A Typical Day on the Kogi BBQ Taco Truck

Editor's note: We've been fascinated with the cult following that the Kogi BBQ Taco Truck has built up in L.A., so after today's Q&A with the truck itself, we asked Kogi team member Alice Shin for an inside look at a typical day on the truck. Ride along with her and Mark Manguera, below.


Photographs by Eric Shin from Flickr

Los Angeles-based taco truck Kogi BBQ started roaming the streets last Thanksgiving with the intention of spreading Korean-inspired tacos, burritos, drinks, and more to the hungry late night masses. Unexpectedly, the taco truck quickly garnered lines of hundreds willing to wait up to two hours (the average wait being 45 minutes) for Korean-Mexican dishes—such as tacos filled with spicy pork, spicy barbecue chicken, or Korean short ribs—created by chef Roy Choi. It may seem crazy to wait that long for a taco, but then this isn't your typical taco truck.

Take a peek into the daily routine of a full-time Kogi staff member, like founder Mark Manguera, to get an idea of what it takes to run the Kogi truck. It's a 9-to-5 job, but not in the way you'd expect.

9 a.m.

Rise and shine.

9:15 a.m.


Check emails and calendar for events and meetings.

10 a.m.


Follow up phone calls and emails.

11:30 a.m.

Organize the next business day.

12 p.m.

Meet up with the team.

12:30 p.m.



Head off to the markets to shop for veggies and all those limes while someone else goes to massage the meats with marinade.

3 p.m.

Arrive at the lot and organize the truck.

3:15 p.m.


Start prep—chop onions, blend sauces, grill meats.

3:30 p.m.


Check voice mails and emails and follow up calls.

4 p.m.


Reorganize the next business day.

5:30 p.m.


Truck leaves the lot.

6 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.



Lots of twittering, grilling, order taking, and general Kogi madness.

3:30 a.m.


Clean out truck, wash it down and leave for home.

4 a.m.

Come home to check emails and voicemails.

5 a.m.


Beautiful sleep....