Tag Archives: kogi

POT

The BOOT KNOCKER (photo below) is a dish made with a long list of ingredients including SPAM, corned beef hash, spicy sausages and instant ramen. It’s POT restaurants’s version of Korean budae jjigae, which means “army stew”.

"Boot Knocker" at Roy Choi's POT RestaurantI know what you’re thinking, that it looks like something you’d eat ONLY when you’re drunk, or possibly to cure that wicked hangover the next morning.

Recently I tried it at lunch, unquestionably sober, and sat gleefully picking out flavors from my childhood.

SPAM always takes me back to my early years in Okinawa, where food was rationed during the Vietnam War. Corned Beef Hash was a regular on my American grandfather’s breakfast table, and I still eat it every once in awhile, cooked almost burnt, with a fried egg on top – just like grandpa made it. And like most, Top Ramen was a life-saver in my early 20s, when I was flat-broke between paychecks. The BOOT KNOCKER tastes like my childhood in a bowl and I loved reliving each bite.

So, which C.I.A.-trained chef would dare serve this on his new L.A. menu? Well, Chef Roy Choi of course. The same genius behind Kogi BBQ, A-Frame, Sunny Spot and Chego. He also wrote “L.A. Son”, a heartfelt immigrant story that I’ve read twice so far.

POT restaurant (named for Korean hot pots and maybe weed) is located at the new, swank LINE HOTEL in Korea-town. Check out a few photos of the hotel here.

Uni Dynamite Rice Bow, Roy Choi's POT Restaurant
If the BOOT KNOCKER isn’t your type of comfort food, there’s always the decadent Uni Dynamite Rice Bowl. My server said they regularly run out of this dish, so grab it when you can.

Noodle of the Day, Roy Choi's POT Restaurant
The NOODLE OF THE DAY was a Chilled Somen Noodle w Various Raw & Pickled Vegetables, Chili Paste, Shredded Beef, Hard Boiled Egg.

BBQ Spicy PORK, Roy Choi's POT Restaurant
If you love pork as much as I do, then a must-order is the SPICY BBQ PORK.

Choi is also a co-producer on Jon Favreau’s new film called (appropriately), “CHEF”. I haven’t seen the movie yet but here’s a link to the trailer. You can also check out details at my friend Eddie Lin’s blog. Warning: SPOILER ALERT.

If you’re a fan of the film and near Korea-town on Thursday May 15th, Roy is hosting a popup at POT (serving Cubano sandwiches) to celebrate the movie.

Roy Choi's POT RestaurantPOT Restaurant
(Inside The Line Hotel)
3515 Wilshire Blvd
Koreatown
Los Angeles
213-381-7411
website

Follow Chef Roy Choi on twitter

Follow POT on twitter

All my POT photos here, including some serious drunk-eats at the Line Hotel Cafe.

 

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Roy Choi’s SPAM Bánh Mì

Roy Choi’s “L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food” is a heartfelt immigrant story AND it includes a fantastic recipe for SPAM Bánh Mì (step-by-step photos below).

L.A. Son by Roy Choi About the book (via Amazon):

Abounding with both the food and the stories that gave rise to Choi’s inspired cooking, L.A. Son takes us through the neighborhoods and streets most tourists never see, from the hidden casinos where gamblers slurp fragrant bowls of pho to Downtown’s Jewelry District, where a ten-year-old Choi wolfed down Jewish deli classics between diamond deliveries; from the kitchen of his parents’ Korean restaurant and his mother’s pungent kimchi to the boulevards of East L.A. and the best taquerias in the country, to, at last, the curbside view from one of his emblematic Kogi taco trucks, where people from all walks of life line up for a revolutionary meal.

Filled with over 85 inspired recipes that meld the overlapping traditions and flavors of L.A.—including Korean fried chicken, tempura potato pancakes, homemade chorizo, and Kimchi and Pork Belly Stuffed Pupusas—L.A. Son embodies the sense of invention, resourcefulness, and hybrid attitude of the city from which it takes its name, as it tells the transporting, unlikely story of how a Korean American kid went from lowriding in the streets of L.A. to becoming an acclaimed chef.

The book is co-written with Tien Nguyen and Natasha Phan. Available at bookstores and Amazon.com

Roy Choi’s SPAM Bánh Mì Recipe (posted with permission). Enjoy!

