American street food is ever so often inspired by Korean and Mexican flavours, and Vatos combines these two wonderfully together. Founded by a trio of Korean-Americans, they wanted to capture the tastes that they grew up being most familiar with.
Having spent a good amount of time living in sunny California myself, it was only natural for me to be drawn to the food idea being explored here at Vatos. While taking in the environment, we had some fresh corn tortillas with two kinds to salsa to whet our appetites.
We tried two cocktails here and both of them were much larger than usual. More alcohol, so who’s complaining? The first drink was a Passion Fruit Makgeolita ($26). This is a mix of tequila and makgeoli (Korean rice alcohol). You can choose from seven different fruity flavours for this drink, where you’ll find one that will suit your taste bud for sure!
We also tried the Sexy Sanchez ($29) from a signature series of cocktails that the restaurant names the Vatos’ Ritas, playing around with combinations of different kinds of margaritas and beers. The Sexy Sanchez was a mix of a strawberry margarita, Albens Apple and Strawberry cider. This drink is just the right mix of being sweet and refreshing.
The Kimchi Carnitas Fries ($18) has been the dish touted as must-try dish of the restaurant by many. The plate of fries is topped with braised pork carnitas and some other standard Mexican garnishes. What gives a twist is the addition of sautéed kimchi, providing that additional unique spice and tang to it all!
Quesadillas are an integral part of Mexican food and so we tried Vatos’ signature Spicy Chicken Quesadilla ($17). This cheesy soft tortilla delight comes with a spicy chicken recipe that is topped with arbol chilli sauce. For those who love spicy food, this will hit the right spots.
Next, we had the Baja Fish tacos ($11 for two/ $15 for three). What you will get here is a really well-balanced taco where the crispy tempura beer-battered fish goes so well with the creamy chipotle mayo and fruit coleslaw. The texture and flavours really stood out, making this a favourite for me at Vatos!
We then tried the Galbi Short Rib tacos ($13 for two/ $18 for three). The marinated short rib stands at the forefront of all Korean grilled meats. You’d get a real Korean tasting taco that comes topped with Asian sauces and slaw. This dish scores really high in terms of packing a real flavor punch for your taste buds!
The last dish we tried is another one of my favorites. The Korean Pork Belly tacos ($11 for two/ $15 for three) is perfect for marinated grilled pork belly lovers like myself. The sliced pork belly comes marinated in a Korean chilli paste, while the onions and pickled ginger on top provided the acidity to balance out the fattier meats beneath. I gobbled this down in seconds.
For some unique street food that packs a whole lot in terms of taste, head down to Vatos. This Ko-Mex mix of food cultures is something that all food lovers will appreciate.
Expected Damage: $30-50 per pax