Take Korean-style marinated beef and put it in a corn tortilla and you have the latest trend in fusion food, popularized by the Kogi fleet of trucks that started selling its tacos in Los Angeles in 2008.
The Asian-Latin combination is also part of the inspiration for Taqueria Tsunami, a two-unit concept in Atlanta that has achieved both critical and financial success.
Chef-owner Scott Kinsey opened the first Taqueria Tsunami location, a 115-seat restaurant in the city’s Buckhead neighborhood, last July, followed by a second location, with 100 seats, in the suburb of Marietta in November.
Kinsey is a former corporate chef for Romano’s Macaroni Grill and, most recently, Hooter’s of America. “Hooters was a fun environment and a corporate environment, but from a culinary side it did not fulfill what I was looking for and what I needed,” he said of his transition.
However, his position at both Hooter’s and Macaroni Grill parent Brinker International did require that he travel to Asia and Latin America a fair amount. “Every time I got to go on one of those trips, I’d stay a couple extra days and get to know the local cuisine,” he said.