Once you’ve lived in Korea for a while, it’s only a matter of time before you become homesick for the foods back home. Sometimes it’s the little things like a certain brand of cereal, perhaps a box of mac n’ cheese or, for me, Pop-Tarts. However, once you start to crave foods from certain restaurants (In-N-Out), that’s when things start to get a little more difficult. Over the years, Seoul’s food scene has continued to flourish. While you have a lot more ethnically diverse options out there, the search for authenticity is still a rough one, especially when comparing food from back home. I think moving here from from LA has made me a bit of a food snob. I’m always up for trying a new place, but I’m pretty picky especially when it comes to Mexican food. Now, Little Baja isn’t so much a mexican restaurant as it is a taco spot… fish tacos to be exact. Tucked in a remote alley right off of Itaewon’s main strip, this little “hole in the wall” could be easy to miss if you don’t know where to look. With the capacity to seat about 10 people, this hot spot for LA-style taco lovers fills up quickly especially in the evening. Not bad for a place that’s only been open since mid February of this year. The man behind the tacos, Brian Kim, is no stranger to the food scene having run his own restaurants in LA for the past four years. Growing up in and around the kitchen, he used his creativity, military brat upbringing and interest in other cultures (especially their food) to develop his cooking techniques. I can safely say he knows way more about mexican/latin food than I do. Though he had many ideas in mind when opening his first restaurant in Korea, he decided to bring a simple but signature part of LA to Seoul. Though the menu is modest, they definitely know how to make tacos right, not sacrificing quality for quantity. You have a choice of fish, shrimp or baby octopus (쭈꾸미) which are deep-fried in a homemade beer batter. All the tacos come served on corn tortillas fresh off the stove, with your choice of seafood, garnished with cabbage, pico de gallo, crema (cream sauce), salsa roja (red hot sauce), and a wedge of lemon on the side. I have to admit I’ve never been a huge fan of fish tacos, but these are a legit slice of LA taco heaven. There is no secret ingredient or fancy sauces, just good ole fashion tacos. The seafood in fried beer batter is nice and crispy and all that garnishes come together in a savory blend of perfection. What makes the food even better, is washing it all down with a nice cold glass of horchata. It’s been quite some time since I had a good glass of horchata, and Little Baja’s doesn’t disappoint. It you’re feeling really hungry, I recommend stopping by on their Taco Tuesdays where you can get 2 fish tacos for ₩5,000, 2 shrimp tacos for ₩6,000 or 2 baby octopus tacos for ₩7,000. Personally I always find 2 tacos to be more than enough, but if you wanna sample their full menu this would be the best time to do it. So, the next time you’re looking to satisfy your taco cravings be sure to hit up Little Baja, your taste buds will thank you for it.
서울특별시 용산구 이태원동 74-18