It’s Mexican food with a Korean twist.
David Ham and his family travel often for inspiration and came upon a food truck in Los Angeles that inspired them to open TAKO. Opened in 2016, the brightly-coloured restaurant is tucked in a corner across from Rogers Arena, one of the busiest concert and events space in Vancouver. The convenient location and the grab-and-go taco servings makes TAKO an attractive option for event-goers for a quick and tasty meal.
The bright yellow interiors are designed by Leckie Studio Architecture, whom are also the artisans behind Cha Le and La Taqueria’s interiors. A duo-colour palette of yellow and gray focuses the eyes on the geometric lines that blend seamlessly from the walls to the floor and ceiling, which makes the elongated shop appear more spacious.
The TAKO team also has an illustrator who creates the brand’s sim-city-like cartoon posters hanging on the wall and cute signage attracting passerby.
Once passerby are drawn into the space, they will be entranced by the blend of Korean and Mexican food aromas and then surprised by the extremely reasonable pricing of the tacos. Being located across from Costco serving up dollar fifty hotdogs, TAKO knew the were up against a strong price competitor, so they sought to make their food healthier with fresh ingredients in a grab-and-go style that rivals the convenience of the surrounding food options.
There are also other larger portion items on the menu for those who are hungry, like the Bulgogi Bibimbap served with a medley of vegetables and a soft boiled egg.
If a large group of friends is looking to grab a quick meal before a concert, the Kimchi Quesadilla and a platter of the Seoul chicken are great sharing options. The Kimchi Quesadilla is stuffed with pan-fried kimchi and Bulgogi with sour cream, a Korean take on the popular Mexican dish adding a healthy and spicy kick with the kimchi. The Seoul Chicken is your chance to experience the popular fried chicken dish in Seoul, and can be served with half soy and half spicy fried chicken to ensure everyone can enjoy.
For those who want a quick grab-and-go option, the tacos are served in a mess-free container and are named after cities’ that inspired the flavours.
The Tako taco, the original flavour at the shop, is served with grilled beef belly and cheese sauce for a hearty flavour. The Jeju taco showcases the spicy flavours the city is known for, and is filled with mouth-watering spicy pork belly. The Gangnam taco highlights the popular barbecue short ribs in the posh, sophisticated city, and we guess that the Seoul taco is a favourite for those who fell in love with the fried chicken there when they visited Korea. For those who have traveled to Busan, you can experience the local flavours again with the deep fried prawn with spicy mayo and chilli sauce.
Whether you are a meat lover, a fan of spicy flavours, deep-fried food fan or a vegetarian, there is a taco here that will satisfy your taste buds.
601 Expo Boulevard, Vancouver
Photos by Florence Leung