Lunch’er Mike Reports: Has Domo Taco Gotten Better?
Back in February our man Brian Hoffman tried out the Domo Taco Truck and was less then impressed, but according to Lunch’er “Mike” they may have improved. He submitted this report last week…
Stop the presses, pull out the stops, press the stoppers – the mid-30s have been blessed with a roving truck visit! Domo Taco, a newcomer, came around [last Tuesday]. After I saw how tacos and an order of nacho tots failed to overwhelm I was a bit skittish. I resolved to give them a shot and if it came down to it, to hold the crema. There was zilch of a line. I was disappointed at this – am I the only one on West 37th who realizes how rare a proper truck visit is?! Coolhaus and Taim are as close as we can get, and even then they’re usually more towards Bryant Park. I mean, yay for no wait, but boo for nobody taking advantage. Here’s hoping I was just on the late side to lunch.
The menu has been formalized as you can see, no longer scrawled upon the whiteboard (which still does remain, leaving a nice blank space for the occasional future special) and conspicuously absent: miso crema. Conspicuously present on all tacos now: salsa verde.
I ordered the combo of chicken, curry beef, and pork (top to bottom respectively). Hot sauce on the tacos – I’m no pansy, I like it spicy. The person before me asked for it on the side, though. It was only about a five-minute wait, and the two-block walk back to my office still left them warm.
The miso crema is confirmed absent, replaced by a small crumble of cotija cheese and a small stripe of regular old crema on each taco. These were damn near perfect offsets – they were not at all drowned as in the earlier review.
The lemongrass chicken is the one time when I’d stand up and say “Hey, this chicken is actually the best thing here.” It’s dark meat. That alone should tell you that these guys mean business. It’s tough to find any place that does proper dark meat where white meat normally lurks unbidden and unwelcome in the shadows. Its lemongrass marinade is pleasantly mild, enough to blend well. The pico, crema, cotija and Jack cheeses went so well with the hot sauce. It’s a chunky, roast-tomato hot sauce which had enough tartness to accompany a good solid spicy burn for a short kick. I want to buy this hot sauce for my own purposes.
The curry beef is a really, really good implementation of classic Japanese curry. If you haven’t had it before, do yourself a favor and head to Domo if you can find one, or make a trip to Go Go Curry and try it. It’s no better or worse than Indian or Thai curry – just a different implementation. Domo’s was advertised as sliced sirloin steak but looked more like regular old ground beef. It was still quite good, nice and earthy with a lot of depth. The pineapple salsa set it off very well. The problem with this taco, though – it was structurally unsound to the point of coming apart at three points on the bottom. It was getting some spillage and breakage, requiring fast eating. If not all three tacos, at least the beef taco requires two tortillas instead of one. Don’t most proper taco joints do this already?
On to the pork – okay, I want this recipe. The char siu seasoning on the pork carnitas was damn near perfect. I could definitely taste little bits of crispiness where it was roasted and carmelized. It was a good sweet/salty/tart blend which could have used something other than the same old pico, cheeses, and crema to set it off. Yeah, that’s the catch – my carnitas taco had the same toppings as the chicken taco. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t think of what to do for it – but it seems like a lost opportunity.
$8 is definitely pushing it, but I felt quite satisfied 45 minutes after eating the tacos. It may require a snack later on and I have my own drinkables back at the office, but a can of soda is a basic $1 add-on and would still leave a $1 tip.
The + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- Finally, an Asian take on tacos that isn’t a simple aping of Korilla!
- The crema is no longer a primary ingredient, drowning everything else
- Dark meat chicken! Dark meat chicken! Dark meat chicken!
The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- This could be a one-off in the food truck desert of the mid-30s
- The tortillas really need to be doubled in order to prevent leakage/breakage
- On the pricey side