Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cheap Eats: Hankook Taqueria misses the mark

Posted By on Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 3:00 PM

click to enlarge HANKOOK TAQUERIA: Pork and beef Korean tacos
  • HANKOOK TAQUERIA: Pork and beef Korean tacos

Last year, the blogosphere and Twitter exploded with unbridled enthusiasm over the Kogi taco truck in Los Angeles. But Kogi is no ordinary taco truck. It specializes in Korean tacos. Much like the cupcake and haute burger trends, Atlanta soon followed L.A.'s lead with the opening of Hankook Taqueria (1341 Collier Road, 404-352-8881).

Given Atlanta's vast amount of Korean and Mexican restaurants, the taqueria's location (on the ethnically-starved Westside) and know-how via owner Tomas Lee, a Buckhead Life alumnus, Hankook seems like the perfect storm. Having all of the right ingredients in place, however, isn't always a recipe for success.

The atmosphere of Hankook hangs thick with the smell of stale fryer oil. A cluster of tables surrounded by booths with sticky seats are covered with worn plastic tablecloths – a possible holdover from the former establishment.

Most of the food is stored in steam trays where Lee assembles your order. The menu is small – perhaps because Lee is new to Korean cooking. Tacos dominate the choices, but there are also quesadillas, burritos and a "street snack" section with straightforward Korean options.

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(Photo by Jennifer Zyman)

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