The latest West Coast culinary sensation to reach Western New York is Korean tacos, the Mexican-Korean hybrid of Asian marinated meats served up on tortillas.
Started by Kogi BBQ, a fleet of Los Angeles food trucks, the sweet and bold flavors of Korean beef, chicken or pork, topped with Asian-spiced slaws or kimchi, have grown into their own culinary genre.
Last month, K Café (546 Niagara Falls Blvd., Tonawanda, 836-8888) started serving Korean tacos (meat, lettuce, rice, kimchi, slaw and spicy kochujang sauce; three for $6.50) and burritos in a building that last held a spaghetti parlor.
If that’s not enough to get the hearts of food thrill seekers pounding, owner Kate Li, a former owner of Ying’s Wings & Things, also sells the sort of burgers you’d eat on a dare. They start with hefty patties of a beef-bacon blend, then add toppings like mashed avocado with chipotle, fried eggs, caramelized onions, cheese, more Korean barbecue, and kimchi. All on the same burger, as in the Kogi 50/50 “gangnam-style” number ($8.99).
There’s also “gangnam-style” fries ($5.99) and a chicken kimchi quesadilla, while vegetarians might dig the Zin burger ($7.99), built on a tofu-vegetable patty.
Trattoria Aroma’s Dave Cosentino is holding a Nov. 20 fundraiser for Dispenza’s Meat Market and Slaughterhouse in Ransomville.
The business is one of the few USDA-approved facilities in the area turning local animals into local food. That’s why they’re worth supporting in the face of some unanticipated expenses, Cosentino said. Trattoria Aroma chefs will be presenting dishes from produce donated by local farms, he said.
The event is from 6 to 9 p.m. in Artisan Kitchens, 200 Amherst St., and costs $50 at the door. For information, contact Cosentino at firstname.lastname@example.org or 572-4001.
After a whole slew of pork-intensive special menus in area restaurants, vegans are getting their own pop-up dinner on Nov. 12. Chef-owner Jim Guarino of Shango Bistro (3260 Main St., 837-2326) has taken on a challenge posed by Yelp.com reviewer Rebecca Hoffman and offered a vegan prix fixe. It’s only open to Yelp members, so if you’re not, you’ll have to create an account to participate.
Courses include cornbread panzanella with shaved Brussels sprouts and roasted vegetables with caramelized apple vinaigrette and toasted pepitas; “risotto” of squash, potato and faro, with mushroom ragout, port wine reduction, crispy leeks; and chocolate mousse with cinnamon sugar pumpkin-spiced doughnuts. $25 before tax and tip.
Martin Danilowicz of Martin Cooks has opened a gourmet food and gift shop next to his restaurant space in the Horsefeathers building, 364 Connecticut St. He’ll be offering items such as charcuterie and fine cheese, canned Spanish seafood and fish from New York City’s famed Russ & Daughters appetizing shop, a news release said.
Closed: Firefly Cupcakes has closed its store at 1008 Elmwood Ave., citing “ongoing and unresolved maintenance issues” in its building, in a Facebook post. The original East Aurora store remains open.
Opening soon: Salumeria Belsito (1368 Hertel Ave., 240-9073), a Sicilian-inspired sandwich shop and wine bar. Owner Michael Petrillo plans a menu of paninis, sandwiches, soups and salads built on imported Italian salumi and cheeses, plus beer and wine. “We hope to be open by Friday,” he said.
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