Spam Bánh MìINGREDIENTS

For the pickles:
1 cup julienned daikon
1 cup julienned carrots
1/2 cup natural rice wine vinegar (not seasoned)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup of water

For the sandwiches:
4 demi baguettes
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Maggi seasoning
1 tablesppon Sriracha
Butter, softened
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 can of SPAM, cut into 8 thin steaks
Fresh cilantro sprigs
Fresh Thai basil or opal basil leaves
Fried Shallots (store-bought)
Limes

INSTRUCTIONS

Daikon and Carrot Quick Pickle for Spam Bánh Mì
Place the daikon and carrots in a small bowl. Combine the vinegar, salt, sugar, and water in a small pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn off the heat and let it cool until it’s warm. Pour over the daikon and carrots and let it sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. Note: The second time I made this, I added fresh chiles from my garden.

Frying Shallots for Spam Bánh Mì
Instead of store-bought shallots, I made my own. Just thinly slice shallots and fry in 350º oil until brown, then drain and lightly salt.

MaggiMayCha Sauce for Spam Bánh Mì
Cut the baguettes in half but keep them intact. In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise with the Maggi seasoning and the Sriracha. I’m calling this Roy’s MaggiMayCha and I’ve been slathering it on EVERYTHING!

Slather the cut sides of the baguettes with softened butter and toast them in your toaster oven or in a pan over low heat until they’re nice and crispy. Set aside.

Frying Spam In Brown Butter
Heat the oil (I used brown butter) in a skillet, add the SPAM, and cook over medium heat until it’s golden brown in color. Transfer to a paper towels and reserve.

Ready To Assemble the Spam Bánh Mì
Slather the buttered sides of the baguettes with the spicy mayonnaise. To build the sandwiches, place the SPAM on the bottom half of each baguette, then top with the pickled daikon and carrots and add a layer of cilantro and basil (I used regular basil).

Spam Bánh Mì
Top with the fried shallots and a squeeze of lime and close up the baguette. CRUNCH!

11BanhMi
Not a fan of SPAM? Try it with grilled provolone instead!

About Roy Choi

Follow Roy on twitter

More photos

Bánh Mì

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Kogi

The Kogi Taco Truck made me miss being in my twenties. Especially over the last couple of months, since I started following their Twitter updates on my cell phone. Late at night I’d be in bed reading a book, and have to stop so I could see the incoming Twitter text: “10PM-2AM@The Brig – Abbot Kinney and Palm in Venice”. I couldn’t stop wondering, “Who ARE these people partying EVERY night of the week, chasing down the Kogi taco truck at 2AM?”

It was sort of depressing, because I wanted to be out there chasing the truck too, but then again, I didn’t want to be OUT THERE chasing the truck (or chasing anything for that matter). The Alibi Room in Culver City actually runs a Kogi kitchen (monday thru saturday), but still, I had no desire to fight rush-hour traffic and wait in a ridiculously long line, just for a TACO. 

I admit it, at 45 years old, I’m definitely more of an OpenTable, “reservations a month in advance” sort of eater these days, but of course, that wasn’t always the case.

Twenty-Something, MyLastBite.com

Shortly after I turned twenty-one, I moved to Pacific Beach in San Diego, then spent the next couple of years partying non-stop with my friends. Our days consisted mostly of working in retail during the day, sunning ourselves on our days off and planning “girls night out” EVERY single night of the week.

Most of us were on pretty tight budgets, but we knew which beach bars served free “happy hour” food (drinks bought by the fellas), and it usually consisted of nachos, taquitos or plates of bacon-topped potato skins. Remember when potato skins were the cool, new appetizers?

Roberto's Taco Shop, MyLastBite.comOur favorite drinking holes back then were places like the Beachcomber or the Pennant, and we never missed a Tuesday $1 Margarita night at Diego’s on Garnet Avenue. Quick trips to Mexico for cheap lobster and margaritas were followed by dancing all night at the local clubs.

These nightly adventures always ended with a trip to Roberto’s Taco Shop in Mission Beach, which was steps from the shore, next to the aging Big Dipper roller coaster. The giant, carne asada burrito was my favorite and I always ordered it with extra guacamole. I can’t recall ever eating there during the day, or going there sober for that matter, but back in the day, Roberto’s Taco Shop was MY Kogi.

