A First Look at Korilla BBQ, Back Today on Lex

Korilla BBQ Truck

The inaugural opening of the Korilla BBQ truck has come and gone, and like the launch of any splashy new food venue, there’s been significant hype, incredible lines, a few missteps in execution, and of course, plenty of dissenting opinions. Given the amount of hype that Korilla BBQ has received in the foodie blog-o-sphere over the past months, it was guaranteed that they would be victimized by their own successful marketing campaign. And having sampled the food, I agree with the general consensus on the ML commenters. However, all things considered, I’ll make a bold claim and state that the Korilla BBQ launch was for the most part, a roaring success.

Korilla BBQ Crew

First of all, they’ve done their homework and learned a few lessons from their predecessors. A team of 3 cooks construct the food assembly-line style, while a dedicated cashier finalizes the transaction after you’ve received your food. The somewhat overwhelming listing of ingredients is clearly labeled as you move down the line, though you’re in good hands if you opt to have the Korilla crew pick for you, omakase style. Given the ambitious menu and the crew’s inexperience, the operation was surprisingly efficient. And rest assured, the Korilla BBQ team has pored over the comments on Midtownlunch and is taking our feedback to heart. A few more weeks of practice under their belt, and a few more dollops of spicy gochujang in the Korilla sauce will likely address the majority of comments.

Korilla BBQ Pulled Pork Taco

Despite the missteps, we shouldn’t forget that this is truly exciting food. There’s bold flavors and textures derived from the eclectic combination of Korean style proteins and vegetables, both fresh and pickled. The assertive crunch of a spear of cucumber kimchi worked well with a fistful of pulled pork which was soggier than I would have preferred. A vibrant cabbage kimchi slaw hangs well with tender, sweet bulgogi – my favorite protein of the trio of tacos sampled. Tender marinated chicken thighs was my dining companion’s favorite taco ingredient, though the meaty nuggets easily punched through the somewhat flimsy tortilla (a fixable flaw). The mellow Korilla sauce adds richness to the tacos, but could be spicier – the Korilla BBQ crew has promised to bare their teeth and amplify the level of heat in the future. The overall quality of the namul (seasoned veggies) was outstanding, given that it was being served from a street truck.

Korilla BBQ Truck Tacos

Unlike some of the gourmet food trucks which can be pricey luxuries, Korilla BBQ’s food is priced at a bargain – easily their biggest selling point. I was more than stuffed after taking down three tacos for $7, and my dining companion’s chosun bowl was a mountain of food at $8. I also witnessed an audaciously large $7 burrito being assembled, easily dwarfing Chipotle’s offerings.

In summary I’m pleased to report that Korilla BBQ did not disappoint. They’ve shown enough savvy with their food and operations to give me comfort that they’ll act on our feedback. There’s a good amount of room for improvement, but all the flaws are easily amendable. The food is tasty, the prices are fair, and they have nowhere to go but up. They may not be the next Kogi truck, yet, but I’m looking forward to good things and future lunches from the Korilla BBQ truck.

Korilla BBQ will be located again at 55th & Lexington today, but be sure to check their latest location on twitter, the ML Twitter Tracker, or their website.


  • that’s an awful lot of adjectives and adverbs in one write-up…

    look forward to trying it out once the initial craze chills out, and they work out those kinks that were mentioned

  • Hooray hard-shell tacos!!!!

    Looks tasty. And only $7.
    Too bad it’s a bit far away from me. Maybe worth the walk…maybe.

  • tried it today, and like was over 50 deep… frustrating went and got indian instead

  • Went today. Got in line at 12:45. Got the food by 1:20. Was well worth the wait. Got the ribeye Chosun Bowl. Super impressed by the qualities of the kimchis. I had 3: Cucumber, red, and summer and the quality of the vegetables. Will go back, definitely!

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    Went today, it was very busy, and they had run out of tofu, chicken, kimchi and rice (both) by the time I had paid. Good food though, I plan to go back.

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    went today, had bulgogi tacos with cucumber/summer/slaw kimchis. They were good, but I think I prefer Cafe Duke’s as the bulgogi was lacking in flavor. Plus the tortillas need to be grilled because these ones fell apart.

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    15minute wait. not too bad. chosun bowl. awesome. loads of kimchi. and dig the bacon kimchi fried rice.

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    Had bulgogi burrito with kimchi slaw yesterday, bulgogi burrito with cucumber kimchi today. Both were solid, got today’s seemed a little smaller. I also recommend getting extra sauce (both the hot and the Korilla sauce).

    Korilla, if you’re reading this, please make sure your burrito doesn’t keep shrinking.

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    Come to think about it, you should consider upping your portion size altogether. A $7 burrito should be more substantial in size.. Really.

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