East of the Border
Asian-Mexican fusion is spicing up the culinary scene
Life / 7 Oct 2011
Kogi BBQ, the LA food truck that sparked scores of other meals-on-wheels operations, may have done more than pioneer a tidal wave of mobile cuisine. Indeed, it appears to have ignited an even wider food trend: Asian-Mexican fusion. Kogi’s signature Korean BBQ taco, which now appears on menus across America, has induced a raft of variations that co-mingle Eastern flavors with those from south of the border.
Sushi Burritos:
Most sushi purists would rather avoid the dish altogether than eat a California Roll, yet a new Westernized take has even the most stringent sticklers digging in to the latest food fad to sweep the Golden State: the sushi burrito. Though the concept sounds sacrilege, it’s actually a rather ingenious interpretation for mobile diners who need a meal that can be held easily in one hand. Naturally, it’s become a food truck star, with at least two LA vendors luring the lunchtime crowd with sushi fillings bundled in a wrap. Jogasaki offers a choice of flour tortillas or soy paper, while the Hawaiian-flavored Pokey Truck sticks with the latter.
Dumpling Nachos:
The only restaurant experience that Do or Dine’s chefs had before opening their establishment was as waiters. However, it’s precisely their lack of kitchen know-how that has made DoD the subject of unlikely praise. The Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn newcomer, which caters to the neighborhood’s young and broke, has received acclaim for its absurdist fare that reads like a gourmet interpretation of stoner snacks. Among the most notable items are the “Nippon Nachos:” fried gyoza smothered in melted gouda, cheddar, roe sour cream, scallions, and salsa. Until they get their liquor license, DoD’s patrons will have to make their own sake margaritas with which to wash these delectable oddities down.
Tandoori Tacos:
In most American towns, strip mall dining is defined by Domino’s Pizza and Starbucks. But in LA, many of the city’s most interesting eateries are in strip malls. Silverlake’s Cowboys and Turbans is one such restaurant. Though it recently outgrew its original space, moving to new unattached, outdoor patio-accented digs, it hasn’t lost its unusual Indian-Mexican spice palette. Among its signature items are the Tandoori Tacos, which pair masala-scented proteins (chicken, tofu/spinach, shrimp, fish) with crispy corn tacos and toppings like chutneys and poppadum strips. Similar flavor profiles also can be found in NoCal, at Sausalito’s Avatar’s (Punjabi Burritos) and San Francisco’s Curry Up Now (Chicken Tikka Masala Burritos).
©The Intelligence Group