Our weekly bite explores the city's food trucks, one at a time, highlighting our favorite mobile dishes and snacks.
The Truck: KoJa Kitchen
The Cuisine: Korean and Japanese
Specialty Item: KoJa Rice Cake Sandwiches
Worth the Wait in Line? Yes; the line and service move quickly.
It would be easy to pass on the KoJa Kitchen truck and convince yourself that it's okay. The first deterrent will most likely be the curl of 20 to 30 people waiting in a line that seems long, even with the encouraging pool of happy faces surrounding the pick-up window. Don't worry, it moves fast. The second will be the “Korean with a twist” aspect to the sandwiches, and you might be fooled into thinking you've tried something like this before. You haven't.
KoJa Kitchen combines Korean (the “Ko” in the name) with Japanese (the “Ja”), and those influences are most evident in the rice patties. They take the Japanese onigiri idea, putting it in Korean hot stone bowl dishes, like bibimbap, to toasty new heights.
The signature Korean BBQ Short Rib KoJa ($6.50) serves up a pair of griddled rice patties stuffed with tender, grilled, and boneless marinated beef, lettuce, and a drizzle of sweet katsu sauce. The filling has plenty of grilled flavor, but also a gravy-like quality that gives it some richness. Each bite is somewhere between a sandwich and a rice plate, making for cross-cultural harmony.