Sunday, August 1, 2010

Calbi There For You

Kogi's great success was sure to produce copycats. Calbi is one of them.
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Like pinkberry facsimiles, Kogi mimicry approximates the real thing very well. Calbi also offers some perks that Kogi does not, such as cheese on tacos, the option of shrimp, and acceptance of payment via credit cards.

Sure, Calbi is not executing an original concept, but I give it credit for doing a great job of producing mobile fusion goodies that are delicious in their own right. I love that Calbi employs adorable little middle-aged Korean ladies to cook up a storm and serve you their wares. Broken English + radiant smiles = authentic and endearing!

Kimchi + cheese quesadilla ($4.99).
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Who knew something so simple could be so awesome? Super-duper cheeserrific.

Beef, pork, and chicken tacos ($1.99 each).
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Skip the chicken. It's dry. The beef is decent, but the pork should be your first choice. Kogi's meat is a tad more flavorful, but Calbi gives you cheese!

Shrimp burrito ($5.49).
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I am definitely a taco girl. Burritos often overwhelm me. I dislike the excess tortilla surface area. I don't like holding a big bulky thing the size of my head.

But this shrimp burrito made me very happy because it was a bit out-of-the-ordinary with its inclusion of cheesy scrambled eggs and the option of Sriracha or Korean tangy sauce accompaniment.

Since this first visit, I've had occasion to try a pork burrito ($4.99) from Calbi, and I must say that the pork burrito is my absolute favorite. Just the one is probably more than enough for a normal person.

I'm not normal, though. It's hard to pass up that kimchi + cheese quesadilla! Yeah, I got that the second time, too.


  1. I totally thought you were going to say that you had a horrific experience! Glad it's a decent substitute. Yay for cute Korean ahjumas (older ladies) and kimchi!!

  2. I actually saw this truck parked on La Brea & 3rd yesterday & was tempted to stop since there was no line. I guess I should have stopped!

  3. I tried Calbi for the first time a few weeks ago and thought it was nearly identical to Kogi too! The line was non-existent though, which was a plus.

  4. I'm a sucker for those cheese + kimchee quesadillas too. And jeez burritos! They are so manly. I think all girls are tacos girls deep down inside :)

  5. I always see this truck parked on Melrose or near my work in Santa Monica. Good to know that it isn't a completely heinous impostor! I like cheese. And excess tortilla yardage.

  6. oh i love cheese on anything. oh, i take it back. i don't like cheese on raw tuna.

  7. I see Calbi everywhere! Kimchi and cheese quesadilla sounds so verry good.

  8. as a vegetarian, everything looks scrumptious!

  9. i had calbi before kogi (my friend had them at her party) and now that you pointed out the differences, i realize why i wasn't that hyped when i finally tried kogi... i missed the cheese and shrimp and kimchi quesadillas!

  10. We are hopefully going to try a truck tonight that has naan-wiches. Food trucks have finally come to Chicago!

  11. I still haven't tried any of these trucks. Sadness for me. :( That burrito looks so yummy!

  12. Calbi is always parked outside my neighborhood Ralphs (random) and I've been meaning to try. the burrito looks really good

  13. There is no way in hell I will ever find a place that makes kimchi and cheese quesadillas here, so I may attempt them myself. Love kimchi! Never would have thought of adding it to a quesadilla!

  14. I guess you had a better visit than me :) I went with a few of my Nor Cal buddies, and by the end of the night, we had to stop by a taco truck in Pasadena to satisfy our palates!

  15. Excess tortilla surface area. Truer words could not be spoken!


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