Sunday, August 23, 2009

I ain't waiting 40 minutes for a Taco: Kogi at Alibi Room

Kogi is the mobile culinary phenomenon that gave rise to the now numerous food trucks in Los Angeles that utilize social networking tools such as Twitter to connect customers with the ever-changing location of their trucks. Currently, you are able to get a variety of street food on the road including sushi, BBQ food and Vietnamese sandwiches (bahn mi). Kogi offers Korean BBQ tacos and burritos; one of the first popular Asian-inspired Mexican fare.

We decided to get some Kogi tacos before our Kings of Leon concert at the Great Western Forum. I've waited in line once at the Kogi truck, but since the Alibi Room in Culver City serves the menu in its bar, I wonder why anyone would wait in line and consume their tacos on the side of the street? I like to eat in the comforts of a restaurant/bar/home, alongside an alcoholic beverage. As such, Alibi Room is the ideal place for me.

The Alibi Room is located away from the busy stretch of Downtown Culver City. The interior includes a wraparound bar that takes up half the space, a couple couches and a patio.

I started with a glass of Pinot Gris. The food menu is limited. There are tacos, sliders, burrito, hot dog and quesadilla; all of which are Korean flavored.

They have miniature bottles of Pacifico (7 oz).

Taro and lotus root chips to start. Crunchy and with the right amount of salt. I loved the little lotus roots; it made for a pretty presentation. Here's hoping that it's healthier than potato chips.

3 tacos with choice of bbq chicken, spicy pork and Korean short ribs. I enjoyed the spicy pork the most and only other time I had Kogi, so I decided to double up on that. Besides, BBQ chicken sounds so generic. The tacos were delicious; the meat was tender and juicy. These tacos are salty and have such a unique burst of flavor. The squeeze of lime added a citrus flavor to the spiciness. Each taco is a good two bites full and is a great quick snack.

Ice cream sandwich (pretzel cookie and pale ale ice cream). I thought it would be served on a plate with utensils but instead it came wrapped in plastic cellophane. I suppose it goes with the whole theme of the bar menu: portable food. The cookie did not taste like pretzel except for the coating of salt. The ice cream sandwich was also a little messy. When you attempt to take a bite, the ice cream gets squished between the sandwich and it ends up dripping all over you.

Overall, I enjoyed my meal at Alibi Room. The tacos were delicious, however I don't know how people have the patience to wait in line for almost an hour at the food truck. The tacos are good but they ain't THAT good, in my opinion. I'm just glad that they decided to offer Kogi in the comforts of a bar and with a short wait.

After our Kogi meal, we headed off to the concert. Awesome night filled with good music, some dancing and satisfying Korean nibbles.

Hits: spicy pork taco, no crazy waits in line
Misses: ice cream sandwich
Rate: ***

Alibi Room
12236 W. Washington Blvd.,
Culver City, CA 90066
(310) 390-9300


Daniel S. said...

Nice review! I like this place and it's great not having to wait 45+ minutes for Kogi. You must try the Korean-spiced fries, they're delicious.

stuffycheaks said...

Thanks!I love love love fries so I'll definitely try tht the next time I am there