A friend of mine had told me about the KOi Fusion food cart over a year and some ago when I was visiting Portland. I had wanted to try it but didn’t get the opportunity as at that time, the cart was usually out later in the evenings and never really at a set location. It was hard for us to chase the cart since we were in town for such a short time. Fast forward a year and some later and now KOi Fusion has expanded and has many locations as well as extended their hours. KOi Fusion now has 3 permanent locations – the KOi-osk downtown in the World Food Court (at SW 2nd, between Taylor & Yamhill), the kiosk at Bridgeport Village shopping center right by the Regal Cinemas, and a food cart at the Mississippi Marketplace cart pod (N Skidmore & Mississippi). As well, they have 2 other food carts which roam around for events, office visits, and one-offs. We decided to try the Bridgeport Village location in Tigard since it was close to the hotel where we were staying and also close to where we were shopping.
KOi Fusion started off in early 2009 as a single mobile taco truck serving up Korean fusion tacos. They have now expanded the menu to include other Korean-American fusion foods, such as spicy Korean fries, sliders, hot dogs, burritos, rice bowls, and quesadillas, which are all inspired by chef and owner Bo Kwon’s mother’s old recipes.
Both my friend C and I decided to try the Tacos ($2). Our tacos came with a choice of meat or tofu. My friend C chose the Bulgogi Beef, which consisted of thinly sliced flame-grilled Korean steak that had been marinated with Mama Kwon’s secret recipe containing garlic, onions and soy sauce. I chose the Kalbi Short Ribs, which consisted of fall-off-the-bone tender short rib meat that had been marinated in Mama Kwon’s secret sauce, grilled to perfection, and then deboned. The flavourful grilled meats were served on soft corn tortillas and topped with cabbage slaw, pico de gallo, cucumber spears, crispy bean sprouts, and cilantro. I asked for my taco to be spicy so mine was topped with additional hot sauce. We both had a taste of each taco and we both agreed that we liked the Kalbi Short Rib Taco more out of the two . The marinated kalbi short rib pieces were very tender and flavourful and were perfectly contrasted with the crunchy, fresh toppings. Every bite was like a flavour explosion in our mouths. We both loved the Kalbi Short Rib Taco so much that we ended going back the following day to have it again. It was the perfect combination of flavours and textures in every bite. And this was the perfect snack to hold us over until our dinners which were later in the evening.