3030 T Street, Sacramento, CA 95816. (916) 346-4933.
Date night this week didn't start out too great. Mr.S. had a bad day at work and showed up being 50 shades of grumpy. So to lighten the mood, I suggested we keep dinner casual and check out the new Korean taco joint that recently set up shop at the retro-looking gas station at T and Alhambra. Tako (the name's a play on the words "taco" and "Korean") has been driving me crazy in the two weeks it's been open. Since I drive down T Street at least once a day, I can usually smell the enticing aroma of their marinated meats grilling from a block away and it makes my mouth water every time.
We showed up around 7pm and decided to place a to-go order (the weather was so nice, we wanted to take our dinners over to McKinley Park). We decided to go with the bulgogi mini burgers ($6) and an order of tacos (2 spicy pork and one fire chicken, $7). Considering it wasn't a very large order, we were surprised how long it took to get our food...in fact, after awhile I was kind of wondering if they had perhaps lost our order. But nope, they finally came through. We chalked the lengthy wait time up to the place being new and possibly working out it's kinks. Now based on what I'd been hearing from friends, I was really looking forward to sinking my teeth into some tasty fusion food so we skedaddled over to the park. Once we got situated at a picnic table and shooed away the pushy squirrels, we dived in. The bulgogi burgers turned out to be mediocre. The bulgogi didn't really hold up to the bulgogi I've had in the Korean restaurants on Folsom Boulevard. It wasn't fatty or dry, it just lacked flavor. Also, there seemed to be a lot of bun and by my second burger I felt like I was mostly eating a giant wad of bread sprinkled with cheese. The tacos though- they're worth going back for! The meat/slaw/sauce ratio was perfect and Tako's take on "spicy" wasn't kill-your-taste buds hot; in fact, the sauce had a nice, sweet undertone. There were three street tacos to an order and they let us mix and match the meats (marinated steak, short ribs, spicy pork, chicken, fire chicken or tofu)- a recent change, which is a nice touch. Everything we had tasted fresh, no nuking at this place.
Helpful Hint: be sure to grab plenty of napkins, the tacos do get a wee bit messy...ok, a lot messy. :)
All in all, we liked Tako. The owners did a nice job of sprucing up the run down historic gas station. There's indoor and outdoor seating, service is friendly, they use cardboard for their takeout orders and street parking isn't too difficult in the evening (they also have a very small parking lot to the side). Additionally, they take plastic and are open until 10pm--score! I would love to see the tortillas warmed up and the cheese melted- but hey, I realize they're working with a limited amount of cooking space. Hopefully, I'll get back there soon- I'm interested in trying out their short rib tacos and kimchi quesadilla next...both menu items looked intriguing.
On a side note, I hadn't been to McKinley Park's rose garden in quite awhile (it used to be my go to place for reading). The renovation looks fantastic- check it out! It's a great place to take a date...all the roses are in bloom right now and there are comfy benches where you can sit, chat and hold hands.