Kogi founder, Roy Choi, as one of the best new Chefs of the Year. Classically trained at the CIA and an alumni of Le Bernadin, Choi took the streets of Los Angeles by storm a couple of years ago when he started marketing the location of his truck via Twitter. He parked the truck in UCLA one evening and 600 people lined to get a taste of this BBQ phenomenon. The truck
run out of food and his staff had to go to the store to buy more food. Four trucks and a hole-in-the-wall restaurant later, Choi is living the dream.

So on this trip to LA, Kogi Korean BBQ was on the top of my foodie list. After a couple of days of searching through Twitter and Facebook, Kogi was in Venice Beach last evening from 10:30 PM to 12:00 AM - a short ten minute drive from our vacation house in Santa Monica. Still full from our dinner, we drove to a parking lot on Abbot Kinney road and arrived at Kogi at 11:35 PM. There was a small crowd gathered around the parking lot, mostly loyal fans chowing down on the spicy tacos and quesadillas. But as you can see from the photo timeline below, we got there just in time before the chaos that ensued around 12:15 AM when 140 members of the bicycle club, Taco Tuesday's, arrived for their weekly Kogi taco fix. A goldmine for sure.

Cream - quesadilla with sweet pickled red onions, short rib, cheese
and creamy mascarpone! - ($7)
The Black Jack Quesdailla - Carmelized onions, short ribs, jack and
cheddar cheese and top with the house salsa verde ($7)
Chicken Burrito with Kimchee ($5). This was good but I believe the
Spicy Pork would have been better.
11:36 PM - we stand in line
11:39 PM
11:41 PM
11:42 PM
11:43 - we finally ordered
11:56 PM - they just keep coming
12:00 AM - this mini parks next to the truck
12:11 AM - these girls gets out of a cab and heads to the truck
12:15 - 140 Taco Tuesday's cyclists arrive in force. Kogi truck driver
tells them not to gather around the truck.
12:18 AM
12:25 - Jackpot!

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