It was due time to embark on another foodie adventure with Erilyn, so we decided to check out what all the Kogi truck hype was all about. We went to visit the Azul truck at the Yahoo Center in Santa Monica.
Something that can only be found in Southern California, the love child of the mish mash of cuisines from two of the largest ethnic communities probably on the west coast, Korean and Mexican, they have a dedicated blog, twitter page and website posting the next locations of their traveling food trucks and specials of the week. Some trucks have been purported to have about 2 hour long wait lines and a bit of inconsistency throughout their truck fleet, but with a promise of cheesy ooey gooey goodness that can only come from a combo of Mexican cheese and sweetly marinated Korean BBQ beef.
Food is served in cafeteria cardboard trays and plastic to go bags are provided for those who want to take it back to work above the prewrapped dessert cups (muffins??). A Mexican greets you with a smile and takes your order, then passes it to the chefs. Prices are reasonable, starting from $2 and goes all the way up to $7 for the more premium items, and it includes all the typical taco truck menu items, tacos, quesadillas and burritos. But this is where they put a spin on it, they have tofu, short rib and pork belly tacos, same kind of variety for burritos, and kimchi quesadillas. I order a short rib taco and a kimchi quesadilla, Erilyn orders a short rib taco and a tofu taco.
The kimchi quesadilla.
Tofu taco, spicy tofu topped with slaw in a sesame sweet dressing cradled by two corn tortillas.
And the ever popular short rib taco (basically Korean Calbi meat) topped by the same veggies.
Erilyn claims that the tofu was pretty spicy, have to take her word for it as I didn’t try it.
The kimchi quesadilla had a very thin layer of mildly spicy kimchi, American cheddar cheese all flattened by a light almost paper thin crisped tortilla, drizzled with a more liquidier version of Korean chile paste and sesame seeds. It was pretty good, but nothing super special, and I felt a bit greased out afterwards. The short rib taco was a bit more to my liking, the calbi was pretty top notch, very tender, and marinated all the way through. A tad too sweet but still good. The corn tortillas were soft and fluffy, not typical dry pieces of cardboard that cause most people to shy away from ordering. It was a little soggy, and leaked through the bottom of the double layer of tortilla, but the taste makes up for it.
Overall, it was good, not superb, not excellent, not great, but good. We only waited about 15 minutes for it, which is the max I would wait, definitely not worth more than half an hour standing in the hot California sun for.
Check out their website for specials and locations.