Fast Foodie: Takoriya
Published: April 18, 2012
In Austin (sorry), your favorite trucks can be found clustered together in defined central locations and at reasonably predictable times. It was at one such compound that I recently encountered Korean tacos, a phenomenon that began in L.A. a couple of years ago. Chi'Lantro's menu includes what has now become a standard mix: hybrid tacos, burritos, kimchee fries, and eclectic bowls. Good start; I wanted more — but without having to drive to Austin to get it. And then came a local foodie alert: check out Takoriya; the truck is usually parked in front of Zebraz on Main. "This is the best Korean taco truck in world," proclaims J.K. Song's menu. So I started with tacos; they're $3 each and go down to $2 if you order as many as four. There are three choices of filling, beef, chicken, and pork, all encased in small flour tortillas and garnished with lettuce and the inevitable "special spicy sauce." Spicy pork with kimchee is the most successful of the three; the spicy chicken is overwhelmed by the kimchee; and the beef bulgogi is good if you like the barbecue's traditional sweetness. Still, a return was required.
Thwarted. Takoriya was MIA on Main until another alert located the truck in front of Revolution Room on Broadway on Wednesday nights, where it was in the company of Attaboy Burgers among others. The tacos had been quick, but the burrito (your choice of meat plus kimchee fried rice, scrambled egg, a vegetable mix, and more) and the kimchee fried (choice of meat with stir-fried kimchee over fries with mozzarella) took time to appear. Kimchee and fries, a combo that really shouldn't work, was worth the wait; the mozzarella doesn't add much but glue, but the flavor contrasts are otherwise great — especially with pork. The burrito is more of a train wreck with a lot of components getting lost, and I'm not convinced that lettuce and special sauce need to be applied to everything. But if this anti-Facebook non-tweeter can ever find J.K. again (he says he's back on Main on Friday and Saturday nights — good luck), I'll try the nori-wrapped kim bob, or maybe a quesadilla — yup, with special spicy sauce.