Our friends’ new condo near the corner of 5th and Peachtree comes with an intriguing amenity: popular eatery Takorea is smack dab in the middle of their backyard. After checking out their swanky new digs, we headed downstairs, crossed an asphalt parking lot, wound our way through a series of aging wooden gates, and ended up on Juniper Street, walking in Takorea’s front door. (Click this link to see their annoying website laden with Flash animations, or visit www.mytakorea.com on your iPhone or iPad to see a less frantic presentation.)
Takorea positions itself as a Korean taqueria where “East meets Mex,” serving up the fusion of Korean and Mexican street food popularized by Chef Thomas Lee on the Food Network. They’re in the old Avra Greek Tavern location on Juniper — but the hot decor and lively vibe inside is unlike anything you ever encountered at Avra.
Since Clyde and I are trying limit animal protein these days, we didn’t get to sample the trademark bibim-bop (a Korean treat featuring rice, meat, fried egg, mushrooms, spinach, beans, and zucchini) or the delectable BBQ pork sliders with cucumber kimchi. Instead, Clyde ordered the nine vegetable curry falafel: four discs of falafel drizzled with spicy curried veggies. I’m not a huge fan of curry, but thought the dish was savory — though the sauce overwhelmed all other flavors in the dish.
I had two of the crispy tofu tacos, and was pleased with their taste and texture, though one of our friends who ordered the same thought the crispy tofu was a little soft for her tastes. I also ordered the tempura sweet potatoes with sweet chili aioli, and was a bit surprised to be served regular old Irish potatoes with sweet chili aioli. They were crispy outside, firm inside, and tasty — but if the kitchen’s out of sweet potatoes, they really should tell folks about the substitution.
Long story short: yep, I’d go back — but I think I’d rather eat here when I’m being more of a carnivore. I’ve put the sliders, the calamari, the pork burritos, gogi nachos, and bibim-bop on my list for future visits — and if I’m there again on a meatless day, I’d happily order the tofu tacos and a house salad again.