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Koi Fusion


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#1 ExtraMSG

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 07:47 PM

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Checked out Koi Fusion today. Got a tweet about their soft opening, free tacos from 3pm to 4pm today. They're pretty active on Twitter.

The concept is taco truck meets Mexican-Korean fusion. It's modeled after the infamous Kogi truck in LA



They've modeled themselves so much after it that they've even latched onto the viral marketing campaign and the word of mouth via Twitter aspect of Kogi.

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Like I said, it was supposed to be a soft opening. I was asked not to invite people. As it was, when I got there there was a line down the block for free tacos. There were three choices: marinated chicken, pork bulgogi, and beef kalbi. I ordered one beef and one pork.

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Greg from Whiffies was in line right behind me. Saw several otheres there, including Dieselboi and Cuisine Bon Femme, from Foodcarts Portland. Apparently CBF is involved in the cart somehow more than just admirer.

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It was like a party down there. The parking lot of the vacant Six Avenue Deli was full of cars, SUVs, and even a couple motorcyles ("that's not a motorcycle, baby, it's a chopper") .... er, choppers. Lots of people hanging out at picnic tables, drinking and having a good time. From what I understand, they're going to use this location for lunches starting this week, and then move around in the evening, open from 8pm or so until around 3am, serving the party crowds down in Chinatown and Old Town.

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Tacos came and looked great. They'll be doing freshly made tortillas in the future, allegedly. Not today though. If not in the future, I'd like to see them take a lesson from Mexicans and lightly fry the tortillas in the juices from the bulgogi and/or kalbi before loading them up.

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Each comes with the meat plus shredded cabbage, chopped scallions, bean sprouts, onion cilantro, daikon radish sprouts, and a slice of cucumber. Great for summer to get those spicy, flavorful meats with fresh, light veggies.

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This was the beef.

Attached File  pork.jpg   66.13K   6 downloads

This was the pork.

Each was good. Better tortillas would go a long ways. I think I might even prefer flour tortillas in this case. Either way, though. I didn't really dissect the flavors, but I thought the marinades on the meats clearly came through and like I said, the fresh veggies with the flavorful meats works great.

Apparently they're going to price them somewhere under $2. $1.75 was what I had guessed they'd do. $1.75 each, 3 for $5 would be perfect.

They're planning to do burritos and Korean fried chicken as well. Greg suggested kimchi quesadillas and I think that would be a brilliant idea. The concept worked in Yuzu's kimchi spring roll.

Very good start, though. With it being downtown, I'm sure I'll hit it a lot.

http://koifusionpdx.com
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole & Kenny & Zuke's

#2 Jamesongrrl

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 10:36 AM

I'd love to try these.
Their website says they will be moving around, but at PSU during the day.
Now I'm just hoping they will be open at 5:30pm and in the spot shown in the photo.....
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#3 ExtraMSG

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 11:21 AM

I think that's questionable, but if you text me, I can tweet them and find out for you.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole & Kenny & Zuke's

#4 Psmithwainscotting

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 12:07 AM

About fucking time we got a Korean taco truck. Last time I had korean tacos I had to drive from Fountain Valley to Silverlake. I wish they'd do something like a Korean Po Boy. A few weeks ago I was at Hmart when they were giving away garlicy deep fried talipia and ever since then I've been fantasizing about korean tillapia fry sandwich.

#5 HappyHourHero

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 02:06 PM

I tried this today. They were parked at PSU.

First impressions: They seemed sort of unorganized. The guy taking the orders was nice, but he definitely was not super on the ball, sort of scattered. They were out of the shortribs tacos and were not doing any specials. I tried the two of the spicy pork tacos, spicy chicken, and a beef bulgogi taco as well as a side of kimchi. The standout best was the bulgogi. The other two were kind of boring and the kimchi was not anything special. I expect Korean BBQ meats to be flavorful and the chicken and pork were pretty bland IMO. For 1.50 each the tacos were a good value. I could see myself grabbing a couple during school hours. You would think with the marketing and just opening up they would want to have all of their options available so first impressions are strong. I thought it was OK but for my money I would rather just hop the street car down to the Korean cart at 10th and Alder. I want to try them again in a few weeks when they get the routine down.

Note: They also serve traditional Mexican food. I saw a Hawaiian torta that looked pretty tasty.

#6 PDXgrubber

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 08:53 AM

I think these guys ROCK and I'm a new fan! I had Korean Taco's at PSU.....They are really cool, down to earth guys and damn the food is amazing too! I talked to the owners/owner for a bit and it sounded like they were not really ready for the amount of growth that they have been experiencing. They are claiming that the schedule and menu will be expanded as soon as the guy I was talking to was able to leave his 2 other jobs...(I personally hope so) I live right by the PSU location so I'm covered either way...:) Try the TOFU tacos...so good! My friend had the Spicy Pork and Beef (Bull something) and he said they were amazing!! I can't wait to try them drunk...haha!!! :(

#7 Angelhair

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 09:32 AM

I'd love to try these.
Their website says they will be moving around, but at PSU during the day.
Now I'm just hoping they will be open at 5:30pm and in the spot shown in the photo.....

