Los Angeles has long been famous for roaming taco trucks that service the myriad neighborhoods of this sprawling metropolis, serving classic Latino fare.L.A. is also known for its distinct Asian cuisine, which is often blended with more traditional American foods to create wonderful hybrids.
Well, now Korean BBQ, a hot food trend in America as it is, has met and melded with the classic Mexican taco to create a tantalizing blend of tangy, slightly spicy meats and sesame vegetables…in a taco. The menu was developed by local professional chef Roy Choi, a heavy hitter in the culinary world in his own right, and the result has been almost unanimously delicious. But the unique menu and tasty menu doesn’t even begin to explain why people are waiting in line for 2 hours just to eat a couple Korean tacos.
A combination of 21st century technology and a classic cultural icon have combined to make Kogi Korean BBQ the social phenomenon it is today.
The icon is the traveling truck that serves Kogi’s now famous tacos.
Taco trucks have always held a special place in the hearts of L.A.’s denizens, and when the Kogi truck started showing up in hip neighborhoods, sometimes drawing crowds large enough to force a disperse order from local police, street cred was definitely cemented. The most fascinating aspect of the rise of Kogi is how modern technology has fanned the flames to make Kogi a phenomenon across L.A.
Co-founders Mark and Caroline Manguera use Twitter to alert Kogi fans on where and when the Kogi truck will be rolling through their neighborhood. Caroline maintains a blog devoted to all things Kogi, and is quick to comment whenever other food related blogs post about the Korean BBQ taco truck. And the company has a website and presence on other social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. The full utilization of these cutting edge networking tools has resulted in a young, hip crowd of Kogi faithful that use the internet and their cell phones to locate the Kogi truck and descend upon it with their friends wherever it stops.
The fact that Korean BBQ tacos are genuinely good undoubtedly forms the core of Kogi’s success. But it is equally certain that a tech savvy approach to the familiar taco truck, a long-time customer favorite, has rocketed Kogi into the stratosphere of cutting edge food service concepts.