HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Discussion

Is CalbiBBQ any good?

  • 3

I noticed that the Calbi truck was going to be in Santa Monica tonight, so I stopped by to give them a try. They've been accused of copying Kogi's food...apparently they're copying Kogi's capriciousness as well.

Has anyone actually eaten there? How's the food? I don't find Kogi's food to be all that special; is Calbi any better? (Are they a little less stingy with the chilis? Are the prices any cheaper?)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I guess I'll answer my own question.

    I stopped by what seems to have become their hangout at Arizona and 3rd today. There was no line, which was a nice surprise, but they seemed to be moving tacos with a customer every two or three minutes. I tried the short rib burrito ($5) and a pork taco ($2). The burrito comes without kimchee, but they will add it on request. I requested.

    Both of the meats had a very nice flavor, a little sweet, but both would have been better with more peppers in the marinade. I can't fault them too much for that, though; they're trying to cater to the middle of the road diner. An option for hot kimchee in addition to the mild would have been a nice touch. I really prefer the flour tortilla to the corn ones; the flour makes a nice starchy but mostly tasteless wrapper for the meat and veggies, while the corn flavor is just a distraction from the BBQ. In all, I think they taste a little better than Kogi, though perhaps it's unfair to compare them as my expectations are much higher after a trip across town followed by a half-hour wait.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bjartmarr

      Gimmicky, isn't it? A Korean taco truck. Well, I'm one who loves sandwiches of all kinds, the mixing up of complementary flavors. I also love corn tortillas. So when I ran across CalbiBBQ at Universal Studios yesterday, I couldn't resist trying this novelty. I love Korean food. I ordered the beef taco, which was $2.99 and tiny. It came with lettuce, a few small pieces of beef, green onions, sesame seeds, topped with cheese. I have to admit I did like it. It had a good "Asian" taste (I'm Taiwanese so I can say this with impunity) and even though the beef was sparse, it was enough for the whole thing to taste good together. I don't think I would like half an hour just to get this again, but next time I pass the truck, I would purchase again.

      1. re: Bjartmarr

        I think you described them perfectly. I like the pork burrito with NO cheese or egg. Didn't know about the kimchee, but will definitely be ordering that on the burrito in the future.

      2. The original comment has been removed