Takorea BBQ - Harrison, NJ
A Twisted Take on Korean/Mexican Fusion
Harrison sits just outside of Newark and an easy train ride across the river to New York where the city’s grand steel cathedrals and bright lights rise out of the haze. It’s a small stop on the PATH line, right before Jersey commuters reach the end of the line.
Just a few blocks from the train stop is Takorea BBQ, a bright storefront with big windows covered in Elvis pop art. No indication at all of what exactly was happening beyond the door. Inside, a rustic retro industrial vibe with steel pipe furniture and Edison light bulbs that somehow still managed to feel warm and inviting.
It did not feel like a Korean restaurant, and with the exception of the peppy cantina music bouncing through the speakers it didn’t exactly feel like a Mexican restaurant either.
But that was the charm. It’s both.
The menu isn’t huge. On one side a page full of entrees and on the other some appetizers. The rest of the page was booze. It’s efficient, everything you’d want in a Mexican restaurant. Er… Korean joint?
Takorea BBQ effortlessly blends the two worlds with dishes like bulgogi tacos and kimchi quesadillas. Then there's the Korean Bim Bim bowls that take a familiar korean dish and slap a Mexican main course on top like carnitas. Sangrias and margaritas help wash it all down, authentic and potent.
It is a beautiful thing when kimchi fried rice is served alongside chips and salsa, proper sangrias and a plate full of “tako fries”, their take on cheese fries.
We were smitten.