By: Erik Weichel
Looking for some solid Mexican food in Itaewon that isn’t Vatos? Coreano’s is your place. It’s simple, easy to find, and absolutely delicious. You won’t regret it!
How to get there: Walk straight out of Itaewon Station (Line 6) at Exit 1 and continue walking forward for about 800 meters. You will eventually see a slight incline to your right (near the intersection), which you need to follow to the top, where you will me a fork in the road. Continue to the left, past Thirsty Monks, and you will see Coreanos Kitchen to your left just around the bend.
Service and Atmosphere: We arrived shortly after 1pm on a Monday, and it was pretty quiet (as expected). We were seated immediately, a table by the window and were provided with chips and a selection of four salsas. The table provided a nice view of the road below, and who couldn’t appreciate some sunlight as the weather cools down? There is a full bar available here as well, including a solid collection of standard and blended signature cocktails, if that’s what you’re in to. Plenty of bottled and draft beers for the more civil crowd. Move on downstairs for yet another full bar and an even larger seating area, including quite a few in a semi-enclosed section outside. No real “frills” if you will, but a very comfortable place to be. The staff was also very friendly and welcoming.
Food and Drink: Today we ordered the Three Wise Fries, a Chicken Taco, a Fish Taco, an Al Pastor Pork Taco, a Carne Asada Beef Taco and an OG Burrito. We also had two Cokes.
Three Wise Fries (12,000KRW): Instead of “men,” it’s “fries.” You see? It can also be nachos though, so don’t be intimidated, the choice is yours. We got this dish to share before diving into our regular meal, and it was definitely the best choice we made all day. And we do great things on a daily basis. Served as a generous portion, the dish came equipped with chicken, galbi, and pork (rather wise), a plethora of hot sauces, cheese, cilantro, and onions. Now I’ll admit there were a shit ton of onions on this bastard which could throw some people, but given the perspective of the other ingredients as well as it’s general size, we didn’t find them to be overwhelming. We were actually somewhat shocked at how much we enjoyed this. The fries themselves were exceptionally crispy, and the cohesion of the toppings could bring the manliest of men to his knees in awe of it’s pure beauty and bliss. Order it. It was also voted “Best Fries in America” if that matters at all to you. It shouldn’t.
OG Burrito (10,000KRW): The OG burrito is exactly what you want it to be. You want a little Mexican food, but you ARE in Korea, so you don’t want to abandon your morals entirely, right? Channel your inner thug and order this guy to satisfy all your food fusion needs. The OG comes served grilled, with a generous portion of beef in a flavorful sauce and just enough heat to leave a mark. The kimchi and cilantro are noticed only slightly, accenting the other ingredients rather well. Jalapenos are served on the side as well to spice it up on your own if you like. This is an approachable meal at a decent cost, especially considering the portion provided.
Taco Party (13,500KRW): I ordered four tacos, all of which came served in a soft shell, corn tortilla. In the picture below, you will notice from left to right, the Citrus Chicken (3,300KRW), Al Pastor Pork (3,300KRW), Battered Fish (3,600KRW), and Carne Asada Beef (3,300KRW). The tacos themselves aren’t overly large, but I was satisfied with the amount that I ordered. Definitely need to take cost into consideration if you’re going to go this route. The chicken taco wasn’t bad, somewhat typical but it won’t let you down. The Al Pastor was incredible, as it tends to be, with a generous slice of pineapple on top. The meat was juicy and the adobo was used appropriately. I loved the fish, which was succulent and really put over the edge by the cabbage and cilantro cream sauce. My opinion on the carne asada comes in the same vein as the chicken, which tasted good but wasn’t exactly life changing. In order of my preference, I would list them as the Battered Fish, Al Pastor, Carne Asada Beef, and then Citrus Chicken.
Who SHOULD visit Coreanos: Honestly this place was delicious and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for Mexican food. It’s worth the journey if you know what you want.
Who SHOULD NOT visit Coreanos: I don’t know..morons? If you don’t like Mexican food you wouldn’t look, so if this is you, it’s not like you’re short of options in Itaewon. The price can be a little steep if you are on a budget. Fear not, Taco Bell is just outside of Exit 3.