Eat There, Not Here: Korean Tacos

Eat There, Not Here: Korean Tacos
Edwin Goei

Notice the flip-flopped title of this post. This week, I'm calling it "Eat There, Not Here". What I'm saying is that despite the promise of a non-itinerant "Kogi Taco" at Koba Tofu Grill's walk-up window in Irvine, you're likely to find better, tastier Korean tacos at the original truck that inspired it, or at Dos Chinos, or anywhere else for that matter.

Or better yet, just go inside Koba and order up a proper meal. Take your chopsticks to their dangerously fatty, luscious wheel of pork belly with sauteed kimchi, your spoon to their gurgling pots of lava-red soondubu, or any and all the other wonderful dishes I covered in my formal review of the place. Leave the tacos be.

Eat There, Not Here: Korean Tacos
Edwin Goei

In theory, these tacos would seem a good idea just as their to-go, quick service window is a good idea. But warmed corn tortillas and cooked meat do not automatically a taco make.

If there's one problem, it seems a too literal, too timid interpretation of something that needs a ballsier, more go-for-broke approach. It's not enough to do what they've done, which is merely introduce Korean bulgogi, chicken, or plain fried cubes of tofu and a mess of shredded cabbage and onion into a fold of tortilla and call it a day.

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What I ate felt like a half-hearted theater production where the performers show up but can't project. The tofu taco is the blandest of the bunch, the kind that won't win over any on-the-fence tofu converts. All flavor and life is owed to a supplied thimble of gochujang that one must dump entirely onto the taco to consume...but then again, there's no line, no Twitter feed to follow....hmmm....

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Koba Tofu Grill

4501 Campus Dr.
Irvine, CA 92612


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