I still remember the wasabi mashed potatoes. The year was 1993 and I was visiting New York City with my mother, eating at the inimitable Union Square Cafe. The slightly spicy, green-hued potatoes represented the big trend of the day—Asian fusion, a culinary movement defined by its East-meets-West mashup of ingredients and techniques. Union Square Cafe was never even an Asian fusion restaurant, but in the same way that a restaurant today must nod to sustainable ingredients, a restaurant menu in 1993 had to include soy, ginger, or wasabi. (Wolfgang Puck is credited with starting the culinary food style at his Chinois on Main in Santa Monica in 1983.) Before long, every chef was dumping sesame oil on this and infusing lemongrass with that—oftentimes with silly, overly sweet, and complicated results. Though the culinary trend appeared promising in the hands of a capable chef, it had jumped the shark.

By the late ’90s, Asian fusion had become a culinary punch line (not “fusion” but “confusion”). Well, guess what? It’s back! This time around, it’s less about gimmickry and more about cleverly combining traditional Japanese, Korean, and Chinese flavors with local ingredients. Prime examples: such now-legendary dishes as the kimchi quesadillas from Los Angeles food truck Kogi, and the roasted brussels sprouts with Benton’s bacon, apples, and bonito from New York’s Momofuku. Today’s chefs would never describe what they’re doing as Asian fusion (it’s a dirty word these days), but rather American cooking—a melting pot of culinary traditions, a fusion of global flavors. Here are some of today’s most deft practitioners.

  • Good Girl Dinette
    Los Angeles
    “American diner meets Vietnamese comfort food” translates to rice noodle salads, rolls, and pho at dirt-cheap prices in this Highland Park neighborhood hangout. What to order: curry chicken pot pie. 110 North Avenue 56; 323-257-8980;
  • Cholon
    Named after the largest Chinese market in Saigon, this LoDo district spot, with talented chef Lon Symensma at the helm, features creative riffs on Asian classics. What to order: soup dumplings with sweet onion and Gruyère. 1555 Blake Street; 303-353-5223;
  • Sakaya
    Chef Richard Hales mines the Korean pantry for his creative take on Asian-street-food-inspired dishes, including calamari with ssamjang, a spicy paste. What to order: popcorn shrimp ssäm3401 North Miami Avenue; 305-576-8096;
  • Ruxbin
    Modern Asian fusion exemplified by Edward Kim’s sophisticated food: K-Town empanadas, calamari bokkum, and nine-spice quinoa. What to order: sake mussels with miso. 851 North Ashland Avenue; 312-624-8509;
  • East by Northeast
    As the name suggests, this Massachusetts hot spot combines Chinese cooking with New England ingredients thanks to up-and-coming Chinese-American chef Phillip Tang. What to order: braised lamb cannelloni with chili garlic sauce, Honeycrisp apple, and mizuna. 1128 Cambridge Street; 617-876-0286;
  • Sampan
    Chef Michael Schulson takes Chinese dim sum favorites and turns them on their head with results like edamame dumplings and crab wonton tacos. What to order: Philly cheesesteak. 13th Street; 215-732-3501;

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Continued (page 4 of 5)


<< Back to Asian Food Revolution

America’s food-truck phenomenon was inspired by the previously unthinkable gastronomic marriage of Korean and Mexican. But the Kogi M.O.—quality, affordable fast food delivered streetside—was far from a fad. The company now has five trucks in Los Angeles, and mobile ops are expanding all across the country. Here are our picks for the best Eastern-influenced street-side grub.

Flying Pig
This bright-pink truck hits the taco-filled L.A. streets, slinging fried crab balls, tortillas topped with red-curry satay and peanut sauce, and tangy tamarind duck with pickled beets.

The Chairman (left)
This truck has earned more than 10,000 Twitter followers (@chairmantruck) by reaping the glory of the steamed bun, the fluffy vehicle for pork belly, duck confit, and whatever else Hiroo Nagahara dreams up.

Duck N Roll
Banh mi fervor is still strong in the Windy City thanks to these delectably slim baguettes loosely based on the Vietnamese sandwich and stuffed with miso-braised short ribs, coconut curry chicken, or five-spice-rubbed, slow-cooked duck.

Dim Ssäm à GoGo
Corny name aside, the mobile venture from the guys at Sakaya Kitchen puts out the best hangover food imaginable, a “really?” combination of tater tots, marinated Korean beef, and spicy cheese sauce. Yes, really.

Nong’s Khao Man Gai (right)
Not a truck, actually—this famed food cart specializes in a Thai version of a dish from China’s Hainan province: rice cooked in the flavor-packed liquid used to poach chicken, which ends up on top in tender slices. So simple, so good.

