I’ve gone on record many times with the unpopular assertion that most poutine is unfit for hyena chow. That said I’m not above appreciating exceptions. The orthodox poutine at Montreal’s undersung Main Deli Steak House may have softened my stance. (Why wait in line outside Schwartz’s when there are open tables at the Main right across the street?)

The kimchi fries at Andersonville’s Takos Koreanos is one such exception. By now we’re all used to the idea of Korean tacos, as popularized by Roy Choi’s mobile Kogi BBQ empire in LA. And it’s practically axiomatic that Korean food lends itself nicely to other fast foods. Kimchi makes everything better. The fries at Takos Koreanos themselves aren’t even that special—thin, previously frozen commercial grade shoestrings that somehow have the solidity to stand up to a smothering blanket of finely chopped kimchi and pork belly, with melting shredded sharp cheddar, scallions, and gob of cooling sour cream. A glorious mess. Let’s call it K-slop ($7).

They also offer “kalbi barba” fries, a short rib and barbacoa hybrid of slow-braised and shredded beef that’s the most likable and savory meat on offer. Everything else, from chicken to pork to regular kalbi is predictably a bit too sweet. But I reckon oversweetening is very likely why these sorts of Koreanized cross pollinations have become so popular. It’s particularly apparent with the tacos, built on thin, flimsy corn tortillas and piled with shredded lettuce dressed in a vinaigrette that compounds the problem.

Sweetness is more balanced by kimchi fried rice in the sizable burritos ($9), and not apparent at all on the bulgogi omelet ($11) draped over sesame oil dressed rice, a scramble reminiscent of the akutagawa at Wrigleyville’s Rice ‘n Bread, home of Chicago’s first Korean-American fast food.

Tacos Koreanos doesn’t really leave many hybrids unanswered. They’re also Koreanizing quesadillas, banh mi, eggrolls, and guacamole. It’s BYO and cash only.

잘 먹겠습니다!

Takos Koreanos, 1706 W. Foster, 773-654-1220