While Boston doesn’t have a distinct Koreatown like cities such as Los Angeles and New York City, Korean food is easy enough to come by, particularly in Allston. The neighborhood boasts a number of Korean restaurants, including Seoul Soulongtang, Kaju Tofu House, Myung Dong 1st Ave, Buk Kyung II (with sister restaurant Buk Kyung over in Somerville’s Union Square), Bibim (big sibling to Meju in Davis Square), and more.
In mid-2016, diners interested in Allston’s Korean food scene got a new avenue to explore: Korean-Mexican fusion, from kimchi quesadillas to bulgogi tacos. OliToki opened in May at 76 Brighton Avenue, followed by Coreanos just a month later, located up the street at 172 Brighton Avenue, both toying around with the intersection between Korean and Mexican cuisines.
"Boston's a major city, and I just expected this type of food to hit here earlier," OliToki co-owner John Kim told Eater a few weeks before opening the restaurant last year. Through travels to Los Angeles and New York, seeing some food concepts that hadn’t really made their way to Boston, he had decided to open his own restaurant with a focus on Korean fusion. “In the beginning it was just talk and dreaming,” he said, “but I kept getting more passionate about it." He operates OliToki along with his wife Olivia and brother-in-law Elias.
Primarily a takeout and delivery spot, the 10-seat restaurant plays around with a variety of Korean-meets-Mexican dishes, such as the “stuffed burrito-rean,” a warm flour tortilla packed full of kimchi bacon fried rice, onion, corn, cilantro, “purp” cabbage, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, and sauces. There’s also the quesa-kimchi-dilla (cheese, kimchi, dipping sauce) and the loaded taco-tacos, which can be filled with a variety of meats, including Korean bulgogi beef.
Here’s a look at the making of the bulgogi beef taco.
"We definitely want to bring some swagger and up the game for fast-casual food," Kim told Eater prior to opening the restaurant, and he and the team have been doing just that for nearly a year, serving up everything from the aforementioned Korean-Mexican fusion to “five dolla munchies” such as bulgogi beef and cheese eggrolls; spam musubi; and bacon kimchi fried rice balls. Try it all as soon as possible; Kim has plans to change up the menu soon. Stay tuned for more details.