I was pleased to discover the Korilla BBQ truck was parked just two blocks from the NY office of my firm today! I am just unnaturally interested in adapting/fusing comfort foods of different cultures in the name of drop-dead eye-rolling tastiness, so I was psyched to try it. I sampled a few things at Kogi in LA and while I enjoyed it, I didn't think it was the last word on Korean-Mexican fusion. The first (widely known) word maybe ... but I definitely saw room for improvement.
But Korilla is not Kogi. It's got its own style and I was impressed.
I had read no reviews of this place, so I just picked off the menu based on what other patrons seemed to be ordering. I went for the Ribeye of the Tiger burrito ($7) because watching them pull pile after juicy pile of angus beef out of their prep tray pretty much had me drooling. They are very accommodating about customization (the menu encourages substitutions) and asked if I wanted nearly every ingredient in my burrito.
Here's the combo I picked
- Ribeye - DELICIOUS, juicy, moist, chopped in to thin slices
- Bacon kimchi fried rice - $1 extra (compared with sticky rice) but TOTALLY worth it. The rice is moist, fatty and savory. MMMMMMM. I don't think this would have been nearly as tasty with plain sticky rice (maybe even too gummy)
- red kimchi and salsa - two distinctly different condiments, both imparting crunch and tart
- korilla sauce, which according to their menu is garlic aioli with something red (hot sauce? pureed kimchi?)
- korean "hot sauce" (not that hot; I think this was the standard stuff you get on the table at sitdown Korean joints)
- shredded carrots (not sure if this was part of the standard item, but they were happy to give it to me when I asked).
Apparently there was red leaf lettuce in there too (per the website) but I didn't detect any. Not that I was looking for or missing it! I declined the shredded monterey cheese (which is apparently standard) because the idea of cheese and kimchi was incongruous to me. I don't regret my choice, but would be interested to hear if anyone has tried both and thought it was better WITH cheese. No choice in tortilla -- it's a big flour one, like the ones you get at Chipotle. Not sure if the taco option (3 for $7) is corn or flour.
This giant burrito was, in a word: DELICIOUS. The aioli got a little melty and mingled with the steak juices, and the resulting silky, meaty sauce coated the already meaty rice and the crunchy tart bits of salsa and kimchi like a curry. The resulting sauce was finger-licking and I almost never use that phrase. The rice was filling but not filler -- it held its own and comforted in that way that only that a porky fried rice can. Carrots (texture) and scallions (bite) also lent to the overall meal. I shouldn't have eaten the whole thing but I couldn't help myself because the flavor was so good. The flour tortilla held up admirably (not sure how a corn tortilla would have fared) till the end (though I was rushing to make sure it didn't fall apart).
One note -- it was almost a little too drippy. The server drained my burrito a little bit before wrapping it up; if you sense you might have the same trouble, ask that they drain it.
Bottom line -- worth a wait in line.
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