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Posted at 4:27 PM ET, 08/ 9/2010

TaKorean - A local entrepenuer brings global flavors to go

By Justin Rude

The streets of D.C. are getting more crowded with food trucks, and yet new and exciting options keep emerging. Take for example, the TaKorean truck, which plans to begin offering Korean barbecue tacos August 30.

The truck is the brainchild of 24-year-old Washington native Mike Lenard, and will offer a simple menu: Your choice of bulgogi steak, tangy chicken or carmelized tofu with one of two slaws in a corn tortilla and topped with siracha sauce, lime crema, cilantro and sesame seeds. Everything, including the sauces, is made from scratch. Leanard was inspired by similar food trucks already operating in LA, but approached the project with his own idea. "I didn't really try too hard to imitate their recipes," he said, "it's a different style."

The truck is a converted box truck that was outfitted in East Brunswick, NJ with a flattop grill, steam tables, refrigerators and the required three-compartment sink. The food itself is prepped in a commercial kitchen in Northern Virginia, and then cooked on-site in the truck. As for its stomping grounds, Lenard plans to take his truck along a familiar path, "I'll do lunchtime in the business areas: the squares along K Street, L'Enfant Plaza and Navy Yard," he said, "and catering is an idea I am interested in, but at the beginning I will be selective about it."

If the mobile food market is getting crowded, it doesn't seem to have dampened the enthusiasm for new things. "I was in a couple of blog posts and I got a huge response on Twitter and on Facebook. I now have almost 900 followers. About a week ago I had seven."

That enthusiasm may be good news for local charities. DC Street Food, Inc., Lenard's company, of which the TaKorean truck is an asset, will donate 1 percent of gross sales each month to a local youth based or environmental charity. The plan was inspired by Patagonia's 1% for the Planet program which they began in 1985. Each month Lenard will update his business's blog, with a post about the charity being sponsored that month.

And for one-stop shopping for tracking other area food trucks, check out our food truck Twitter aggregator and our list on Twitter.

-- Justin Rude

By Justin Rude  | August 9, 2010; 4:27 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  | Tags:  Korean barbecue, food truck, tacos  
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