She didn't invent the Korean Taco, but Julia Yoon, proprietor of the Seoul On Wheels Korean BBQ truck, can lay a claim to bringing hand-held Korean cuisine to the food truck world. In mid-2007, more than a year before LA's vaunted Kogi Truck hit the road, she was dispensing hearty portions of Korean barbequed meats in sandwich as well as rice bowl form to hungry workers. According to Julia, she first hit the streets on May 21, 2007. As was the normal modus at that time, she focused on lunchtime service for hungry workers at construction sites and other captive audiences, but by July of that year she had caught the attention of free-range Chowhound and Yelper foodies. In August, Seoul on Wheels received a full-fledged review with pictures by delighted blogger Bunrab, Bay Area Bites published her schedule of stops, and the process of raising an army of devoted fans had begun.
|With William Pilz and OTG's "Kevlar"|
By the summer of 2010, the Food Truck 2.0 movement (in which Julia and her Seoul on Wheels truck was a key pioneer) was well under way, and when Matt Cohen and Caleb Zigas created the food truck destination event Off the Grid: Fort Mason Center, Julia was among the first to answer the call. Seoul on Wheels has been an OTG fixture ever since. Amazingly, though Julia hasn't expanded beyond a single truck, and doesn't do a lot of delegating, Seoul on Wheels seems to make an appearance at nearly every food truck venue and special event in the Bay Area. Organizers seem to know that without Seoul on Wheels and Julia Yoon's sweetness and generosity of spirit, a food truck rally's street creds (as it were) are, at best dubious.
Early on, Julia introduced herself as The Princess of Yoon on her website, but I've upgraded her to Queen, because she is indisputably Queen of Food Trucks 2.0 in the Bay Area and perhaps the Universe. If you see that sedate academic blue truck with Julia smiling from the order window at Off the Grid: Fort Mason Center on Friday night (or at any of the 20-odd other events she'll show up at in the next week), stop by, say hello and congratulate her. Oh, and grab a Galbi Korrito.