Must-Order: Short rib tacos; short rib sliders; kimchi quesadilla; Kogi burrito; chocolate tres leches cake
The Verdict: You know those eateries everyone talks about that you simply "must" try? Those places that everyone raves about, literally salivating over? And then you check out these restaurants and it all falls flat to you: the food's fine; not great. We've all had those moments.
But with the Alibi Room / Kogi BBQ you can believe the hullabaloo. Everything is divine. The tacos, burritos, quesadillas and sliders -- everything is juicy and top-notch. All the meat -- whether it's short rib, pork or chicken -- is cooked tenderly to perfection. You get a nice mix of tangy and seasoned Korean food with limey Mexican flavors.
My personal favorite items are short rib tacos ($2) or sliders ($5 for two) and the kimchi quesadilla ($5). The tacos are served with an elegant Asian slaw; they're deliciously juicy and adequately meaty. The sliders, just as juicy, offer instead a soft breaded cushion for the meat. Meanwhile, the kimchi quesadilla boasts a spicy kick and just that slight crunch that juxtaposes in texture with gooey cheese. For dessert, go all-out and order the chocolate tres leches cake ($4) -- share with a friend so you don't feel guilty. It's chocolatey, milky, and even slightly peanut buttery. Soft cake is nestled in a small pool of sweet milk and delicate bits of toffee are sprinkled across the top.
As for the drinks? Pick something off the cocktail menu. I wasn't satisfied with all the drinks I tried, but my favorite was the yuzu flower. It's offers beautiful flavor that's slightly fruity and a lot flowery.
The next time you go back (and you will!) order something new. Chef Roy Choi changes up the specials fairly often so there's always something new to try. I have yet to order a dish here that is anything short of a culinary masterpiece.