Edible Finds: The Kogi Knockoff

May 12, 2009

It wouldn't be a stretch to assume that that was a deliberate decision,
given the number of people I saw making the same sprint to the
miraculously line-less KBBQ truck. And considering that Calbi's
customers didn't even realize there was a difference (when I asked if they
preferred the original Kogi, most replied with, "This isn't the
original?"), I'd say it's been pretty effective. Unoriginal and declassé, but effective.

But what about the taste? Well, as far as imitators go, Calbi isn't
terrible, although it lacks in freshness of ingredients where Kogi
strongly delivers. Though the meat is similarly savory, the vegetables in Calbi's tacos aren't as crisp, and
the Styrofoam-and-clear-wrap packaging really takes away from the
presentation of a freshly made taco. Kogi's tacos win the taste test by a notch or two. But, being a far less elusive find (Calbi makes its Westwood stop in the neighborhood's hub, as opposed to a dark, hilly residential area) with much shorter lines, I'd find it unsurprising if Calbi started eating away at Kogi's business in the KBBQ taco truck industry.