With so many Korean trucks on campus, it is refreshing to find one that has so many customizable options. Kobawoo Express just recently moved from its previous location (on 12th Street) to Montgomery Avenue. Guests choose between a rice plate lunchbox, ramen, or kimchi bibimbap. The lunchbox comes with your choice of meat and two sides, and the bibimbap comes by itself for $4 or with two sides for $6. My favorite was the ramen, which is a huge bowl of steamy soup with your choice of meat for $6. The side dishes change daily and there are usually about 18-20 choices.
Location: On Montgomery between Broad and 13th Street
Pay: Cash Only
Cuisine: Soups and rice plates
What I tried: Spicy pork ramen, Bulgogi beef lunchbox, Bulgogi beef ramen
Social Media: Facebook and Twitter – @kobawooexpress
For my first visit, I tried the lunchbox with beef bulgogi (which is 50 cents extra). For my sides, I chose seafood and veggie patties and some kind of yellow fish cake in brown sauce. Looking back, I probably should have done bean sprouts or noodles since the two items I got were fairly similar, but I enjoyed everything on this plate.The bulgogi was tossed with some shredded carrots and cabbage, giving a nice crunchy texture.
For my next visit, I got the ramen soup, which was perfect for a chilly fall day. The spicy pork lived up to its name, and soon after I started eating it, the heat from the spice and from the soup had me warmed up quick! This soup was full of surprises. With every bite I found new things: ramen noodles, eggs, jabchae noodles (thin translucent rice noodles), egg, rice “cakes” (large tubular rice noodles), and veggies. It was a pretty large bowl of soup and filled me up, and came with a side of kimchi.
A few days later I returned for another bowl of ramen, this time with the bulgogi beef. It was that good, I was craving it a few days later! I also got a can some kind of apple drink, which had bits of apple at the bottom.
Kobawoo has a lot of cool Asian snacks to sell, like Hello Panda, walnut cookies, green tea and aloe drinks, shrimp puffs, red bean cakes, and other Asian goodies. The guys who work there are happy to explain anything to their patrons. They are enthusiastic about their food and super patient with “difficult” customers (I witnessed one particularly picky customer who was micromanaging them as they made her food, they handled it quite well).
I will definitely be back to sample more of their items, and I have a feeling this winter will be full of many bowls of ramen!