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Jul 15, 2009 11:13 PM

Baja Fresh Selling KOGI Tacos? Worlds Colliding...

According to no less an authority than some blog on the OC Register website, a Baja Fresh in Irvine is testing upscale menu items, rolling out margaritas, and....

...wiat for it...KOGI Korean BBQ Tacos. Okay, anyone confused?

Baja Fresh = sort of Mexican, fast casual, corporate tacos and burritos with hundreds of locations nationwide

KOGI = we're so alternaTive we can'T even type without toggling oUr CAPSLOCK key, death to corporate overlords

So, if this blogger is not delusional either Baja is ripping off KOGI's street taco concept fair and square, or Mark, Caroline and the KOGI gang have just sold out, either literally or figuratively.

I saw it coming, and I don't blame them for it. It seemed impossible, even with two trucks and the insane volume they were doing at many locations, that KOGI could EVER make enough money to make two-dollar-twitter-taco-trucking a profitable endeavor. And KOGI was probably at about 13:20 on its 15 minute fame clock. So, with 100 seconds of fame remaining, have they pulled the trigger and busted open the korean equivalent of a pinata full of cash? I say, probably. What do you say?

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  1. I think (at least with the margs) that Baja Fresh is tring to compete with Chipotle. Although, that doesn't explain the Korean BBQ tacos. But I do like Baja Fresh. And lately I've been going to Chipotle instead. So...maybe, kudos to them for attempting to step it up? I know nothing about KOGI...But, isn't the point of a business to make $$$? Maybe Baja offered KOGI an offer they couldn't refuse. Sounds worth checking out, to me.

    1. Kogi didn't invent the concept -- Jose Bernstein's in Westwood has been doing burritos with kalbi and kimchee for years. And I really wouldn't be threatened by anything Baja Fresh does -- that place is vile even by chain standards.

      1 Reply
      1. re: a_and_w

        Jose Bernsteiin's! Always thought they were just some figment of my intoxicated college imagination. So they did/do really exist. Old school...

      2. Nope. Kogi is not affliated with Baja Fresh.

        Here's official word that they put out today in response to this:

        3 Replies
        1. re: elmomonster

          I find it funny the concept of ripping off from Kogi since Kogi are using a concept they did not come up with themselves the taco.

          Wouldn't this be the same as when the first fish taco was invented in Ensenada with the blending of two different food cultures Japanese and Mexican.

          According to this logic all Fish tacos stands except that very first stand are rip offs.

          Ten years from now maybe Korean Tacos go the way of the fish taco.

          1. re: burntwater

            Kogi weren't even the inventors of the Korean-Mexican hybrid. As A&W said, I was eating kimchi-and-bulgogi burritos at Jose Bernstein's in Westwood in 1999.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              I'd be first in line if someone made a Taiwanese stinky tofu and sausage taco ... I might even tweet about it ....

        2. Two (other) words: Oki Dog.

          1. Caroline and her social media stars over at KOGI got in touch directly to repudiate any suspicion of Kogi/Baja Fresh official tie-up. KOGI remains willfully independent. Tweet on, my taco slinging tweeps.