Seattle's Essential Dishes: Kalbi Tacos at Marination Mobile

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Kalbi Tacos at Marination Mobile:

Is it weird that one of the most famous, most nationally-known restaurants in Seattle isn't a restaurant at all, but a marinated meat stand on wheels?

Nah... Not when it's Marination Mobile you're talking about. This truck has gotten more national ink than probably any actual brick-and-mortar restaurant in the city. I knew the name Marination Mobile before I ever even thought about coming to Seattle. And people--neighbors, locals, tourists, whoever--go looking for it now like Frodo searching for the One Ring.

Though food trucks might be huge right now (and maybe even past their crest in terms of zeitgeist popularity), Marination is one of the few of them actually prowling the streets of Seattle. And there are many, many grubniks out there who daily thank the food gods for that.

Virtually everything on the short, sweet, Korean;Hawaiian-Mexican menu at Marination has fans who would weep buckets if it ever went away, but the kalbi tacos? Those are special. They are the perfect expression of everything that's good about fusion and street-eating--short ribs, marinated in Kamala Saxton's kinda-secret, fully-awesome version of the classic Korean preparation, folded up inside warm corn tortillas, then topped with nothing but slaw in an idealized Mexico-gone-Far-East mash-up of flavors. They are simple and complex both at the same time, show a complete disregard for any stodgy notions of how food is supposed to taste, and (best part) come to you on wheels--provided, of course, you're in the neighborhood that Marination Mobile is cruising on any given day.

 
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