The Wall Street Journal runs a great profile on the mastermind behind LA's still-burgeoning Kogi empire, Roy Choi. From his biography to the Kogi Truck phenomenon, the whole thing is worth a read, but a few of the interesting reveals instantly pop out:
1) It's no secret that Choi spent his culinary school externship in the kitchen of NY's four-star Le Bernardin, which Choi describes as a disaster, but Eric Ripert professes no memory of Choi.
2) It's incredibly difficult to make money with food trucks, but Kogi nonetheless grossed $2 million last year, with a check average of $13.
3) And, to appease the Kogi fantatics, Choi drops some info on his new brick and mortar rice bowl spot: "I see bacon-fat-studded chestnuts and fresh herbs on braised lamb; steak with a soft-poached egg and hand-crushed sesame seeds; organic rice, braised pork-belly, fresh-water spinach in a beautiful broth with sesame leaves."
3.5) Related: the restaurant won't use the Kogi name, and it won't serve the famous tacos.
4) Remember that custom-built Scion Kogi car? In due time, it's going to be used it to cook hors d'oeuvres for people waiting in line for Kogi... Food trucks for food truck lines!
5) While David Chang gives fellow Korean-American Choi lots of props, one of the best tidbits comes from another New York, the always-curmudgeonly super-restaurateur Sir Drew Nieporent "who considers the Kogi truck's success largely a function of L.A.'s good weather, which encourages lingering on the street."
· The King of the Streets Moves Indoors [WSJ]
· All Kogi Coverage On Eater LA [-ELA-]