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Find Dim Ssam a gogo at these curbs near you…

Monday Arts Park in Hollywood 530pm – 930pm

Thursday Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood 530pm – 10pm

Saturday Wynwood Art Walk 6pm – Midnight

NW 2nd Ave and NW 22nd Terrace

July 2012 MENU

Had to jump through a lot of hoops but….Wynwood Street Food & Music Fest is back…with less than a day to spareWe are back for at least this month!  The CITY OF MIAMI is allowing one of, if not the best and longest running food truck gathering in Miami.  Our permanent permit is still in question but we were able to seek a temporary permit in order to hold the event April 14, 2012 during WYNWOOD ART WALK.  We have held the event without incident since November of 2010 and have become an integral part of the Wynwood landscape and we are working hard to make sure the City of Miami does not kill the event.

April 14, 2012 Musical Guest presented by Sakaya Kitchen Restaurant Arboles Libres

The Jelly Fish Brothers


DJ Kiko de Gallo from Spain

SponsorsHatuey Beer

Dim Ssam a gogo Mobile Food Truck

The Fish Box Mobile Food Truck

Dessert TrucksSugar Yummy MamaSugar RushDolci PeccatiBoba StationChurro ManiaVinny’s Italian IceFireman Derek

Food TrucksDim Ssam a gogoThe Rolling StoveMs CheeziousLatin BurgerMac’n Food TruckTaco FreshGastroPodThe FishBoxChef on 4 wheelsHealth Nut on WheelsNacho BiznessPurple People EateryRed KoiSlow Food TruckMr. Good StuffPardo’s GrillGuiseppe’s ItalianMangia MiaLos ChamosGypsy KitchenBite GastrotruckOverloadTango GrillChamos on WheelsMalanga CaféYumiTaiKitchen KababPorkaliciousCheesemeBC Tacos

Busy time of year for Miami with the South Beach Wine  & Food Festival happening this week.  Our food truck Dim Ssam a gogo will be participating in Trucks on the Beach, Sunday February 26.  Chef Michael Schwartz of MGFD mentions our Chunk’d Kalbi Tots as not to be missed while in town.

The dish is served on our food truck and our two restaurant locations – The Shops of Midtown Miami & 125 SE 3rd Avenue in Downtown Miami.

The Short Order: Chef Michael Schwartz’s Guide to Miami read about it Here


ORDER LINE 305-371-2511 For Details – ORDER DEADLINE February 3


Sakaya Kitchen Crowd Pleasers $180

Serves up to 10 People

20 KFC Wings, 20 Honey Orange Ribs, Ginger Brussels Sprouts, 10 Paps’s Shrimp & Pork Egg Rolls, 10 Eight hour Roast Pork Buns, Spicy Tots, Thai Coconut Rice, In-house Napa Kimchi, Quick Pickle, 10 Wife Hales Cookies


Bo Ssam & Edamame Feast – $150

Serves up to 10 people

Whole Roast Pork “Bo Ssam”,  Grilled Shrimp, In-House Napa Kimchi, Quick Pickle, Ssamjang Rice, Swank Butterhead Lettuce, Edamame, 10 Wife Hales Cookies


Dim Ssam a gogo’s Best – $190

Serves up to 10 people

10 Kalbi Beef Tacos, Chunk’d Tots, 10 Cracklin Herb Duck Sliders, 10 Kimchi Egg Rolls, In-House Napa Kimchi, Quick Pickle, 10 Wife Hales Cookies


Add drinks to your Order

Mexican Coke, Mexican Fanta, Boylans, Martinelli’s Apple Juice

Coke Products, Water

Beer – Magic Hat Special >>6 pack for $12


Get Sakaya Kitchen Gift Cards for PARTY PRIZES!

$5, $10, $20 and up

Our version of Kimchi Jjigae .  It is a classic Korean stew and we do ours with pork and it is served with Jasmine Rice


Organic Japanese White Miso,, Onions, Butter, Korean Kochujang, Thai Nam Pla, Roast Pork, Our House Napa Kimchi, Chicken/Organic Miso broth, Ssamjang, Cilantro

Dim Ssam a gogo is back with some nice stops this week. Check it out!

Truck Schedule 1/9 – 1/15

Monday 1/9

Dim Ssam a gogo : Private Catering @ The Stage

Tuesday 1/10

Dinner: 5:30p – 10:30p: 127 & Biscayne “BTTR” Johnson Whales University

Wednesday 1/11

Dinner: 5:30-9:30p: Cypress Creek Roundup, 6001 Powerline Rd., Ft Lauderdale

Thursday 1/12

Lunch 11:30 – 2:30 Apollo Bank, Brickell 1150 South Miami Avenu

Friday 1/13

Dinner: 5p-10p: JM Lexus, Margate 5350 West Sample Rd, Margate Florida

Saturday 1/14

Dinner: 6p – Midnight: 210 NW 22nd Lane and on NW 2nd in front of Panther Coffee #Artwalk

Sunday 1/15