Want to know what passion, word of mouth, and crazy good Korean BBQ create? Seoul Sausage, a venture started by two families — the Kims and the Ohs. The truck was launched in 2012 when Chris Oh, Ted Kim, and Yong Kim kicked things off with their kalbi (marinated short ribs) and their spicy pork sausages. The food was so good it gave birth to a legion of fans eager wait in line at street fairs. Movie studios and Fortune 500 companies have catered events with this outstanding fare, and both wineries and chefs have made requests for private orders. They also basically managed to figure out a way to time the launch of their brick-and-mortar restaurant to them winning Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race.
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That's a tough feat to top, and it took some skills. Add this to their accomplishments: making The Daily Meal's 2012 list of 101 Best Food Trucks in America. Where did they get their inspiration and is it all as easy as they've made it look? Find out in the following interview with co-founder Yong Kim.
When did you launch your truck?
We just launched this in October 2012. The Great Food Truck Race was filmed during May to June of this year and I suppose that we were technically open then as well.
What was the inspiration for going into this business?
We wanted to change the world one sausage at a time.
What's the story behind the origin of your truck's name?
Our flavors come from Seoul, Korea, and we make sausages. Seoul plus sausages. Bam. Easy.
How did you come up with your truck's design? Is there a designer you'd like to give a shout-out to?
Food Network provided us with the truck design. Thank you, Food Network.
Does your truck have a vanity license plate? And if so, what does it say?
What model truck do you have?
I believe it is a 1987 GMC. Truly a classic.
What's your signature dish? Is it also your most popular dish?
Our kalbi burger is our staple item on the truck. However, the "Flaming Balls" are neck and neck with the burger due to the overwhelming support it received from the show. That flaming ball got a lot of love.
You've gone brick-and-mortar — where are you?
As a matter of fact, we just launched this October of 2012. It's located in West L.A. at 11313 Mississippi Ave., 90025.
What one piece of advice would you give someone looking to get into the food truck business?
Make sure you love what you’re doing. The love alone will bring you many customers. Ted and I love chef Chris’ cooking. So, in all honesty, it is very easy to sell.
Lots of things happen when running a restaurant, and that probably goes double on the road. As such, be it weird, funny, good, or bad, what's one superlative or particularly outstanding moment or story that's ever occurred with your truck be it with customers, in the kitchen, or just in general?
We got the entire stadium of the Amarillo Sox baseball team to chant "FRIED BALLS" once. It was awesome.
Arthur Bovino is The Daily Meal's executive editor. Follow Arthur on Twitter.