Kogi Korean BBQ – Various OC Locations

by DanGarion on October 30, 2009 · 26 comments

in OC Food Reviews

Just recently Kogi Korean BBQ (KogiBBQ) officially came to Orange County.  Sure they had made a couple visits in the past, but those were before they had an “official” OC truck.  About 3 weeks ago they launched their nightly food service for Orange County, with the creation of the KogiBBQ Naranja truck.  I was excited because this meant I might actually be able to try them out without having to wait in a long line…  So last Friday night in the parking lot of The Bruery my first KogiBBQ experience began.

KogiBBQ - They Are Here!

KogiBBQ - They Are Here!

Naranja was slated to arrive at 6:30 PM, so we got to the parking lot at just about 6 to discover there was a line of about 15 people/groups ahead of us.  Mrs. DanGarion was already having doubts, but I told her to trust me, the line was short and we should be eating KogiBBQ in no time once they arrive!  Naranja was running late due to traffic on the 91 Freeway, so they were running a little behind.

KogiBBQ - Waiting in Line

KogiBBQ - Waiting in Line

At 6:45 the KogiBBQ truck pulls up, only 15 minutes late!  Mrs. DanGarion is getting frustrated with the groups of obnoxious people both in front of us with scream kids and behind us having loud conversations, but I told her to trust me, the line was short and we should be eating KogiBBQ in no time once they set up.

When 6:55 my wife can’t take the wait any longer and tells me to just order food for myself, and she goes to the car to wait.  About 5 minutes later they finally open their hatch and slowly start taking orders.  For about 15 minutes the line doesn’t seem to move, the groups ahead of us seem to have each person ordering individually, which really slows things down.  I tell myself to not worry, I’m close to the front, and I should be eating KogiBBQ in no time once I order.

KogiBBQ - Almost my turn!

KogiBBQ - Almost my turn!

7:30 comes and I’m at the front of the line and place my order, 2 Short Rib Burritos, 1 Short Rib Taco, 1 Spicy Pork Taco, and a Blackjack Quesadilla.  Now comes the waiting for the food to be ready.  My wife text messages me, asking what’s going on.  I tell her not to worry, I’ve placed my order, and I should be back in the car in no time once it arrives.

At 7:45, an hour and forty-five minutes after waiting in line, I happily walk to my car, with my bag of food in my hand.  I’m already making my plan of what to eat first, and that I’ll have the second burrito for lunch tomorrow, I’ve won the waiting battle with KogiBBQ.  I get in the car, and ask my wife if she wants to pick up some Taco Bell for her on the way home, so we stop at our local Taco Bell to get her a bean burrito and a Double-Decker taco (her favorite place and her favorite items).

KogiBBQ - Tacos and Quesadilla

KogiBBQ - Tacos and Quesadilla

The time is 8:05 and I’m finally sitting down at the table about to have my first KogiBBQ experience.  I open up my bag, place the items on a plate and salivate to the delicious smell of Korean short rib and spicy pork…

I know I’m probably going to get a lot of flak for this but, after all the praise, after all the press, and after the nearly 2 hours wait, I wasn’t really all that into what I tasted.  Sure the food wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t really all that special either.  The short rib although good was too sweet and there wasn’t really anything to work with its flavor other than the produce that was on it, while the spicy pork wasn’t really all that spicy.

KogiBBQ - Blackjack Quesadilla

KogiBBQ - Blackjack Quesadilla

I do have to hand it to them on the Blackjack Quesadilla, the pork belly with cheese was a great combination and went well with the green sauce that topped the quesadilla, I would order it again.  The burrito turned out soggy due to the mixture of lettuce or cabbage or whatever they put in it, and I only ended up having half it.  The next day I threw away the one I saved for lunch because I knew there was no way it would have done well being reheated.

So there you have it, my one and only experience with KogiBBQ.  Maybe things would have been different if I had eaten the food right away, maybe it would have tasted amazing if I was in Downtown LA and drunk from a night of drinking a dancing.  Maybe I’m just not their target market.  But that’s ok; I don’t mind not having to wait in line for 2 hours for food…

Visit on 10/23/09 for dinner.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

Kogi Korean BBQ
Various Locations
Orange County and Los Angeles
Follow KogiBBQ on Twitter to find where they will be.

Kogi Korean BBQ on Urbanspoon

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  • http://foodfrenzy.freedomblogging.com/ niyaz

    ha! how to diffuse a pissed-off, hungry wife 101! i've definitely been in that one before.

    great review dan. after going on my own, i can picture everything you're writing.

    i kinda felt the same way. it's good food, but not as phenomenal as i thought it would be, probably because i let the hype build up.

    oh well. i'll still go again, if only for that delicious burrito, this time without the kimchee.

    • http://dangarion.com/ DanGarion

      I'd do it if I knew I was going to get in and out in 10 minutes, and I could eat it right then, instead of letting it get cold.

  • http://foodfrenzy.freedomblogging.com niyaz

    ha! how to diffuse a pissed-off, hungry wife 101! i've definitely been in that one before.

    great review dan. after going on my own, i can picture everything you're writing.

    i kinda felt the same way. it's good food, but not as phenomenal as i thought it would be, probably because i let the hype build up.

    oh well. i'll still go again, if only for that delicious burrito, this time without the kimchee.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/DanGarion DanGarion

      I'd do it if I knew I was going to get in and out in 10 minutes, and I could eat it right then, instead of letting it get cold.

