Koo's Catering Truck - Tustin
It was twilight on a recent Saturday at the Freshia Market in Tustin. We were there to do some grocery shopping, but what I saw in the parking lot stopped me in my tracks, as if an alien spacecraft had just landed at my feet.
It was a catering truck, plastered with bold Korean lettering and indeterminate photos of something that looked edible. Whatever it was, I knew I had to investigate, and I had to do it now before it left for its home planet, never to be seen again.
Ooh look! Let's go try it.
But we just ate!
We'll just buy one and take a nibble.
It's a roach coach, and you can't read Korean.
Whatever it is, I'm sure it'll be good. C'mon!
(Exasperated sigh) Alright!
I stepped under the trailer's canopy, craned my neck and stood on my tippy-toes to peer inside. The interior was brightly lit, not unlike the beam of light emitted from the bottom of a flying saucer -- the very kind that levitates unsuspecting humans from their beds.
In the tiny space, a middle-aged Korean woman flipped unseen objects on an unseen griddle hidden from my line of sight. There was the sign in front of me, which said that whatever they were selling, it was sold for a dollar each, or $10 for 11.
When the woman turned to look down from the low crack of the truck's open window, I said, "One please" and surrendered my dollar bill. She had no idea that I had no idea what I just paid for.
In return, she passed me what looked like a Chinese onion pancake on a paper plate. "Careful! Hot!" she warned. And she was right. The pancake was almost radioactive.
I took it back for us to eat near a row of Korean newspaper boxes, using them as an impromptu table. We each took a bite and immediately fell into a blissed out state.
Our teeth met a crisped, brown outer crust, leading to a chewy, almost glutinous, doughy center. Tucked in the middle, sandwiched between it all was a pleasantly sweet but scalding filling of syrup made from brown sugar, cinnamon and a few specks of nuts and sesame seeds.
It occurred to me right about then that this is essentially a dessert pupusa.
I find out later, by way of Google of course, that what we ate was hotteok (pronounced ho-duck), a common street food found in Korea. And here was a truck selling it on the streets of Tustin.
After we polished off the one we bought, I was hankering for another.
You wanna share one more?
To read Daily Gluttony's close encounter with the hotteok truck:
--->>> CLICK HERE <<<---
Koo's Catering Truck
Last sighting: Freshia Market Parking Lot on a Saturday night
14551 Red Hill Ave
Tustin, CA 92780