A new Japanese taco truck called Yaki Taco showed up this week at our regular Friday lunch spot, Broadway between 55th & 56th St. To give you a little food truck history, the first hybrid taco truck in America was generally acknowledged to be Roy Choi’s Kogi Taco Truck in L.A, who paired Mexican and Korean cuisine.
These days, there are several Asian taco trucks in NYC including Big D’s Grub Truck, Kimchi Taco Truck, Domo Taco and The V Spot, all started by chefs of Asian descent. However, everyone in the Yaki Taco truck appears to be of Middle Eastern descent. This wasn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, but let’s just say we approached the truck with some trepidation. Hopefully, they weren’t just trying to jump on the bandwagon of the “Asian taco” trend.
The menu has 4 types of tacos, and you can get any 3 for $10. There are also rice bowls available with the same ingredients, and a few side dishes like nachos.
Speaking of ingredients, every taco and rice bowl has the same ingredients except for the protein. That would be miso slaw, pico de gallo, scallions, queso de blanco, yum yum sauce and cilantro yogurt crema. While the ingredients sound good, there was no attempt to tailor fillings to the main course, with curry beef, ginger lime chicken and fried fish all getting the same toppings.
That said, the flavors of the main ingredients came through fine, especially the curry beef. The miso slaw, pico de gallo and the sauces were okay, with a medium amount of heat that built up through the course of eating lunch. But we didn’t taste any queso de blanco or see any cilantro or scallions.
Of the main courses, our favorite was the curry beef. It was tender and appeared to have been cooked slowly over a long period of time. Usually our favorite is fried fish, but the fish was undercooked, and the panko breading was not crispy. The chicken was slightly overcooked, and we couldn’t discern any ginger in the ginger lime chicken.
As for the taco basics, there was good news and bad news. They only used one tortilla, which got messy towards the end of the meal, with some breakage. However, the breakage was caused by the tortillas being pretty full, so there was plenty of food. We would have liked some fresh lime to squeeze onto the tacos, though.
Yaki Taco does not yet have a social media presence. We asked about Twitter, and they said one was coming soon. Until then, you can find Yaki Taco on 46th St east of 6th Ave Tuesdays, Broadway between 55th & 56th St on Fridays, and probably some of the other food truck hotspots in midtown and downtown on the other days.