The New York Times Magazine stopped by this week and asked Gia On The Move to talk about – of all things – a Los Angeles food Truck. We are only happy to oblige given that Angeleno’s can’t get enough of super tasty and sometimes even gourmet mobile meals on a budget.
SAM SIFTON (NYT) has this to say about Roi Choi’s Mexico Korean BBQ fusion craze:
Roy Choi is the dharma bum of the Los Angeles food scene, a Zen lunatic bard of the city’s immigrant streets. He is a founder of Kogi BBQ, which used food trucks to introduce the city to Mexican mash-up cuisine, and the creative force behind a handful of Los Angeles restaurants that celebrate various iterations of big-flavor cooking at the intersection of skater, stoner, lowrider and Korean college-kid desire.
Choi cooks poems, and they taste of Los Angeles.
On Riding Shotgun, a blog he maintains, Choi occasionally publishes recipes and rants. These combine the epic optimism of Kerouac with the misery and mysticism of hip-hop. “I talk to animals and kids. I feed adults,” he wrote in April, in a brief essay about whether he, the pre-eminent slinger of short-rib tacos in Los Angeles, ought to be eating meat, whether he ought to be cooking at all and, if so, for whom. “Time to switch. Talk to adults. Feed animals and kids.”
The post set off something of a stir in Los Angeles and its sister cities across the country. “Roy Choi Goes Vegetarian,” reported The New Yorker in a headline. “Is this the end of Roy Choi as we know him?” asked The Huffington Post. “Most assuredly, yes.”
Not really. “It was just a diary entry,” he said over beer-can chicken and glazed ribs at A-Frame, his converted IHOP in Culver City, shrugging as if to recall the Jay-Z lyric: “Just my thoughts.” He had been thinking about the Los Angeles riots, 20 years ago this spring, and about what had changed and not changed between blacks and Koreans in the years since, about Jamie Oliver’s attempts to bring his “Food Revolution” into the Los Angeles public schools, about the conflict of cooking for studio executives instead of for the people. The post came out of all that, he said.
“Animals be talking to me,” he wrote. “I got Jah turning my purpose into one long dreadlock. One long beanstalk.”
But then he went back to work, making his art. He has many outlets for it. In addition to the Kogi trucks and A-Frame, Choi offers elaborate rice-bowl cooking at Chego, in Culver City, and odes to the flavors and lifestyle of Jamaica at Sunny Spot, in Venice. He offers cheeseburgers to honor the Korean stands that sell them in South-Central and roast lamb with flavors to recall both Kingston and Seoul.
This week’s recipe would not be out of place at any of his restaurants. It is for carne asada — marinated, grilled beef, a classic of Mexican and Southwestern cuisine.
Choi’s carne asada might raise eyebrows in Puebla and Laredo alike. There is mirin in the marinade and a lot of garlic. But there is purity to its expression of Los Angeles, where culinary diversity often moves quickly from flirtation to vigorous coupling. Grilled, then folded into a warm tortilla with a flash of grilled scallions or pico de gallo, this carne asada manages even in Brooklyn to evoke dinner on a sagging porch in Venice Beach with friends or on a picnic table in Griffith Park, a patio in Cheviot Hills, a hilltop garden in Silver Lake, anywhere music plays below eucalyptus trees as the sun falls soft to the sea.
The process of making it would hardly tax a first-time barbecue cook. You char up some jalapeños, throw them in a blender with the rest of the ingredients, then slap the result on the skirt steak. You could start the recipe in the morning and cook that night, or you could start it right now and be eating in a little more than an hour. The admonition to let the meat sit in the marinade overnight is the stuff of fussiness. If you are hungry, get cooking. You can always paint on some extra marinade after you’ve grilled the meat.
Once you’ve cooked the steak and put it aside to rest, grill a bunch of corn tortillas soft and smoky, then pile them into a dish towel to keep warm on the table. For a vegetal contrast to the meat, slash a pile of scallions with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, then grill them tender next to the tortillas. Squirt these with lime and serve as a side dish, along with pico de gallo — here made slightly Asian with the addition of a tablespoon of fermented bean-paste sauce.
“Rub a dub dub over anything you want,” Choi wrote on Riding Shotgun. “Even each other.”
You can read more by clicking the link here: Link to article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/magazine/roy-chois-food-truck-barbecue-blends-mexico-and-korea.html?ref=magazine