If given the choice between “authenticity” (whatever the hell that means) and “fusion” I will choose the former every time. Ethnic food that’s been watered down, or muddled, by the inclusion of some other cuisine is not my idea of a good time, and yet every once in awhile something “fusion-y” comes along that is too perfect to be mad at (and for some reason it seems to often involve Korean food.) Korean fried chicken is possibly the greatest invention of all time, Kogi started a food truck revolution, and now there is this: the newly opened Kalbi Burger, in Koreatown (which I first read about on LA Taco.)
Korean burgers are not exactly a new idea. Kogi serves Korean sliders on their truck, there’s a Bulgogi Whopper available overseas, and hell- even this fat white guy thought to throw some bulgogi marinade into his burgers for a Superbowl Party in 2001 (a no-brainer combo that was probably tried long before, and has been tried many times since.) But there’s something about Kalbi Burger that got me all excited. Maybe it was the Umami Burger looking orange and black sign. Or the fact that it’s not from a truck (there is something to be said about the permanence of a brick and mortar restaurant.) But either way, I was intrigued enough to head over there yesterday and eat my through most of the menu.