Ever since I watched chef Paul Qui dominate and win season 9 of Top Chef, I’ve had major love eyes for the guy. I even made it a personal goal of mine to hit up all of the restaurants he’s played a part in… Lucky for me, he’s based in Austin so my dream hasn’t been too difficult to achieve. My latest stop on this Qui-venture was the recent opening of his popular and critically acclaimed food trailer, East Side King.
The menu features the classics from the other East Side King locations as well as a new taco menu. These aren’t your average tacos though. This South Lamar eatery puts an Asian spin on tacos by substituting a typical tortilla for a moo shu wrap, a Chinese take on a pancake.
Some highlights include the chasu pork taco, seared pork topped with hoisin sauce and cabbage, and the ebi ebi taco, a marriage of tempura shrimp, gochujang sauce, kewpie mayo and avocado. Both are quite sauce-heavy, so grab a drink to wash down all of the goodness.
Another hit is the tako taco (feature photo), a bed of poached octopus served with vegetable ceviche on a crispy moo shu wrap. The freshness and crunch from the vegetable ceviche perfectly complement the soft, buttery octopus. Be sure to squirt some lime juice to add that extra kick of acidity. And snatch a napkin while you’re at it because this dish makes quite a mess.
Not convinced? You know it’s legit if Zagat has been raving about it.
Location: 2310 South Lamar, Suite #101 Austin, TX 7870
Hours of operation: Mon-Fri: 11am-10pm, Sat-Sun: 12pm–10pm