Restaurants & Bars

Los Angeles Area

The Kogi Chronicles


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The Kogi Chronicles

cvc | Mar 17, 2009 05:54 PM

Kogi came to WLA today. First the timeline.

11:45am Arrive at the T Loft sales office on Olympic, about fifteen people hanging about.

12:00pm Somehow it's decided that a line should form from the parking lot heading east down Olympic. Great idea. Approx. 50 people are now waiting.

12:15pm A T Loft sales rep hands out more attractive fliers about their environmentally safe dedicated condo developments starting at $500,000. Almost everyone is in jeans and looks like they're in high school. (I may be out of touch on this one.)

12:30pm The Kogi truck is spotted arriving from the east. Only three people are seen bailing during this whole time, three Hispanic women in business attire, leave their front of the line position to, I would imagine, go back to work via the office snack counter suggesting that they are the only people in the line adhering to a traditional lunch hour. There are now approximately 100 people waiting, many in front of me. (There seems to be an unspoken etiquette of holding places in line for your office mates, i.e. the couple in front of me grew to 8.)

12:45pm The Kogi truck officially opens with the young operator basking in, or feigning, the surprise of such a good turnout. (Doesn't he read Eater?)

1:00pm Although I don't drink anymore and haven't seen a Coors since Stonewall, the 20' billboard directly overhead featuring a sort of wintery Alps background is looking mighty inviting.

1:10pm My turn at bat. The young man who greeted us earlier is taking orders at the truck window and cheerfully inquires where I heard of Kogi. (He does read Eater.) I order two beef tacos (one for a friend who gets off work at 6pm who will not get it), a spicy pork and a chicken taco, a Coke (he will get this) and a Sprite, all for $2 each.

1:25pm My name is called. My food is ready. I head back to work. An hour and 40 minutes after arriving.

I love the oily, peppery onion cabbage based fill and the fresh smooth tortillas but frankly the meats are almost indistinguishable from one another. Still, very satisfying... and better than the Mogolian BBQ place at the Westside Pavilion. This has got to be the biggest single dish food phenomenon since Nancy Silverton introduced grilled cheese night at Campanile.

Don't do this alone or, at least, have a web based device with you. I've never seen so many Blackberries a-Twittering. I wonder what those exotic half sized cans of soda with Korean writing are like. You'd love to throw a party and have them cater. Along with the taco concession, the parking meter folk are also cleaning up. So, be careful. A $48 ticket for a $2 taco is annoying to say the least.

I'm grateful for Tacomiendo four blocks away at Gateway and Pico, Lares at Pico and 31st, Tacos Por Favor at Olympic and 14th, etc. I didn't wear green today but I did have cabbage.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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