Takeout Hero: Red Sesame Korean BBQ


B.J. Kim is the sauce whisperer. He’ll tell you himself that the magic is not in stuffing tasty Korean ingredients inside the convenience of a Mexican burrito or taco shell. The flavor hocus-pocus at Red Sesame is strictly in the sauces. Four of them to be exact. They are different mixtures of sweet, tangy, gingery, hot, and exotic.

Photograph by Wes Battoclette

Before he opened the Jungle Jim’s Eastgate location and conjured up tastes exclusively from his food truck, the man could just look at you and lay on the right mix of these four sauces to fit your personality. It’s a gift. I actually tried to get him to market his secret sauces and went so far as to put him in touch with a local company that excels at that. Ultimately, his ingredients were cost-prohibitive if made in bulk. But I digress. Red Sesame keeps it simple with tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and bowls. In addition to lettuce and Jack cheese, you can choose your protein in the form of chicken, steak, pork, or tofu. I highly recommend the steak, since it’s the core of Korean cooking. They also do a kimchi hot dog—a beef dog with lettuce, cheese, sauce (of course), and homemade kimchi (see our shout-out in the July issue). If you’ve really got a crew to feed, make it worth his while and Kim will bring over the truck and cater. But just so we’re clear, he doesn’t sell the sauce. I’ve begged. I’ve pleaded. I’ve faked a medical emergency. But no dice. You want it, you’ll have to come and get it.

Red Sesame Korean BBQ, 4450 Eastgate Blvd., Eastgate, (513) 843-5038. Lunch and dinner seven days.

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