All week at City of Ate, we celebrate the magic of the taco. Check back for more interviews, essays and maybe a list or two. Or maybe four?
The little slice of Korea up in North Carrollton, where 35 meets PGBT, is pretty sweet. It's got a Super H Mart, where everything inside will baffle and amaze you, it's got umpteen Korean restaurants, Korean frozen yogurt places, Korean toy stores, Korean brunch places, there's even a Korean toilet store, where the toilets spray your butt with water.
I hope you'll agree that the vision of my butt getting sprayed with water is the perfect start to this food blog item. Now, of all these Korean restaurants, one of the newest is something rather dramatically called "Kimchi Stylish Korean Kitchen." It is also the shiniest looking, which I'm sure you'll agree is very important. There's even a "cold smoker" built into the front of the building, I'm told, which gives the place an almost barbecue-like air. You're beginning to see why I like it.
It's very cozy inside. Everything is indeed very stylish, which is lucky, otherwise they would have had to find a new name. I was determined to have the thing marked down as "Bulgogi Tortilla" on this here menu. I was not sure if it would actually be a taco. All I knew for sure is that lovely marinated bulgogi beef and a tortilla would be present somewhere on my plate, and that I could at least construct an impression of a taco for you, the discerning and somewhat furious regular reader of the Dallas Observer.
What I got is ... well, I'm still not sure. It came on what appeared to be a tortilla, but in reality it had more in common with a crepe or a waffle. It was sweet, smelled very pancake-esque, and resistant to folding.
I asked the waiter what two sauces (which can be seen in the picture at the top of the page) accompanied the bulgogi meat, which itself featured a seemingly random combination of basic vegetables. He shrugged. "I don't know," he said, "the chef makes them." Good to know.
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The lighter one owed a lot to spicy Asian mayonnaise, only without the spice, and the other one was some sort of hugely intense reduction. Obviously the whole set-up owes a lot more to the traditional fajita than anything else. Nevertheless, I began to construct my first Korean Taco/Fajita/Waffle, out of a crepe, two sauces of questionable providence, and the by-now reassuring bulgogi beef.
And what can I tell you?It was delicious. Despite the structural problems caused by substituting a crepe for a tortilla, the whole thing kind of held together, and the combination of the flavors never strayed into particularly challenging non-Korean territory while retaining the delightful zing of bulgogi marinade. What a very small chunk of carrot and pea is doing in there, I'll never know, but it never strayed into the territory marked "disturbing" that was suggested by the tortilla crepe. Also, it was only $7 for two big tortilla crepes and more than enough filling for both, which I would suggest is something of a bargain.
As an aside, my stepson found the thing on the menu that was a combination of his favorite things, but in a way that you'd never expect to see. Tuna mayonnaise fried rice. It tasted exactly like it sounds, with cold tuna mayo on a bed of seaweed and fried rice. Seriously, this place is weird. It is, however, BYOB, cheap, and good for the adventurous. And stylish. So stylish.