I became obsessed with Korean food during my last trip to Portland where I had one of the most amazing meal ever that included having three waiters making table side bibimbap, which I remember like a fever dream at this point. An amazing fever dream.
I had never had delicious traditional Korean vegan food in Austin (although I love those fusion tacos at Chi’lantro) so when I saw that a new trailer, Korean Komfort, was opening up that magical night at Departure came flooding back. I chatted with one of the owners Min Choe and he assured me that both the bibimbap & the fried rice are vegan without the egg so I headed to the Rancho Rio Eatery trailer park on 25th & Rio Grande as fast as soon as I could.
We came right at noon and I believe, for a while anyway, they will be open noon-9 during the week and then later on the weekends. Although there were a lot of students about on such a sunny day the trailer park had a range of folks. Spring time in Austin is just the best. I liked that their food was wrapped up in perfect containers to take back to the office for the other 300 days of the year when it’s blazing hot or threatening ice storms.
The Korean fried rice was really tasty and had a good-sized portion for lunch. But, if I was going by myself I would stick with the bibimbap which hit those salty sweet notes of Korean really well. I loved it.
All the ingredients seemed really fresh but were also prepared nicely & well seasoned. The fried tofu was crispy and everything went together really well with spicy side of sauce. I learned that Min’s wife grew up and Korea and is the mastermind behind most of the dishes, preparing kimchi every day and making sure that all the dishes come out the way they are supposed to. I think it’s a great addition to the trailer food scene and I’m happy it’s close enough to downtown. Check it out if you love Korean food!
These days it seems like ramen joints are popping up like mushrooms after a rainstorm but a couple years back it was all about the Korean Taco fusion trailers. Only one stood the test of time, and for good reason. Chi’lantro might be the best run food truck – or really fleet of food trucks – in the city. They are completely on it with social media telling you on twitter where they have moved too, and the mobile trucks always seems to be exactly where I want them to be when I’m looking for food at 2am after the bars close downtown.
These tiny tacos of deep fried tofu, soy vinaigrette Korean salad, cilantro, onion, and their special salsa are the ideal late night food. Everything comes together perfectly and the sweet sauce covering the salad is just delicious. And they are only a couple of dollars! The service at the trailer runs with more efficiency than, I’d say, ANYWHERE else at 2 am. I promise you will have a better experience than at Taco Bell or Kerbey Lane. The only thing I don’t like is that their Kimchi isn’t vegan and neither is their magic sauce so I can’t partake in what I’m sure are amazing Kimchi fries. I want them every time. Oh well, I’m still always happy with two tacos in my belly for the ride home at the end of the night.
Takorea closed down 😦 Check out Chi’lantro for your Korean Taco needs
TaKorea has been on my must try list for I don’t know how long. They just moved to the Longhorn Food Court, up the street from where I spend my weekdays in between downtown and UT, so on Thursday I braved the rain and went to try this Mexican Korean fusion trailer. Right now it isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing spot but I think that is bound to change as the other trailers open in the coming weeks (including Dog Almighty!). I imagine they will add such luxuries as tables to eat at! For now it is a very bare bones concrete parking lot.
We met the owner Paul who was very nice and answered my one thousand questions about the menu graciously. He assured me that all the tofu items were completely vegan and free of egg or dairy. The vegan taco can either be healthy style in a cabbage wrap and topped with cucumbers or in a corn tortilla or on a fried tostada topped with a sweet chile sauce. I loved that they have multiple options here because sometimes I want something healthy and sometimes I want some deep fried goodness. At 2.50 each they seemed like a good deal but probably not a complete meal. Paul said the hot dogs were the most popular thing on the menu. He has smart dogs on a toasted sesame bun topped with tofu and Korean fixins for 4.50. I am not typically a big hot dog fan but it sounded so fabulous piled high with cabbage and chile sauce so I couldn’t resist.
I ordered one of each and we waited for the food. When it came out my anticipation almost overwhelmed me because it looked fabulous. Both the hot dog and the tostada were piled high with topping. The tostada shell seemed freshly deep fried and the sesame bun was perfectly toasted which made me super happy. It makes such a difference to have a crusty vehicle for the toppings in both of these cases.
I ate the tostada first and I was completely blown away. It reminded me more of traditional street food than anything else I have I can remember eating in town, maybe because the deep fried action. The sweet chile sauce was amazing. I want to learn his secrets!After the tostada I had the hot dog but after the first couple bites we had to run off because it started pouring down rain. I felt like a true American running down the street while eating a hot dog. It was beautiful and had a lot of flavor but next time I think I would ask for the sweet sauce to be on it as well because I liked that one better than the spicy one. It was a wonderful filling meal and I got a beverage too and paid just 7 bucks. What a terrific addition to the neighborhood! They are open 11-8 Tuesday through Saturday.