Sam Sifton Waxes Poetic on Roy Choi

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"This is an introduction to poetry..." Photo: Arnold/Inuyaki via Flickr

Sam Sifton pontificates on Roy Choi's cooking today in The New York Times, calling the chef "a Zen lunatic bard of the city’s immigrant streets." Though one could conceivably argue that L.A. stalwarts like John Sedlar and Sky's Tacos were introducing the city "to Mexican mash-up cuisine" (and in the case of the former, massaging steaks with chile rub) long before Kogi, the critic is pretty on-point as he asserts that Choi "cooks poems, and they taste of Los Angeles." The A-Frame, Sunny Spot, and Chego chef also writes actual poems, of a sort, on his Riding Shotgun blog, uniting "the epic optimism of Kerouac with the misery and mysticism of hip-hop," even if we're not sure which side Choi exemplifies in asking,"If Hello Kitty has no mouth then how does she give good brain?"

Sifton spins some pretty words of his own when it comes to taking a taste, declaring that Choi's asada taco "manages even in Brooklyn to evoke dinner on a sagging porch in Venice Beach with friends or on a picnic table in Griffith Park, a patio in Cheviot Hills, a hilltop garden in Silver Lake, anywhere music plays below eucalyptus trees as the sun falls soft to the sea."

Mmmmn...Kind of makes you want to escape this muggy, overcast weather and visit, no?

Karma Asada [NYT]