Lip-smacking kalbi burrito action at John’s Snacks and Deli

Mmm ... kalbi burrito ("kalbirrito?")

You didn’t even know you needed a kimchi taco till you began to hear about those trucks down in LA, didja? Sure, Namu at the Ferry Building delivers the Korea-Mex goods on Thursdays, but what about every other day of the week?

There’s absolutely no place to sit at John’s: it’s essentially a bodega with the teeny behind-the-counter operation that makes Yamo look like a kitchen stadium. Still, you can get all kinds of delectable pan-Korean specials to go. I haven’t tried the kimchi bulgogi hot dog or the soon doobu tofu stew or the japchae noodle yet, but I have dug the kimchi soft taco with bulgogi beef and sauteed kimchi and its messy, saucy goodness. The kalbi burrito comes with a deep pocket of fresh lettuce and salsa, crunchy and crisp amid the kimchi-flavored rice and savory hunks of short rib.

So is it authentic? Well, is a burrito real Mexican cuisine, hombre? I’ll leave those worries to the purists and instead concentrate on these getting the maximum amount of kimchi from my foil-wrapped snack into my waiting maw.

John’s Snack and Deli
40 Battery, SF
(415) 434-4634

Related articles

  • Starred, Striped

    THE WEEKNIGHTER:  Dave's -- the good ol' melting pot of cheap cocktails

  • A party in your mouth

    TABLEHOPPER We have a month of food-related parties for you, including two oyster shindigs, two big street parties, and a Filipino fest!

  • All the buzz: a report from CoffeeCon San Francisco

  • Also from this author

  • Women with movie cameras

    Cheers to CAAMFest's crop of female Asian American film directors

  • Spiking the box office

    THE YEAR IN FILM: Looking back at a triumphant year for African American films

  • Not from around here

    French synth-pop giants Phoenix and Daft Punk tap into the alien within