"Gogi" means "meat" in Korean, but the Oh My Gogi! food truck doesn't cater to carnivores only—when ordering a kimchi quesadilla, you can fill the tortilla with short ribs, chicken, Spanish pork, or veggies. Indeed, the truck is more concerned with playing with your food than limiting your options. Its menu combines Mexican street food with Korean barbecue, complete with homemade marinades and secret sauces. Add-ons such as a fried egg to fries and caramelized kimchi make meals out of barbecue tacos, which come with meat, double meat, or doubledouble meat. To find the truck at any given hour, fans can check Twitter and Facebook or commit to sleeping on top of it.
At Tiger Pop, kimchi and other traditional Korean ingredients mingle with influences from the Americas. Chefs layer authentic Korean KimPop rolls, which resemble sushi but contain only cooked ingredients, with pineapple-sautéed ham and american cheese, and draw from Mexican recipes to whip up spicy burritos and tacos with Korean kogi steak. Sunlight pours through the eatery’s tall windows, and cheerful bright walls and an absence of haunted suits of armor create a welcoming atmosphere.:m]]
After moving to America at 3 months old, Steve Shin didn’t have much time to learn the culinary traditions of his native South Korea. But when he returned for a year in 2001, he witnessed the cuisine's slimming properties firsthand. Though he consumed lots of food, his waistline shrank, most likely due to the minimal grease and fat content in South Korean cuisine. Inspired by his journey, he tried to eat a more healthy diet when he returned to the U.S, but after several rounds of salads and sandwiches, fast food lured him back to his old habits. Frustrated, he started brainstorming ways to build healthy and balanced meals, which led to b.b.bop. At his Asian-fusion restaurant, the menu is centered on wholesome bowls of rice, veggies, and protein, steering customers away from heavy, fatty meals, such as a giant butter sculpture.
To whip up b.b.bop's signature entree, cooks line bowls with a rice of the customer's choice, from a jasmine-scented Thai type to a nutty, fiber-filled brown variety. Next, the customer selects a lean, flame-grilled protein from options including pulled pork, chicken breast, or marinated tofu. Veggies such as bell peppers and bean sprouts add color and crunch to the dish, and sauce—the finishing touch—comes in more than a half-dozen flavors, from spicy red pepper to sweet teriyaki.
With more than 90 buffet dishes including 30–35 hot entrees and more than 10 varieties of sushi, it’s no surprise that Buffet Palace's Austin location has been voted best buffet 12 times by Austin Chronicle readers. The similarly well-stocked Killeen location looks like a grounded spaceship from the outside, complete with a cylindrical metal cage, a Saturn-style ring, and two alien-like statues.
At each location, a modern 350-seat dining room vaunts sleek countertops and high ceilings as well as a buffet so long visiting Lilliputians regularly land planes on it. Items range from Korean-style salads and Japanese sushi to more than 30 primarily Chinese hot dishes such as sesame chicken and pan-fried dumplings.
In addition to these made-from-scratch items, a chef cooks Asian pancakes and dumplings. Before departure, diners can also stock a plate full of the buffet’s housemade desserts, which include cakes, cookies, and fruit so fresh it often gets smacked by older, wiser side dishes.
Sushi Cafe owner Dae Woo calls upon nearly two decades of restaurant experience in Asia to cultivate a chopstick-friendly menu bursting with sushi rolls, tempura delicacies, and traditional Japanese dinner entrees. Artful arrangements of sushi decorate the restaurant’s bar, and steamy bowls of miso and udon soups obscure the view across booths nestled between wooden screens. Chopsticks clash over thick cuts of sashimi that await the winners on soft beds of rice, and thin slices of beef doused in korean sweet sauce represent the Asian mainland. As if to show off their culinary prowess, the expert sushi chefs dare diners to customize their own rolls and fearlessly dive headfirst into deep fryers to retrieve tempura vegetables.
Kor-BQ specializes in Korean tacos, or "takos," whose myriad blasts of flavors seem to defy their simple construction. Marinated meats such as short rib, rib eye, and pork form the basis of these fusion delicacies, while a Korean fusion salsa and sesame seeds add the zesty kick. The tacos come three ways: with a cilantro and onion mix, dressed in lettuce slaw and drizzled with soy sauce vinaigrette, or "nude," a style that foregoes the fixings to avoid cilantro-shaped tan lines. Those who prefer to use a spoon instead of their hands can find similar sustenance in the rice bowls, which feature hearty mixes of marinated meat, sautéed vegetables, clear glass noodles, and lettuce slaw with vinaigrette.