Thanksgiving of 2008, Kogi BBQ had first rolled out as the little Korean-taco-truck-that-could, peddling $2.00 Korean barbecue tacos on the streets of L.A. Little did they know that within a few short months, they would become an icon of LA street food, a roving symbol of rebellion, independence and the belief that excellent food can be had on a dime budget.
Their short rib taco — two crisply griddled homemade corn tortillas, double-caramelized Korean barbecue, salsa roja, cilantro-onion-lime relish and a Napa Romaine slaw tossed in a chili-soy vinaigrette — so iconic to Kogi, would soon become anointed as an L.A. classic.
Their regular runs to Rowland Heights, Diamond Bar, Granada Hills, Venice and El Segundo was a silent rallying cry for people to see beyond the bubble of Hollywood and downtown and into the silent beat and rhythms that run the entire city of Los Angeles.
Within a few short years of putting street food on the map of the minds of the everyday diner, Kogi has become a kind of iconoclastic symbol wherein which legends are born and rules are made to be broken.
The Kogi family has since opened up its counters in Culver City at Alibi Room and its first sit-down restaurant Chego! in Palms, later Chinatown and Whole Foods Market DTLA. It’s where LA-in-a-rice bowl meets non-alcoholic local dive bar in this mash-up of 2nd generation Angeleno culture, great food and more-than-reasonable prices. In April 2016, Kogi Taqueria launched on Overland Ave in Palms serving a new menu of homemade carne asada and carnitas alongside fan favorites. Most recently, Kogi Taqueria opened a second outpost in Whole Foods Market in El Segundo.