Seoul Taco is Delmar’s college restaurant gem
They marry the zesty lime and cilantro flavors of Mexican cuisine with the spicy kim chi and heavily marinated meats of Korea
In college towns, students have the tendency to congregate towards one or two quintessential places to eat. Whether it’s a dive bar, a brunch joint, a café or a deli, people on campus know the spots attract most of the young people. At Wash U, I believe most people would tell you the Delmar Loop’s Three Kings bar defines the college’s dinner and casual beer sipping lifestyle.
I, however, would posit that Washington University has a new(ish) eatery that gathers as many if not more students from all walks of life: Seoul Taco. First a food truck and then a hole in the wall on a side street of The Loop, Seoul has recently moved locations and is now comfortably situated at the front and center of Delmar’s main stage.
While many of The Loop’s most historic storefronts and restaurants are immensely recognizable — such as Fitz’s, Blueberry Hill and Rocket Fizz — and themed from the outside, Seoul Taco has a fairly understated look. Located by a concrete awning under Club Fitness, Seoul’s new location doesn’t quite grab the eye from the outside quite like many of the other locations scattered around Delmar. But once inside, it’s easy to see what all the hype is about.
True to its name, Seoul Taco is a Korean-Mexican fusion restaurant with décor to matche. Studded with multicolored mood light strips, Seoul is dressed from wall to wall with murals that celebrate both of its parent cultures. From Ssireum wrestlers wearing lucha libre masks to cherry blossoms and cacti, the fusion exists in the décor as much as it does in the food. Also on the walls is an homage to Seoul Taco’s roots in the form of the old food truck deconstructed just to show the consumer how far they’ve come.
With such eclectic design, you would expect the food to be just as all-over-the-place as the decorations. On the contrary — Seoul Taco’s menu is both simple and intuitive. With just the four options of burrito, bowl, nachos and tacos, it’s pretty difficult to go wrong.
Now, I’m sure you’re thinking, “What’s so special about standard Mexican dishes? I could get the same thing at Chipotle.” The great thing about Seoul Taco is that it doesn’t differentiate itself based off of the vehicle of eating, rather, in the style in which the food is presented. To celebrate both of its culinary roots, all of the meat is spiced and cooked with traditional Korean style, and the fusion shines when mixed with the cilantro, lime and sour cream present in Mexican cuisine. According to sophomore Jake Rentzer, “Seoul Taco defies the rules.”
In today’s violently competitive restaurant industry, novelty is appreciated just as much if not more than good taste and service. I am of the opinion that Seoul Taco is riding at the front of the wave and — at the rate they’re going — won’t stop any time soon.