Just like the Korean taco, ramen al pastor could only have originated in California. At Rakken Tacos – an Asian-Mexican fusion restaurant in Commerce – Chef Kenneth Nguyen is mixing Asha noodles and lemongrass al pastor, and topping it with a spicy mayo sauce, green onions, and cilantro. It’s not uncommon for ramen to be transformed into different iterations (see ramen pizza, ramen pot pie, and ramen donuts), and for Nguyen – who grew up in Koreatown and is the son of Vietnamese immigrants – this blend of Latin American and Asian flavors came naturally.
He began working with another Asian chef and ended up combining Japanese and Vietnamese flavors, but after they parted ways, he moved on to tacos. “The taco idea came from marinating our skewer meats,” he told LA Weekly. “This was a natural progression because I grew up eating tacos a few times a week. My uncles also married Latina women, so that had a big impact on me as well.”
After all the positive attention Nguyen received for his tacos, he took the next step and opened his first brick-and-mortar in February. And though I can’t say whether or not this ramen al pastor works, at the very least, with this new dish, it’s obvious he’s not resting on his laurels. Check out Food Beast’s video above.
[H/T Food Beast]
Rakken Tacos is located at 2444 S. Atlantic Blvd, Commerce, CA 90040