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Get Pho Tacos And Burritos At This New Asian-Latin Fusion Joint
Anyone who has been to the 626 Night Market street food festivals has probably seen the infamous pho taco popularized by Rakken Tacos—pronounced, “rocking.” Their booths are hard to miss, after all the team takes up four to five booths at each night market selling street food like tacos, skewers, yakatori and other dishes with an Asian/Latin twist. The unique fusion dishes have done so well that owner Kenneth Nguyen, 40, is opening his first brick-and-mortar in the City of Commerce, right next to the Citadel Outlets.
“We started as one little booth at the 626 Night Market at the very first event in the summer of 2012. Now we take up four to five booths at each event and we don't plan on stopping. This new Commerce location will simply be an additional location for our fans to find us at. We will still be at all of the future night market events.”
Nguyen, the son of a Vietnamese refugee who fled the fall of Saigon, settled with his mother in Koreatown, or the “ghetto” as he calls it. “Back then it wasn’t so cool and hip to be in the area,” he explains. From there, some of his family married into Salvadorian families. The blended family combined Vietnamese, Salvadorian, and other Asian tastes and cooking techniques to create the dishes at Rakken. Even now, Rakken Tacos is a full-on family affair. Nguyen’s cousins and other extended family members man the grill, work the restaurant, and greet guests.
“I was very inspired by my childhood growing up among such a diverse community, as well as my time when I was in the Marine Corp working in the galley [kitchen]. The pho taco put us on the map, but this unique fusion of tastes that we have at Rakken Tacos is something I hope everyone will come by and try. They no longer have to wait until the 626 Night Market comes around anymore!”
The restaurant's signature pho taco will be prominently on the menu followed by their other taco specialties like the lemongrass pork belly (pastor), yuzu carne asada, and butter shrimp. This location will also serve pho burritos, as well as the crab with garlic aioli sauce and shrimp in lemon butter sauce taquitos and French fries that night market patrons have come to expect. There will also be rotating specials from time to time like the chicken curry served with a side or rice or baguette, the lemongrass beef ragu, shrimp cake banh mi to name a few.
Rakken Tacos officially opens its doors on Monday, February 22. Expect some grand opening deals for those that visit on opening day.
Rakken Tacos is located at 2444 South Atlantic Boulevard in Commerce, (323) 318-2588.