All-You-Can-Eat Kogi Event, MyLastBite.comIf you’re not familiar with Kogi BBQ, then you probably don’t live in the Los Angeles area. The first time I read about Kogi was on an EaterLA/Lesley Balla post back in December (boy, do I miss her on Eater these days). Ever since then, Kogi has been the “it” taco truck in the city, offering the flavor of spicy Korean barbecue, conveniently wrapped in a fresh tortilla. Kogi gained even more followers when they started using Twitter to communicate upcoming locations with their customers. It was a simple (and brilliant) way for Kogi to keep in contact with hungry, usually late-night, eaters.

All-You-Can-Eat Kogi Event, MyLastBite.comLast Thursday, I just happened to be reading the Kogi website, when I noticed a post titled, “What 20 Bucks Can Buy You”, and was thrilled to learn that it was for a fundraiser in nearby Burbank the same evening. The Gina Alexander Philanthropy Project partnered with Kogi to offer All-You-Can-Eat Kogi tacos for $20, with the proceeds benefiting the Center of Hope Village (for abused children) in the Philippines.

I called Peter and made sure he could make it home early so we could finally try the now-famous Kogi tacos together. Just last week the Kogi truck had been on the Fox lot where he works and he hoped to try it then, but the line was just too long for a my workaholic husband, who doesn’t like to break for lunch anyway.

We arrived at the event 30 minutes early, and after paying our $20 donation (each), we headed for the Kogi truck line, quite pleased to be very close to the front. It was another hour before the truck actually showed up, but there was plenty of entertainment to keep us occupied (photos below), and we didn’t mind because it was all for a good cause.

Peter and I both ordered two Korean Short Ribs and one Spicy Pork. The All-You-Can-Eat Kogi Taco offer, was limited to three at a time, which made sense because when I looked back at the line behind us, there must have been at least 150 hungry people waiting on the street. 

The tacos were terrific (LOVED the spicy pork), and we were content with the three that we tried. Of course if we didn’t have to get back in line and wait again, we would have definitely made it a furious pig-out session, but mostly it felt good to make the donation (Peter later told me he slipped them another $20), and to FINALLY get a taste of the Kogi phenomenon!

Afterwards we headed home, took our pups for their evening walk, and then I fell asleep next to my husband reading my favorite, new book. And guess what? I was tickled pink, NOT to be in my twenties again.

All-You-Can-Eat Kogi Event, MyLastBite.com
Peter saving our spot in the Kogi line

All-You-Can-Eat Kogi Event, MyLastBite.com
DJ Derek Basco entertaining the kids (and us grown-ups too!)

Wrestling at GAPP Event, MyLastBite.com
Waiting for the wrestling event

All-You-Can-Eat Kogi Event, MyLastBite.com
The Kogi Taco Truck arrives!

All-You-Can-Eat Kogi Event, MyLastBite.com
Peter almost up to order… and check out the line behind him.

All-You-Can-Eat Kogi Event, MyLastBite.com
The Kogi Truck menu

All-You-Can-Eat Kogi Event, MyLastBite.com
Korean Short Ribs and Spicy Pork!

All-You-Can-Eat Kogi Event, MyLastBite.com
GAPP founder (Gina Alexander Philanthropy Project) Gina Alexander, with Kogi owners Caroline Shin-Manguera and Mark Manguera.

Upcoming All-You-Can-Eat Kogi Taco dates: 

Thurs, June 25
Thurs, July 30
Thurs, August 27
You must rsvp for your name to be placed on the list.
Email/RSVP or Get more info by contacting
gapp@ginaalexander.com

More Kogi photos on Flickr

Mentioned Above:

Kogi Website

Gina Alexander Website

Center of Hope Village in Philippines

Kogi on Twitter

About Twitter

The Alibi Room

All-You-Can-Eat Kogi Event Info

Eater L.A. – Lesley Balla on Kogi

Lesley Balla currently writes for Tasting Table

OpenTable

Eater LA

My current, favorite book (that I’m reading again)

With Peter

Our Pups

Roberto’s Taco Photo Courtesy of David C.

The Pennant Bar

The Beachcomber

Dining Date: 4/30/09


Kogi Korean BBQ on Urbanspoon

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Filed under Food Events (festivals, classes, etc.), Food Stories (written by me), Food Trucks