Kogi Korean Kraze on Wheels Has a Home in Culver City

Just in case you haven't heard, the hottest rage on the Los Angeles restaurant scene isn't even in a restaurant. It began as a taco truck serving a fusion of Korean BBQ in tacos and burritos. Invented by Mark Manguera, Kogi's founder, and made tasty by classically trained chef Roy Choi, the trucks started as a solution to the quest for a late night bite. Almost immediately, the truck attracted crowds in the hundreds that would wait in line up to two hours for the $2 tacos. So popular, now there's two trucks: Rojo and Verde.

You might be wondering: how do I find the trucks? The trucks are parked at different locations throughout Los Angeles. Your best bet is to go to their website for a list of this week's locations or follow them on twitter at KogiBBQ.

This week's locations:

This Week - 3/17 - 3/21


12PM-3PM@Deutch Advertising - 5454 Beethoven St in Marina Del Rey
6:30PM-8PM@Yuri Restaurant - 7217 Melrose Ave
9PM-1AM@The Golden Gopher - 417 W. 8th St in Downtown LA

3PM-6PM@Santa Monica College - Pearl in between 19th and 20th inside the Campus
7PM-10PM@UCLA - Midvale and Ophir

12PM-3PM@MySpace - 407 N Maple Dr
5:30PM-8PM@JANM - 1st & Central in Little Tokyo
9:30PM-Midnight@4100 Bar - 4100 Sunset Blvd in Silverlake

3PM-6PM@Santa Monica College - Pearl in between 19th and 20th inside the Campus
7PM-10PM@Miracle Mile - Cloverdale & Wilshire

6:30PM-8:30PM@Eagle Rock - 4405 Lincoln Ave
9:30PM-Midnight@Miracle Mile - Cloverdale & Wilshire

6:30PM-9PM@Yuri Restaurant - 7217 Melrose Ave.
10PM-2AM@The Brig - Abbot Kinney and Palm in Venice

12PM-4PM@Surfas - W. Washington Blvd & National in Culver City
9:30PM-Midnight@???? - Watch Our Twitter to Find Out!

6:30PM-9PM@Yuri Restaurant - 7217 Melrose Ave.

10PM-2AM@The Brig - Abbot Kinney and Palm in Venice

Waiting in line is so unappealing to me. I don't care how good the food is, there's no way I'm going to wait two hours for a taco. Luckily Kogi has taken over the kitchen at the Alibi Room in Culver City. Pixie Gid and I went there last week to check it out. It was a Thursday around 6:00 pm, the time they start to serve food. There's a few low tables with seating when you walk in and a large triangular shaped bar that takes up most of the space. Upon arrival there was a mellow after work hours crowd and by the time we left the music had gotten louder and the place was pretty busy.

By this time, loyal readers know I typically order a beer with my meal. The beer selection was good, 26 to choose from. In retrospect, I should have tried one of the Korean beers. Instead I stuck with a reliable Hofbrau Hefe Weizen. The bar tenders and servers were friendly. Gid had a Julep or two (1792 Bourbon with fresh mint and sugar served on the rocks).

There was a lot activity coming from the kitchen. Kogi was still getting acclimated to their new digs. The full bar menu was printed but they were only serving the Kogi Three Taco Combo, Taro and Lotus Root Chips and drinks. We started with the chips, addicting little things.

The first order of tacos we got lickity split quick. The next one took over 30 minutes. Three tacos for $7 is a pretty good deal. You get a choice of short rib, BBQ chicken, spicy pork or tofu on a taco with shredded cabbage, special sauce, a slice of radish, lime and orange. I wanted a selection so I ordered one of each, except the tofu. The fusion of Korean BBQ in a taco is a mouth-watering combination. The pork and beef, the spiciest, were my faves.

Since my visit they've added Beth Kellerhals (previously at Hatfield's and Drago Centro) as their pastry chef and now have ice cream sandwiches ($3) with ice cream that Beth makes herself. The current flavors include one with beer ice cream, another tasty craze that I've been seeing in restaurants lately. Here are Alibi's current flavors:

Old School: Chocolate Chip Cookies w/ Vanilla Ice Cream
The Oreo: Chocolate Cookies w/ Vanilla Ice Cream
Black and Tan: Chocolate Chip Cookies w/ Chocolate Stout Ice Cream
Beer and Pretzel: Pretzel Cookies w/ Beer Ice Cream

Alli411 Tips

1. Alibi serves Kogi Mondays through Saturdays 6 pm-12 am.

2. It's a bar so you can't bring your kids, unless they're at least drinking age.

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Alibi Room
12236 Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(310) 390-9300

Kogi Korean BBQ on Urbanspoon

The Alibi Room on Urbanspoon

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