Archive for the ‘Fusion Tacos’ Category

Interview with Nom Nom, the new West LA bánh mì truck

Posted by Cyrus Farivar on July 16, 2009

In my continuing series of interviews with taco truck-related folks, I bring you the latest email interview with Nom Nom, a soon-to-be launched bánh mì (Vietnamese sandwich) truck serving West Los Angeles. The questions were answered via email by David Stankunas (above), one of Nom Nom’s founders.

1) How’d Nom Nom get started?

I came up for the idea for Nom Nom while having lunch with fellow co-founder, Jennifer Green, on a rainy March afternoon. As we were eating, I mentioned I had recently eaten at a popular taco truck, Kogi, the weekend before. At that same moment, Jennifer was reminded that she just happened to bring a few banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) from Westminster for me to take home after lunch.

I’ve always loved banh mi, but since there aren’t any places in West LA that sell them, I usually had to drive a long ways to get one. Everything sorta just came together after that. Excited, I rushed home to do a little research on truck costs, permits, and other “alternative” trucks in Los Angeles. I also quickly shot off an email to the Kogi founders for some advice. Later that day I enlisted the other co-founder, Misa Chien, onto the Nom Nom team, and now, close to 5 months later, we’re on the verge of launching our first truck!

2) Were you guys crazy taco truck fans to begin with? How much did Kogi and/or other non-taco food trucks influence you?

Kogi was an incredible influence on us. In fact, I would go as far as saying they are the main reason we are doing what we are doing today. Not only did Kogi serve as inspiration for starting our Nom Nom Truck, they were also incredibly helpful and supportive when it came to offering advice on how to get started. We’re all big fans of Kogi, their food and their people. What they’ve been able to do in such a short period of time is nothing short of amazing. In my eyes, they are responsible for the whole mobile food “movement” that has become so popular in Los Angeles today. I like to refer to them as the “Godfather” of mobile food trucks.

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How to make Korean tacos at home

Posted by Cyrus Farivar on May 31, 2009

[Image: David Dickey/Gourmet]

Everyone seems to be enjoying Korean (and other fusion tacos) in Los Angeles lately. There’s another Korean truck in Portland. And don’t forget about Marination Mobile, the new Hawaiian-Korean fusion truck hitting Seattle soon!

But what if you’re nowhere near Los Angeles or the Pacific Northwest? Fear not.

Gourmet magazine has done some homework and has come up with a few Korean taco recipes for your to try at home, reprinted below:


Adapted from Kye Soon Hong

Makes enough for about 18 tacos

Note: the same marinade may be used for kalbi, thin-sliced bone-in short ribs

• 1 1/2 pounds beef rib eye, thinly sliced (preferably from a Korean or Japanese market)
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
• 2 teaspoons mirin
• 2 teaspoons water

Combine all ingredients and marinate at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Cook meat on a grill or in a skillet, then chop for tacos.


Adapted from Kye Soon Hong

Makes enough for about 12 tacos

• 1 pound pork shoulder, thinly sliced (preferably from a Korean or Japanese market)
• 3 tablespoons coarse-ground hot Korean red pepper powder
• 1 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 2 tablespoons mirin
• pinch of black pepper

Combine all ingredients and marinate at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Cook meat on a grill or in a skillet, then chop for tacos.


Adapted from Kye Soon Hong

Makes about 5 cups, enough for 4 burritos

• 4 cups cooked rice, cooled and chilled in refrigerator
• 4 strips bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
• 2 cups Napa cabbage kimchi, the riper the better, diced
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 2 teaspoons sesame oil
• salt
• sesame seeds, for garnish
• sliced scallions, white and green parts, for garnish

1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the kimchi and cook several minutes.

2. Raise the heat to high, add the rice and stir-fry several minutes, until rice is beginning to brown.

3. Stir in butter and sesame oil. Season with sesame seed and salt to taste and garnish with scallions.


Makes about 6 cups, enough for many tacos, with leftovers

For the dressing:
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 1-1/2 teaspoons lime juice
• 1-1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
• 1/4 teaspoon sugar

For the salad:
• 4 cups (5 ounces) shredded romaine lettuce
• 2 cups (3 ounces) shredded Napa cabbage
• 1/2 cup (2 ounces) thinly sliced onion
• toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Toss the salad in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of the dressing. Add more dressing to taste and garnish generously with sesame seeds.

In other news, the city of Yountville, CA has approved its first taco truck! No word on when or where it will be open. We’ll keep you posted as we hear more.