  • BeacbBumBob

    Rule Number #1 "When Momma isnt Happy, No One is Happy" from Husband in Hell rule book Rule Number #2 Havent we learn anything from the "Got to Have it NOW!" self gratification that we are going to right now? Close to nearly 2 hrs for a F'ing Burrito? I am surprise she didnt drive off and leave you there, better take out nice somewhere, as wife's, like elephants dont forget which in turn means less closet space for you! ha ha ha

    • http://dangarion.com/ DanGarion

      Hehe I already have less closet space. But she's pretty understanding to my hobby. Besides she makes me wait in lines for rides that are over before you even get on at Disneyland all the time.

  • BeacbBumBob

    Rule Number #1 "When Momma isnt Happy, No One is Happy" from Husband in Hell rule book Rule Number #2 Havent we learn anything from the "Got to Have it NOW!" self gratification that we are going to right now? Close to nearly 2 hrs for a F'ing Burrito? I am surprise she didnt drive off and leave you there, better take out nice somewhere, as wife's, like elephants dont forget which in turn means less closet space for you! ha ha ha

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/DanGarion DanGarion

      Hehe I already have less closet space. But she's pretty understanding to my hobby. Besides she makes me wait in lines for rides that are over before you even get on at Disneyland all the time.

  • BeacbBumBob

    Sounds like a perfect match. keep up the great work and have a wonderful life together, you sound like a fun couple.

    Re: Kogi, heard they are trying to serve something like it at the BaJa Fresh in Irvine, on Alton and Jeffery (Gelsons Parking Lot) I havent been there to try yet

  • BeacbBumBob

    Sounds like a perfect match. keep up the great work and have a wonderful life together, you sound like a fun couple.

    Re: Kogi, heard they are trying to serve something like it at the BaJa Fresh in Irvine, on Alton and Jeffery (Gelsons Parking Lot) I havent been there to try yet

  • http://myabsentblog.blogspot.com/ Val

    I kind of had a similar experience, but waited 2.5 hours! I liked it, but couldn't ever wait that long again.. I agree — if you know you can be in and out of there in 20 minutes tops, go for it! Otherwise, just get some kalbi from a Korean mart and throw it in some tortillas at home. Haha.

    • http://dangarion.com/ DanGarion

      Yeah I still like my creation, that I still haven't tried.

      "My suggestion of a great ‘asian-fusion” inspired taco would be using the Hot and Spicy chicken or pork from Busy Bee, that is cooked with kimchi, and then to drizzle some Mexican sour cream on top, all in a flour tortilla; and I think I’d have a winner."

  • http://myabsentblog.blogspot.com Val

    I kind of had a similar experience, but waited 2.5 hours! I liked it, but couldn't ever wait that long again.. I agree — if you know you can be in and out of there in 20 minutes tops, go for it! Otherwise, just get some kalbi from a Korean mart and throw it in some tortillas at home. Haha.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/DanGarion DanGarion

      Yeah I still like my creation, that I still haven't tried.

      "My suggestion of a great ‘asian-fusion” inspired taco would be using the Hot and Spicy chicken or pork from Busy Bee, that is cooked with kimchi, and then to drizzle some Mexican sour cream on top, all in a flour tortilla; and I think I’d have a winner."

  • http://www.riversideandbeyond.com/ ole

    I get annoyed when the line at Del Taco is more than two deep. No way I could handle waiting in line for two hours. Brutal. Cool concept, though. If they ever park their truck in front of my house I'll give it a try.

  • http://www.riversideandbeyond.com ole

    I get annoyed when the line at Del Taco is more than two deep. No way I could handle waiting in line for two hours. Brutal. Cool concept, though. If they ever park their truck in front of my house I'll give it a try.

  • http://galleygirl.wordpress.com/ Galley Girl

    Wow, sounds a bit like you were 'off to see the Wizard'. Thanks for the breaking news on the Naraja Kogi BBQ truck and telling it like it is!

  • http://galleygirl.wordpress.com/ Galley Girl

    Wow, sounds a bit like you were 'off to see the Wizard'. Thanks for the breaking news on the Naraja Kogi BBQ truck and telling it like it is!

    • http://dangarion.com/ DanGarion

      Thanks so much for the link love on your site. I've added you to mine as well. Looking forward to your reviews!

  • http://galleygirl.wordpress.com Galley Girl

    Wow, sounds a bit like you were 'off to see the Wizard'. Thanks for the breaking news on the Naraja Kogi BBQ truck and telling it like it is!

  • http://galleygirl.wordpress.com Galley Girl

    Wow, sounds a bit like you were 'off to see the Wizard'. Thanks for the breaking news on the Naraja Kogi BBQ truck and telling it like it is!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/DanGarion DanGarion

      Thanks so much for the link love on your site. I've added you to mine as well. Looking forward to your reviews!

  • http://www.ineedtext.com/FoodBlog/ Shelly Borrell

    I enjoyed your report, HA. One of these days I'll have to try it too, just to get it out of my system — If I can stand the line (a pet peeve). I might end up going with your wife to Taco Bell, HA. Thanks for the info!

  • http://www.ineedtext.com/FoodBlog/ Shelly Borrell

    I enjoyed your report, HA. One of these days I'll have to try it too, just to get it out of my system — If I can stand the line (a pet peeve). I might end up going with your wife to Taco Bell, HA. Thanks for the info!

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