99 Essential Restaurants 2014

Kogi BBQ Truck

photo by Anne Fishbein

Consider the Korean taco: Who would have thought an idea so seemingly misguided would launch a culinary empire? Yet that’s what it did for Roy Choi, who is currently enjoying the spoils of celebrity chefdom: a bestselling book and book tour, multiple restaurants, the platform to give MAD Symposium talks about the culinary community’s responsibility on issues of hunger. With seven projects sprinkled throughout the city, Kogi BBQ Truck is the place you can still taste that original stroke of foolhardy genius, of a Korean short rib taco, or a hot dog covered in kimchi and shredded romaine and drizzled with Sriracha. It’s a humble food truck that’s turned out to to be the best PR ever for the underpinnings of what make Los Angeles great, foodwise: cultural diversity, lack of establishment rules about what constitutes a restaurant, and the talent and fortitude of our chefs.

-- Besha Rodell