To mark the momentous occasion of the cultishly followed Kogi Truck making a one hour-long guest appearance in Midtown—they're working out of the Dessert Truck at 55th and Lex until 1 p.m.—we've dispatched the hounds to bring you an up to date live blog. The coach will turn back into a pumpkin in exactly 64 minutes, so time to get away from the cubicle.
11:45: Just got here. 15 minutes before the thing even opens, this line is stretching down the block (see photo above.) They're serving kimchi quesadillas, chocolate mousse with a peanut butter center, and caramel popcorn for $4. It may take up your whole lunch break, but hell, all proceeds go to charity.
11:53: Top Chef alum Lee Anne Wong just came out of the truck, saw the line, and exclaimed, "Yes!"
11:58: Line is past Shun Lee already. More than 200 and service hasn't even started yet.
11:59: Correction. Kogi people tell us the line is just over 100 people, but it goes on and on. They're opening the service window now.
12:04: Midtown Lunch learns that Wong is on hand because she is Kogi's executive chef of east coast operations and will be in charge when Kogi finally makes it to NYC!
12:06: And we get our first reader photo from the tipline with the caption, "kogi line! Its insane."
12:12: We now have photo documentation of the kimchi quesadilla and chocolate mousse (graciously given for free to both Eater and Grub Street interns). Doesn't look like much...we'll have to get some reviews on how it tastes.
12:19: Do not try to ask for two portions. We repeat: do not ask for doubles. A man is currently pleading unsuccessfully to get another, but they are striking him down.
12:25: Best Kogi tweets:
@leonardchen721: "Midtowners: Kogi truck is worth it but I hear the line is 300+ deep right now. Maybe easier to book a flight to LA and get it here."
@MikeCiferri: "Kogi Line is not moving damnit!"
@sameergrover: "Kogi in NYC is a sham. They aren't serving the tacos...only kimchi quesadillas and a dessert...SHAM!!"
@winedanddined: "More Kogi Koverage--Midtown Restaurant on 55th b/t lex & 3rd handing out menus & samples to people in line in hopes food runs out."
· @foodwriterdiary: "Kogi's 1/2 block from office, in Dessert Truck. Thought of trying it; line so long I couldn't see where it ended; decided not to be a stooge."
12:32: I've now counted 14 passersby who've asked me directly what this is all about. Many, many more who are just lingering in awe trying to figure it out.
12:37: I just spoke with Mark Manguera, president and owner, about plans for the future in NYC. No set date yet, since they have to acquire the right permits and it's "much more difficult here than in LA, where you can just pick up and set up a truck anywhere." Says he is "working diligently" to make it happen. If the truck doesn't work out he plans to do a stand.
12:40: The line has gotten a bit shorter. No one has joined it in over 3 minutes. Just overheard, "Wanna go somewhere else?" "No way we'll make it in time."
12:41: They have cut off the line.
12:46: ALERT: Only 32 portions left!!!
12:53: 6 PORTIONS TO GO!
12:54: EaterNY: So how was it?
MaxSilvestri: Solid. I mean, two little pieces of a cheese and kimchi quesadilla was not life changing...
MaxSilvestri: I wish I could have gotten regular food, you know?
EaterNY: how long did you have to wait?
MaxSilvestri: I got there at like 11:50. and we got our food at about 12:28.
EaterNY: so not so bad?
MaxSilvestri: Not terrible. But then you waited all that time and ate the food in 20 seconds and are still hungry.
EaterNY: would you wait for it again if this becomes a perm thing?
MaxSilvestri: If I got to order as much food as I wanted, yes.
12:58: "100 percent sold out of food"
1:00: Lee Anne Wong announces to the 70 or 80 people still in line, "Kogi truck will be coming to New York late this summer." And we're done here. Read more coverage of the event here and here.
— Reporting by Gabe Ulla