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Takos Koreanos

Korean and Mexican spices are best side by side at Tacoma’s latest fusion spot

The tres taco combo from Takos Koreanos. Photo credit: Dutch Randall

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ANNOUNCER: It seems there is a Korean fusion theme that continues this week as Dutch goes solo to give Mex-Asian a shot at Takos Koreanos in South Tacoma. The owners have taken an idea they played with in Chicago and turned it into a full fledge concept restaurant here in the Northwest.

I must admit, I wasn't quite sure at my first glance of the menu exactly how the flavor mix-ups were going to work. Kimchi fried rice in a burrito? Kimchi in nachos? Mexican and Korean corn all in the same bowl together? However, after a bit more time with the menu, I was less certain how I was going to taste everything I wanted in just one sitting.

I started with the Tres Taco combo served with your choice of three tacos, potato salad, and kimchi fried rice. There are nine taco options and I was able to limit myself to just three: the Kalbi, which consists of marinated beef short ribs; the grilled Korean spicy pork; and the honey chipotle tilapia with fried panko crusted tilapia and sweet honey sauce. Each taco boasted a different flavor palate, strong with Korean spice and fresh crunch, and includes a house made vinaigrette slaw and sesame seeds. Additionally, there are three sauces at each table that include Korean chili paste, habanero sauce, and a chipotle mayonnaise, all of which are made in-house, and all of which I tried on my tacos. I could not get enough of the chipotle mayo!

Another option worth the visit is the burrito. Much like most Mexican places, diners build their own burrito by choosing a protein, rice, cheese and salsa. The seven protein choices vary between tofu, pork, chicken and beef, and I didn't hesitate to order the Bulgogi-marinated Korean short rib, which has a strong flavor of sweet and sour with more hearty tones than the traditional Chinese version. I then added the Bulgogi fried rice, pepper jack cheese, and the chipotle mayo (I told you I couldn't get enough). This may be my new favorite dish in Tacoma. It is plenty big enough to satisfy anyone's appetite, has a tremendous flavor with sweet, spicy, and bold Korean tastes. Since the burrito itself was plenty of food, I did not order the combo, which like the tacos comes with fried rice and potato salad; however, the creamy potato salad would be a nice creamy add-on to this dish.

If you don't quite have the appetite for a full meal, stop in for a wine, beer or tequila and share an appetizer or a side to get a taste of the Mex-Asian fusion. The kimchi fries feature traditional fries covered in kimchi, pork belly, grilled onions, cheese, sour cream and scallions. These remind me of Irish Nachos but with a Korean flair. As a guacamole fan, I also suggest giving the chips and guac a shot with, again, the addition of kimchi for a bit of a kick.

TAKOS KOREANOS, 5-10 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday; 5-11 p.m., Friday; noon-10 p.m., Saturday; noon-7 p.m., Sunday; closed Monday, 8425 S. Hosmer St., Tacoma, 253.507.4133 

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