So fusion has been all the rage in food these days and years, hasn’t it? We have Mexican sushi, Japanese burritos, Korean Chinese food, Japanese Italian – the list goes on and on. When KorTako opened in my neighborhood, I knew I had to try it out for several reasons:
- KorTako is the brainchild of the BonChon Chicken peeps – and they some pretty finger-lickin’ good chicken!
- Korean + Mexican = both good things. ‘Nuff said
- I’m a big fan of the DIY bar format that is so popular these days, a la Chipotle
I had passed by the KorTako location when it was still under wraps, with only mysterious “Opening Soon” signage on its storefront. Soooo, when the place finally opened I grabbed my wallet and headed to KorTako where a oasis of fluorescence and bright signage greeted me:
From the layout of the food, it seemed pretty obvious that it was a Chipotle-like setup – pick a carb, meat and toppings. That didn’t stop me from reading the tons of signage though and getting somewhat overwhelmed:
I decided to go with the kimchi fried rice for my carb selection, and bulgogi for my protein (mmmmmm). So far, so good right? Then I moved onto the veggies where I fear I strayed a tad from my creation:
The vegetable and toppings selection was quite extensive, with options that would work well with my bulgogi/fried rice combo – such as sesame ginger slaw or kimchi. But did I go that route? Nooooo of course not. I saw corn salad (I LOVE corn) so of course I added that. Same with the tomato salsa….and some iceberg lettuce. Before I knew what was going on, I was on a veggie topping frenzy only to emerge dazed with only a vague recollection of the humble beginnings of my original KorTako bowl.
I believe I finished it off with bulgogi mayo and honey mustard, but I might just be guessing given how coo-coo for cocoa-puffs I was making my creation.
Here you go:
I took my KorTako bowl home to savor (or investigate) it in private. I took a bite and it was….interesting. The ingredients themselves were fresh and well made, they just didn’t meld together. It was as if the whole was not greater than the sum of the parts but rather exactly what it was – a smattering of parts. It wasn’t bad – I still finished it, ha! But I finished more out of curiosity; i.e. “Will this bite taste right? How about the next one?” more than anything.
I was a little torn when determining how to rate KorTako. I think it has the potential to be a good meal if you put together the right combination of ingredients. However, one of the things I like about mainstream Chipotle is that no matter how you combine the ingredients, it tastes cohesive. I don’t think this is necessarily the case for KorTako and it definitely wasn’t the case with my bowl. So, the experience at KorTako is what you make of it – and if you make it some cray-cray bowl like I did, it will be….different. Consider yourself informed!
Interesting – not sure I would try it again. I’m undecided.
80 Nassau St. (btw Fulton/John)
What fusion combination do you like? What fusion combination have you tried that was not so great?