Their PSU hours only go until 2:30.

#8 Amanda

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 10:44 AM

Welcome to the site PDXgrubber.

Best regards,

Amanda

#9 HappyHourHero

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 11:09 AM

Unless you like to tie one off early in the afternoon you may have a problem trying their food while drunk.

#10 Magpie

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 11:57 AM

High on my list of places to try but I am very close to removing them from my Twitter feed. They tweet like it was about to be banned or they just stole the account. I find twitter fairly useful for keeping a constant but low grade background flow of info from friends and interesting people\companies but when you are posting anywhere from 5-10+ tweets a day prepare to be unfollowed. Sure it is free advertising and I might be in the minority (or possibly hopelessly old) but don't abuse it.

#11 Angelhair

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 12:15 PM

High on my list of places to try but I am very close to removing them from my Twitter feed. They tweet like it was about to be banned or they just stole the account. I find twitter fairly useful for keeping a constant but low grade background flow of info from friends and interesting people\companies but when you are posting anywhere from 5-10+ tweets a day prepare to be unfollowed. Sure it is free advertising and I might be in the minority (or possibly hopelessly old) but don't abuse it.

I agree with you Magpie. There is a good way for a business to use Twitter and a bad way. They tweet entirely too much.

All I want to know is where they will be at and if there is anything special going on. Otherwise, STFU or prepare to lose followers.

#12 ExtraMSG

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 04:13 PM

I don't mind their volume that much. I tweet a lot as well -- on my personal account. However, it'd be nice if I go more info on where they actually are and when they'll be there.

I'm really interested to try them again soon, but I've gone by locations I thought they would be at and they weren't there.

I don't know what their sales are like, but I'm hearing from a lot of people they're often out of their specialty stuff. Personally, I'd rather them focus on the korean tacos and eliminate most of the traditional taqueria choices. Plenty of places around for that. But, whatever they have to do to stay alive and serve the Korean tacos is fine with me. Just wondering if they're going about it the right way.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole & Kenny & Zuke's

#13 ExtraMSG

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 12:00 AM

Posted Image

Went the other night at PGE Park.

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Was able to park right next to the truck. Only one other guy in line at around 1am. They're probably a little too aggressive with potential customers, but I understand the enthusiasm to talk to people walking by and get their attention. They'll learn.

Posted Image

Menu was nice and simple, augmented by a special of kalbi tacos.

Posted Image

Got three: beef bulgogi, pork bulgogi, and kalbi. Tortillas were much better this time and the tacos overall were delicious. They could cook the meats a little better, hotter and quicker probably to make them more charred, but still juicy. But they're good no matter what.

I'd like to see them give up the Mexican stuff all together and stick with the fusion stuff. I'd like to see some good kimchee on the side and salsas with more of an Asian character. I'd love a kimchee quesadilla done right, too, and maybe some grilled shishitos on and in items. Lots of options. Ooo, how about a bibimbap burrito....

Worth checking out.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole & Kenny & Zuke's

#14 ricechaz

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 11:09 PM

Had the chance to check them out for the first time at PGE. Brought the whole family. Big hit with my daughters especially the spicy pork sliders and the spicy tofu tacos. Guys and gal working there were super nice to my girls. Want to come back and check out the fried chicken. Great concept and definitely worth drive in from HR. Only crappy part was we parked just across the way and literally while we had our backs turned, the car was towed. Best damn $189 tacos I've had. :wacko: Kind of crappy that in a tough economic time, city of Portland allows such a predatory practice with the tow trucks. Not exactly a way to entice people into the downtown area.
Charlie
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there you are."
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#15 ExtraMSG

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 11:38 PM

I got a $60 ticket yesterday in a loading zone. What was I doing in a loading zone? You know, unloading stuff for Kenny & Zuke's. Was there probably 10 minutes.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole & Kenny & Zuke's

#16 m5570

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 06:50 AM

what's on the Hawaiian torta?

#17 jdsconed

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 08:13 AM

The tofu tacos are one of the best things I've tried this year. Usually I prefer my seasoned tofu crispy, but their soft 'fu is fantastic with the tangy kimchi.
yeah, I'm vegan.

#18 jdsconed

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 01:51 PM

...and I just came back from eating two tofu tacos for lunch!
yeah, I'm vegan.

#19 Dragondazd

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 02:43 PM

there's a korean cart at 10th and alder?

I figured KOi would stop tweeting off when they set themselves a schedule.
I had to remove Whiffies for retweeting everything I didn't care about

#20 Psmithwainscotting

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 11:10 PM

Apparently a Baja Fresh in Irvine, CA - which is something of an asian food and grocery paradise in addition to being a creepy modernist hell hole - now has Korean tacos on their menu.
http://ocmexfood.blo.../baja-kogi.html