Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Is Kogi the new Pinkberry?

photo by Hane C. Lee

Is Kogi the new Pinkberry?

1. Run by Koreans
2. Cultish following
3. Multiplying like Nadya Suleman’s offspring
4. Just a matter of time before the backlash sets in?

Just three months after its "soft launch" comes the news that Korean BBQ taco phenomenon Kogi is not only adding a third truck but also setting up shop in the Alibi in Culver City (and perhaps in one or more of Cedd Moses’s downtown LA bars). Though the brilliant concept of combining smoky and succulent Korean BBQ with the finger foodiness of tacos seems perfectly suited to a bar menu, isn't half the appeal—and uniqueness—the fact that it's served out of a truck?

Signs of a backlash are already creeping in. Just last week PR honcho Alice Shin posted a lengthy entry to the Kogi blog responding to apparent customer criticism about hours-long lines, running out of food, high prices, and (most deservedly) her inexpLicabLe propensity for using capitaL Ls in aLL her correspondence. There have also been complaints from local restaurants that say the truck’s proximity is hurting their usual business. Other establishments are irate that hoards of taco tweeters are hogging their parking lots. Shin’s advice to Kogi patrons? “Park in a residential area!!” Sure way to win lots of new fans in any neighborhood.

photo by Hane C. Lee


Jennifer Eno said...

Well, it's certainly the taste sensation that has swept LA. Just like Pinkberry. It's crazy the number of Facebook status updates I have seen that have something to do with KogiBBQ. I'm dying to try it, but the long lines are a serious detractor. That why you'll never find me at Pinks (among other reasons).

thedanielstation said...

tried to go on friday night in silver lake. even in the rain, there was a huge line that didn't seem to be moving at all. we waited for like 10 minutes and realized it probably just wasn't worth it.

NLS said...

If Kogi has reached its crest of popularity, you should be able to get your Korean BBQ tacos in about 30 minutes like we did late last year in about a month. That said I thought that it was worth it to wait for 30 minutes. It was also fun hanging out with people who were all trying this new thing together. The mood seemed even uh..giddy. Oh and the food? Wish I woulda ordered more when I had my chance at the front of the line.

HH said...

i would only kogi in good company. not worth more than a 30 minute wait in my opinion.
maybe i'd feel differently in the summer though. it's not bad, and good for something different. eating kogi makes me feel like a pig. :( i was still hungry after my burrito, which was very ladylike in size if you ask me. oink.

Anonymous said...

Kogi rhymes with Yogi and I smell a picnic basket.