Kogi's great success was sure to produce copycats. Calbi is one of them.
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).
Who knew something so simple could be so awesome? Super-duper cheeserrific.
Beef, pork, and chicken tacos ($1.99 each).
Kogi's meat is a tad more flavorful, but Calbi gives you cheese!
Shrimp burrito ($5.49).
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.