I know, I know. It's ridiculous that I hadn't written about Seoul Taco until now. Even worse is the fact that I hadn't actually eaten Seoul Taco since moving back to St. Louis. I thought about not even admitting to that, but I couldn't lie to you. You mean too much to me.
I headed over to Seoul Taco's new spot on a cold, rainy day, looking for the fire of gochujang to warm me up. Their new location in the Loop, next to The Good Pie and soon-to-open Publico, is badass. You step inside and the restaurant is split in half: the left side, dark and upscale, is for the upcoming Korean BBQ restaurant Seoul Q, while the right side is for Seoul Taco. The design is funky. Eclectic. Designed in a way that not many places in St. Louis are. There are Japanese cherry blossoms mixed with graffiti, luchador-masked judo masters, vibrantly painted stereos and a food truck cut out. I'm totally into it.
For those of you familiar with a normal Korean BBQ experience, you know that you often times leave smelling like grilled meat. Personally, I enjoy that. The ladies do not. Seoul Q's got the top of the line Korean BBQ vents, which do a damn fine job of letting you leave smelling the same way you did when you entered.
I'm probably not telling you anything you don't already know, but Seoul Taco's menu is limited to four main dishes: tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and Gogi bowls, which are somewhere between a rice bowl and a salad.
I decided to get a little of everything. My main dish was the [symple_highlight color="blue"]spicy pork Gogi bowl[/symple_highlight], which I devoured. The pork was gooooood. Nice heat, lots of crispy bits, not fatty. The dish is tossed with a good amount of sesame oil--aka the king of flavored oils. Sesame oil is adds this toasty flavor that is irresistible to most humans. Toss all that with some fresh greens (not iceberg lettuce!), rice, spicy gochujang and you're golden. Oh, and there's a fried egg on top. Bonus points. I used to get an extra egg on my bibimbap sometimes because the mix of creamy egg + toasty sesame oil + spicy gochujang cannot be beat.
My sister went with the [symple_highlight color="blue"]bulgogi quesadilla[/symple_highlight], which I forced her to share with me. The bulgogi - beef marinated in all sorts of delicious stuff - gets an A+ in my book. The Choi family recipe should be kept in a locked vault somewhere. You know that if the beef is great, the quesadilla is going to be great. Anything sandwiched between two tortillas and some cheese is going to be good. The 'dilla is topped with a mix of their "Seoul Sauces" - a housemade taco sauce and and a wasabi sauce.
I want to eat this again right now.
I wanted to try the chicken, so we got one taco with it. I think my comments from a previous Kim Cheese write up hold true here: the restaurant offers a really plain chicken option to deal with people who don't want the delicious spicy pork or bulgogi. It's for that friend that hates anything different from their normal day to day eats. There's really no comparison between this and the other two meats. Just to be clear: the chicken is not bad, it just lacks the top-notch flavor that the pork & beef have.
I agree with the masses: Seoul Taco is not to be missed. I dream of a future St. Louis with Seoul Taco's dotting the streets in place of [insert crappy national chain here]. I can't wait to get back here again to devour a football sized burrito. Definitely give it a try if you've never been before.
6665 Delmar Avenue
University City, MO 63130