Vatos Urban Korean Tacos Redux

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It’s been a busy end of the year so I (sadly) had not the chance to check out the new Vatos. Now I knew that on a Saturday it was going to be busy so I went 30 minutes before to put my name down on the list and then went to What the Book! to browse. It took about 45 minutes to get a table.

The new interior is impressive. It has this whole steam-punk, comic-noir feel with the broken brick and plumping pipe tables. It’s swanky.

To start I got one of their famous beer-bottled margaritas. I got the Dos XX and my friend got the Tangerine one. It is a tad expensive at 14,000 a piece but you won’t need more than one unless you are planning on making a night of it.

One of the owners, the affable Sid, recommended some different dishes and we got eating. The Queso (8,000) with fresh chips were rich and gooey with cheddar cheese. It had some ground beef and chilies in the vat of hot cheese and were fun scooping out with the crisp chips. We followed this with the 3 Shrimp Tacos (10,000). Yum with nice pop from the shrimp,creaminess from sour cream and light hint of lime. We also got the kimchi burrito with pork (10,000). Tart and spicy and very filling. One of these would be enough for a meal.

We didn’t leave hungry although desserts were intriguing. I will have to get the Nutella nachos next time.

Vatos
3 stars (out of 4. Cool space, friendly staff, lots of flavor).
Yongsan-Gu, Itaewon 1-dong 181-8 2nd Floor
02-797-8226

Daniel Gray

Daniel Gray is a Korean adoptee and entrepreneur that returned to Korean in 2005 because he wanted to try and find his birth mother and to learn about Korean culture. He started a restaurant review blog in 2007, www.seouleats.com, that became a local and international hit. He and his blog has been featured in the New York Times, Monocle Magazine, The Kimchi Chronicles, Bizarre Foods, Rudy Maxa, Olive Magazine, Euronews and much more. He now is a partner at O’ngo Food Communications (www.ongofood.com), which is a culinary tourism and consulting company that offers Korean cooking classes and restaurant tours to travelers. In 2013, he started Brew 3.14 Pizza Pub. His food tours, cooking classes, and restaurant are ranked as some of the top attractions in Seoul according to the website tripadvisor. He lives in Korea with his wife.

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  • raspberryprodigy

    After hearing good things and being urged to visit VATOS by some of my Korean friends i decided to take my girlfriend for lunch. The interior looks trendy and chic, particularly the light fixtures and tables made of pipes that i guess were custom made. The staff were an even mix of foreigners and Koreans so communication was not a problem for either us. We order the “famous” Kimchi fries and the Queso’s with fresh chips. Both dishes were very disapointing! To break it down the Kimchi fries are basically french fries topped with bulgogi, Kimchi, sour cream and some cheese. Individually the bulgogi was dry and tasteless, the fries were greasy and the Kimchi overpowered the whole dish and was basically all you can taste. I strongly got the impression that image is more important than quality and that’s a shame. Overall id say go for the image, but leave for the food!

    • http://www.seouleats.com Daniel

      So, you weren’t a fan? I mean for Korea, I think they have done a good job. I would try the queso next time or the shrimp tacos.

      • raspberryprodigyone

        Thanks for the reply, i did try the Queso and it was okay but pretty uninspired. For Korea, they did a good job for Koreans, but an authentic taste of Mexico.. i think not. As i said the interior is really nice:)

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