Some know Roy Choi as the founder of the food truck movement. He transformed the former dirty "roach coach” that sold greasy hot dogs and hamburgers into something more glamorous and sought after: a rolling restaurant. These new restaurants would have unique concepts and unusual yet delicious recipes never tried before. Choi came up with this idea by first creating his own truck, called Kogi, which specializes in tacos and burritos filled with Korean barbecue, topped with kimchi and chili-soy vinaigrette.
According to Choi, this unique cuisine idea came to him easily and suddenly. As an Asian-American who was born in Korea but raised in Los Angeles, he had a lot of experience integrating his family's culture with the fast-food-filled and fast-paced lifestyle around him. Therefore, this idea was really just a "mashup of everything we had gone through in our lives," he tells NPR in a 2013 interview.
However, Choi didn't just improve the food truck industry's image with Kogi. When it opened in 2008, it was also one of the first restaurants to use social media to market food and often encouraged customers to use Twitter to track its truck all over the city.
Today, Choi has several successful restaurants in addition to his original. However, Kogi still serves as an LA icon of sorts, symbolizing that in the City of Angels, rules are made to be broken. According to their website: "If LA had a song, you'd hear it in your first bite, If LA had an anthem, you'd find it in your first meal." Sounds like a place worth checking out to us.
By: Phoebe McGee