150 Words from Roy Choi on the Taco

The Kogi founder talks about the dish that started it all

The taco changed my life. It has changed a lot of people’s lives. Today the lines at taquerías are longer than ever, and bloggers who never grew up around Latino food are aficionados. Tacos, like hip-hop, have broken through cultural barriers. But as much as I’m the Korean taco guy, I don’t think the taco is a vehicle for everything. I don’t want us all to forget that the taco comes from somewhere. It comes from the streets, from a place where English isn’t the first language. It may not be as romantic as the Parisian crepe, but the taco has become our city’s emblem. So as a city, it’s time to create an environment for these businesses to thrive. Let’s make tacos our national treasure. To do that we first need to stop using them to clog our social media feeds and use them as a basis for change.”


This article appears in Los Angeles magazine’s June 2015 cover story, “Taco City.”