April 15, 2009

Kogi Korean BBQ, Los Angeles

After hearing all the buzz about Kogi BBQ, we decided to check out what the hype was all about and headed to the Eagle Rock stop.

10:15 p.m. - We arrived at the stop and the line was already wrapped around the main street and half way down the side street. The truck was running late and arrived a few seconds after we did. I asked myself if it was worth the long wait and before I could finish my thought, someone from the truck walked by and told us a second truck was on its way. With that news, I convinced myself to stay in line and wait.

10:45 p.m. - The line had not moved and I was tempted to head over to a Korean BBQ place we like in K-town. However, having already waited 30 minutes, I made the decision to stay a little while longer.

11:30 p.m. - Over an hour later, the truck was barely in sight and I wondered to myself why I had wasted my time in this line. At this point, I had invested too much time to leave without tasting the food. I'm so hungry I thought I was hallucinating when I saw the second truck drive up. I walked up to the second truck only to hear the man from the truck say that it would be a while before they could get up and running because one of the cooks is suffering from a nose bleed. The truck must have gotten up and running fairly quick. I seem to be standing in the same spot for only 10 minutes at a time now rather than 15.

12:15 a.m. - We are at the point in the line where people are starting to split off to stand in the line for one of two trucks. We headed over to the line for the second truck and waited another 10 minutes before we ordered.

12:25 a.m. - "2 Spicy Pork Tacos, 1 Short Rib Taco, 1 Chicken Taco, 1 kimchi quesedilla" and before I finished ordering, the man behind the window said to me "Tacos and burritos only on this truck." I stepped back for a second to collect myself so I did not go off on anyone. Tired and cold, I told him I would go get in line for the other truck and he responded with "they are out of quesadillas too." I listened to the man and ordered my tacos and a spicy pork burrito. "$13.93 with tax" he said through the window. The additional 93 cents was unexpected as I had thought tax was included in the price, my mistake.

12:35 a.m. - They called my name and the man behind handed me our food. We ran to the side street to sit on the curb and try the food we had just waited over 2 hours for.


2 Spicy Pork Tacos, 1 Short Rib Taco, 1 Chicken Taco

The tacos smelled amazing. I looked at the tray of four tacos and difficult time trying to determine which taco was which. I was able to distinguish the chicken taco from the rest and decided to try that first. The tortilla was pretty soggy from all the sauce and I could only taste the cabbage salad and tortilla my first bite. The chicken was lost in the overwhelming sauce of the cabbage salad placed on top of the taco. I took another bite and was able to taste the texture of the chicken, but not the flavor because of the sauce. The sauce is very good, but there was just too much. Every bite of the rest of my tacos were the same: too much sauce. All the tacos tasted the same, which was disappointing.

12:45 a.m. - The line had died down and I decided to check the other truck to see if they were indeed out of quesadillas. What do you know? They were not. I ordered a quesadilla and short rib burrito and waited about 15 minutes for the food. For some reason, the first truck takes much longer to push out food than the second truck.

1 Spicy Pork Burrito, 1 Short Rib Burrito

The first thing you noticed about the burritos is their size. They are much smaller than I expected, but I had hoped they packed enough delicious flavor to make up for the size. Unfortunately, the burritos did not live up to the hype either. The burritos are good, but not amazing. The potatoes were undetectable and the cabbage slaw was again, overwhelming. The short rib burrito is definitely better than the spicy pork burrito, but neither is worth $5.

Kimchi Quesadilla

The most disappointing item of the evening was the kimchi quesadilla. The kimchi lacked flavor and the usual crunch. On top of that, there was only one piece of kimchi in each wedge of quesadilla. If they were running out, then they should have said they were sold out instead of cutting back on ingredients. The sauce was very good and gave some life to the quesadilla, but when there was no more sauce, the quesadilla was hard to swallow. I couldn't believe I had just spent $5 on this.

Overall, the food has potential if adjustments are made, such as cutting back on the sauce. The food is definitely not worth the 2 plus hours of wait nor the price.

1.5 out of 5 Stars

Various locations around Los Angeles County

Kogi Korean BBQ on Urbanspoon


Ricardo said...

very nice indeed :)

TGIF4 said...

i agreed only 1.5 star or below. i had three tacos (bbq rib, spicy pork and tofu) they all tasted the same - kimchee. consider they give very little meat, $3 a taco is a ripoff. i won't wait one more minute for the kogi truck.

s. stockwell said...

good to know :-)

Ricardo said...

nice review well done!! Rico-Recipes

Smokeydoke said...

I completely agree with you. I think the overinflated hype will be the downfall of Kogi. Which is too bad, it's a good taco, but people hype it up too much.

Pinkfoodie said...

Thanks for reading. When all the hype dies down, I hope the owners will pay more attention to the feedback and make some necessary adjustments to their food.

hong p said...

1 star definitely. Nothing special and not worth the wait. Meats all taste the same. Much better tacos elsewhere. For those that think it's so great--yeah, everything tastes great after 2 hour wait at midnight..