Vatos Urban Tacos Grand Opening This Weekend

Earlier in the week I was part of a few discussion threads on’s Facebook group page, complaining about all the positivity in the “foreigner” magazines. The complaint by some in one discussion was that these publications don’t shoot you straight, there is no real journalism, and advertising revenue dictates the quality and slant of the content. The other discussion mentioned that Vatos Urban Tacos was opening up this weekend, and that people were looking forward to the “favorable” articles that would soon follow.

I’ve known about Vatos for a while now. Sae-hee Burke from Vegan Beats wrote an article on the upcoming restaurant in the October issue of NEH Magazine. Before quitting, I was the contributing editor at NEH, and planning for that issue began several months ago. Since then, I’ve had Vatos on my mind.

That piece wasn’t a blatantly sponsored ad in NEH Magazine for Vatos Tacos. Sae-hee proposed the article and did it because it interested her. To my knowledge, Vatos Tacos didn’t pay a thing. You can make your own judgements on the strength of the journalism.

Back to Vatos. I met up with my man Albert Escobedo at the Tony’s open mic Wednesday night. I don’t get out much these days. Albert and I had been planning for a while to kick it in Itaewon, he was practicing some new material, I don’t work until late Thursday afternoon — seemed like the perfect opportunity.

If you’re not familiar with Albert, you should be. He’s a super funny guy and a good dude. You can read his blog here, and you can follow him on Facebook or Twitter to get updates on his many projects. That wasn’t a blatantly sponsored ad for Albert, I wrote that because I wrote that. In fact, he owes me beer from last night.

Back to Vatos again. After watching a few comedians, we left Tony’s in search of food. I remembered Vatos was having a soft opening that night in preparation for the grand opening this weekend, Albert is a Mexican, I love Mexican food. Vatos it is.

I never claimed to be a proper food blog. I write about everything. That said, I know what I like, and often, people agree with me.

(We had already eaten some of the food when that photo was taken)

I didn’t get a good look at the menu. We had been drinking. Because it was a soft opening, only some of the items were available. I know that they want to be known for their tacos, so I got one of each: carne asada, carnitas, samgyeopsal and the carne asada with a gochujang aioli (as it was described by Kenny, the dude in charge). Albert got the carnitas taquitos. We each got a margarita on the rocks.

These are my kind of tacos. Simple. Homemade tortilla, meat, salsa, onions and a few other things to enhance each taco’s flavor. The carne asada and carnitas tacos could easily become my go to food in Itaewon. Albert said the carnitas taquitos were delicious.

We tried three salsas: One that came with the chips, a green verde and their version of hot. None of them are that hot, but all are tasty.

When I hear “fusion” I get nervous. Mixing flavors can result in greatness, but it can also lead to confusion. The samgyeopsal taco was spot on. I’d eat it again in a heartbeat. The carne asada with gochujang aioli was my least favorite of the four, but still tasty. They also have pork-belly kimchi fries, which we didn’t have room for.

I got out of there having spent 20,000 on four tacos and a margarita. We had chips and salsa that I don’t think they charged us for, and we were also given a small bowl of chocolate drizzled tortilla chips with powdered sugar.

Sorry to disappoint some of you out there, I don’t really have anything negative to say. Either I’m easy to please, or the food at Vatos is pretty damn good. You tell me.

Vatos Tacos is located on the same street as Wolfhound and JR’s, just farther down the hill. Behind where Dillinger’s and Outback would be. Across from the Family Mart.

~ by ripcitytoseoul on November 3, 2011.

5 Responses to “Vatos Urban Tacos Grand Opening This Weekend”

  1. How did that meal compare to one in Phoenix, AZ?

  2. I’ll be checking this place out the next time I’m in Itaewon – nice write-up 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: