I've been pretty excited about the arrival of West Coast Tacos. I'd read about Roy Choi's now famous Kogi truck out in Los Angeles, and I thought it was a genius idea (good review here with fantastic slide show from well-known LA food critic Jonathan Gold). I'm all for fusion in food. MORE FUSION, that's what I say..... But, I just kind of worried that Indy wouldn't necessarily flock to the idea of a Korean taco. But, I am happy to be proven wrong.
We stopped in around 8:30 to the West Coast Taco truck last Thursday. It was a mellow pace, and we sat down on the curb outside of the cardinal fitness to eat our tacos. This wasn't dinner, it was just a snack. And, as WIBIA has pointed out, if you think of it as a snack, then you're set. Don't go looking for a meal, cause the current portion sizes are just too small. The truck was out of the tempura-style fish tacos and the chicken by the time we got there, so we only were able to try the steak.
How does it taste? It's fantastic. The meat is marinated in bulgogi marinade, and that is placed on two small corn tortillas. This has an ample serving of their fresh salsa which comes heavy with cilantro. Now, I love Korean food above all the other Asian cuisines. When eaten in taco form, the flavors carry a huge punch, and it blends very well together. That said, the meat is a bit overwhelmed by the salsa, although it is a very pleasing salsa with nice fire. Tasting the meat by itself, you can pick up the bulgogi flavor a lot better. Regardless, the taco is really tasty, and it leaves you wanting more.
The only downside is that part of the reason I wanted more was because the tacos are small. We had had dinner 2.5 hours earlier, but these three tacos merely whetted my appetite, did not satisfy it. Partly, that is praise - cause they taste great. But, if I was wanting to feel full, I'd have been disappointed. As the Better Half finished her tacos, and I thought about stealing one, I also considered getting 3 more, or walking over to BRICS. Instead, I ended up going home and having a bowl of cereal.
It's great to see food trucks in Indy, especially one that isn't serving just hot dogs (especially boiled hot dogs). I was able to go out to Portland last summer on two occasions, and the food trucks there are legendary. The fad of higher-end food trucks is, of course, flying ahead in NYC, too. I hope we keep seeing more of this trend here. It has to be less overhead for the proprietors, and it just adds more wanted diversity and choice here.
I brought up the Kogi truck, but that wasn't to try and point out that the West Coast Taco guys were not brand new in their offering. Their site and interviews make it clear that they got inspired while out in California. So, while they may not be Asian prodigies, they are providing a great product here. They said that on weekends, they're typically serving continuously from 7 p.m. till 4 a.m. Awesome. I hope they keep doing so well. But, I guess this does give me an excuse to link to my favorite blog - some contributors for the Freakonomics blog talking about the intellectual property in food and creative cuisine.
Let's get back to the topic of fusion. While I love the Korean influence that is obviously making a mark on both coasts through Roy Choi and David Chang (of the Momofuku empire - check out the price of a 6" cake from his milk bar!), I just love seeing and tasting more food blending. The West Coast Taco guy said they're working on a kim chi quesadilla. Deluxe. I'd love to see a bulgogi cheese steak. Or, how about General Tso's burrito? Or, well... there's this!
Alright, so went a little link crazy today.....
The verdict: 4.5 belly rubs out of 5 - taste and flair make up for small portion size.