Chef Roy Choi and co-author Tien Nguyen on their field trip to Anaheim.
Chef Roy Choi and co-author Tien Nguyen on their field trip to Anaheim.
Riding Shotgun, the book's blog.

Kogi Creator Roy Choi Gives Love To OC In His Upcoming Memoir

Kogi BBQ founder Roy Choi may just be the greatest success story in Los Angeles' modern-day food world. By selling Korean tacos out of a Tweet-happy truck, the badass chef set off the luxe lonchera frenzy. He's since opened other acclaimed establishments--Chego, A-Frame and Sunny Spot--and has become L.A.'s tell-it-like-it-is guide to street food.  

Now he's writing a book.  

Spaghetti Junction: Riding Shotgun with an L.A. Chef, to be published as part of Anthony Bourdain's new line of books, will be a memoir-cum-cookbook that explores how Choi's life inspired his now-famous Korean-Mexican fusion cuisine. Squid Ink blogger Tien Nguyen is the co-author. 

Choi took the title from the nickname for large highway interchanges, seeing the "tangled noodles" of the intersecting freeways as a metaphor for the ethnic exchange going on in the city.

Very deep. I like it.    

Fun fact: Choi is a Villa Park High alum. We asked him how the book incorporates his Orange County roots, and this is his response:    

Two hands.

Two pockets.

Two shoes.

One hand I know the back of is LA. The other is OC.

My tentacles run deep in OC, north and south. East and west.

I'm from Grove Street city of Orange but I got roots in Toker's Town and El Modena. West Anaheim on the railroad tracks up to the river beds by Batavia. House parties and study nights in the hills of Villa Park to bikinis at 32nd street in Newport. Bon fires in El Moro and LSD trips in Silverado Canyon to ollies over the pier.

HB to GG to Buena Park cruising down Beach Blvd.  UCI to Fashion Island sipping margaritas next to the tide pools in Laguna. My blood runs deep in OC, ask anyone at Vicinity Skate Shop.

Choi and Nguyen recently visited some of the chef's old OC haunts, and photo-chronicled the journey in a post on the book's blog, Riding Shotgun.   

Spaghetti Junction is set for release in 2013. Until then, see what the authors are up to on Twitter, Facebook or on their blog

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