Tasty Tuesday : KOi Fusion

The Koi Fusion Logo outside the Division Street Location

Take the diverse attributes of the cuisines of México and Korea, combine them with secret family recipes, fresh veggies, locally-sourced ingredients, and fuse them together through BBQ. The result is KOi Fusion from the imagination of Bo Kwan, KOi Fusion’s creator.

The Koi Fusion food cart at the Mississippi Marketplace food cart pod

What do you get by combining such diverse elements into a single culinary vision? You get a menu that is unlike any you can find in Portland. Items offered at KOi Fusion include tacos, burritos, quesadillas filled with kimchi, Seoul sliders, K-dogs, fried chicken, and spicy fries with a Korean twist.

You’ve heard the old adage about what it takes to succeed as a restaurant being location, location, and even location? In that regard KOi Fusion has you covered. There are no less than eight locals where you can enjoy KOi Fusion’s food. The latest to open is a brick-and-mortar, sit-down restaurant on SE Division at 30th.

The Koi Fusion Bulgogi beef taco

KOi Fusion can also be found at Mississippi Marketplace, Providence Park, Bridgeport Village, Base Camp Brewing, Bethany Village, Washington Square Mall, and even at Portland International Airport. Then there are the mobile locations where you can find KOi Fusion serving lunch at some of the biggest companies in the metro area. And they cater.

The Koi Fusion Seoul Slider

KOi is actually an acronym. It represents “Korean Oregon infusion.” A native Oregonian of Korean decent, Bo started his journey to food cart fame because he knew he was about to lose his job. A conversation with his father inspired him to make an impetuous trip to Los Angles.

In L.A., Bo spoke with his hero, Roy Choi of Kogi. With Roy’s blessing Bo returned to Portland, purchased a food cart from the side of the road and the rest is food cart legend.

The Koi Fusion K-dog hot dog

So why has KOi Fusion gone from a singular vision and a single cart to what may be considered a food truck empire? It could just be the tacos. Filled with your choice of Bulgogi beef, chicken, pork, Kalbi short ribs or tofu, cabbage slaw, pico de gallo, cucumber spears, bean sprouts and cilantro all wrapped in a soft corn tortilla. Yeah, it could just be that.

The Koi Fusion chicken taco

Or it could be that KOi Fusion is a labor of love. Customers are know as K’headz and it’s their energy and support that has been the secret ingredient in the success of KOi Fusion. The attitude is best expressed by the KOi Fusion creed; “Love, Peace … K’taco Grease.”

Listen now as Steven Shomler and Ken Wilson talk with Bo Kwan about vision, following your dreams, and the singular food that is KOi Fusion.

Ken Wilson
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