Seoul Taco has been one of the top food trucks in the St. Louis area for a while now, serving up a menu of specialties that are a delicious melding of Mexican and Korean cuisines. Last year, the owners expanded and opened a brick-and-mortar location in the Delmar Loop, which has proven to be every bit as popular as the mobile version.
The Seoul Taco restaurant is a small affair with limited seating, although there are additional tables outside on the sidewalk during the warmer months. The menu is similar to that of the food truck but includes a few additional items: the Burrito, Traditional Kimchi and Kimchi Fried Rice. While there only are a handful of items to choose from, there are a variety of fillings available to allow guests to switch things up, including bulgogi (marinated steak), chicken, spicy pork, and even tofu for those who prefer to go meatless.
With such a concise menu, we were able to try the majority of the offerings. First up, the Gogi Bowl (with steak, $7). This take on the Korean favorite bibimbap contains fried rice, fresh vegetables, sesame oil and a savory gochujang pepper sauce, crowned with a fried egg. This Seoul Taco creation is a much fresher version than the bibimbap we're used to, thanks to the quality of the vegetables and lack of heavy oil. Of course, we're also suckers for anything with an egg on top!
The Burrito (with spicy pork, $8) was filled with the kimchi fried rice that's available as a side, plus lettuce, carrots, cheese, sour cream and what's billed as ‘Seoul Sauce.’ The combo of the pork and the kimchi rice was indeed spicy, but not overwhelming. This dish also was massive, for those who want a hearty bite.
The Quesadilla (with chicken, $6), and the Taco (with chicken, $6) were both seasoned with the aforementioned ‘Seoul Sauce,’ which sets them apart from their traditional south-of-the-border counterparts by being a little sweeter and not so acidic as a salsa. The quesadilla features two kinds of cheese, along with lettuce and sour cream; while the taco is built on a tender corn tortilla with a mix of veggies folded in and topped with sesame seeds.
For sides, we went with the popular Kimchi Slaw ($2) and the Pot Stickers ($2). While sometimes sides get short shrift, these two obviously were created with much care and forethought. The slaw was especially tasty, sweeter and more mild than a straight-ahead kimchi with just a touch of spice. The cabbage was much crispier than the standard slaw, most likely because this version isn't drowned in mayo. We could've noshed on the pot stickers--tender dough filled with a mix of ground pork and veggies-- all day.
Seoul Taco is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., and from 11 a.m. till 8 p.m. on Sundays. Count on waiting a bit, especially now that school is back in session, but it'll be well worth it.
--Seoul Taco, 571 Melville Ave., 863-1148, seoultacostl.com