• March 12th, 2009quarrygirlkogi, LA restaurants

    let’s just set the record straight on what us vegans can eat at the kogi truck…because the information presently available is confusing to say the least. here goes!

    if you live in los angeles, i’m sure you’ve heard of the latest food craze to sweep the city…the kogi bbq truck. kogi serves up korean/mexican fusion food on the cheap with a menu full of tacos, burritos, and daily specials. the little truck has gotten so popular in just a few months, that it has been known to draw crowds of hundreds and even run out of food. i have been wanting to try their tofu tacos since forever…so imagine my excitement when i saw on vegguide.org that they were in fact vegan.

    kogi truck roja!

    kogi truck roja!

    i ate the tacos and pretty much raved about them in a review i posted this morning. my party was ruined, however, when a very informed commenter named louise left the following in reply to my post:

    Sorry to break it to you, but you just ate a mouthful of pork fat. The tortillas Kogi uses have manteca (lard) in them. That’s one reason why the BF (vegan) never eats their regular tacos. The only vegan one they have is the one wrapped in shiso leaf.

    um…so the tofu tacos aren’t even vegetarian? that can’t be right. i messaged the kogi truck (who knew about my blog post) via twitter telling them i found out that there was in fact lard in the tortillas. they immediately replied, “U are mistaken. Im the roja manager steve. Come take a look anytime. We use canola oil” and i was like, “are you sure there’s no lard in them?” and he said, “yes.”

    to follow up on the matter, we emailed the chef and told him we’d been hearing conflicting stories about the lard, and that the truck manager was saying the tacos were vegan friendly. it’s then that we got the sad, sad news from the kogi’s very own chef roy:

    our tortilla itself contains hints of Manteca although we use canola oil…but we have a vegan taco with sesame leaf as the “tortilla”

    alright dude, thanks for being honest. but that’s fucking so nasty that i ate something containing “hints of lard”. almost immediately after i received that email, the kogi twitter account deleted its tweets saying that the tortillas contained no lard, and sent me a direct message via twitter:

    aLL the homemade corn tortiLLas are made with a touch of Manteca. The fLour tortiLLas aren’t. Hey! You can order an eggLess burrito! ^__^ (and cheeseless)

    so that settles it. what a shame. those delicious fluffy tofu tacos topped with sesame-chili salsa, romaine lettuce and cabbage tossed in korean chilli-soy vinaigrette, and cilantro-green onion-lime relish were wrapped in a tortilla contaminated with piggy fatz. as louise put it in an email to me, “It’s kind of stupid that they don’t make it a point to tell you. I don’t see the point of a tofu taco if it’s wrapped in lard. The tofu taco would have been a great option for vegetarians, but now it’s just, ‘Haha, just kidding guys. No tacos for you.'”

    sad tacos. they taste so good and vegan in the middle, but are wrapped in lard. :( :( :(

    sad tacos. they taste so good and vegan in the middle, but are wrapped in lard. 🙁 🙁 🙁

    so to take something good from this situation, at least we now know kogi does have some stuff that is vegan-friendly. i will definitely return to check out their lettuce-wrapped tofu taco, as well as their tofu burrito…minus eggs, cheese, and anything else unvegan.

    for those of you vegans who aren’t phased and want to give this inventive cuisine a try…but don’t feel like queuing up and want to drink alcohol while you eat your korean/mex, kogi has taken over the kitchen at the alibi room in culver city monday-saturday from 6pm to midnite. their vegan stuff is available there as well, and if you call in advance, they say they can whip you up some extra vegan specialties.

    in fact, lex over at vegan-la has talked to the chef and even arranged a “vegan drinks” session with alcohol and loads of kogi food at the alibi on march 28th. for more info on that, check out the vegan drinks site.

    the way kogi seasoned their tofu tacos was nothing short of incredible…they truly blend flavors to create a really unique and delicious taste. i’m willing to bury the hatchet and try something that i know is vegan for sure, from the chef’s mouth.

    for up to date times and locations of the kogi trucks, and for just some all around entertainment, follow kogibbq on twitter. also check out their website for more info.

    hit up kogi when you can, and get there early to avoid the lines! i know i will be back. just don’t eat any fucking corn tortillas!! YUCK. oh, and don’t believe everything you read on vegguide or on twitter.

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