Mama Kim’s Korean BBQ Truck

mama kim's I finally bumped into this latest addition to the growing fleet of Providence food trucks. For now, the Kims have staked out an area near hungry Brown students — seen here today on lower Thayer Street. Mama Kim’s Korean BBQ offers wraps and sliders (beef short rib, spicy pork, sesame chicken, portabello) at $6 for a full-size, $3 for a mini. Or go for Mama’s Favorites; short ribs, bulgogi, seafood panjun, kimchi pajun, yubu rice, from $5 to $10. Owner Hyun Kim (Brown ’01) happened to be on hand today when I picked up an order of L.A. Ribs. He isn’t sure yet whether the truck locations will stay the same after the students have left town. (No change for now, and he hinted at a second truck coming online soon.) Hyun and his mom were inspired to go mobile with their food ambitions after a recent visit to the west coast.

Go here for location schedule and to track truck location in real time on Facebook and Twitter (the truck is out late-night on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday). Hyun said he would be returning to Thayer, just south of Waterman, at 5pm tonight, Sunday. (Drive carefully, students are partying in the area.) My ribs were absolutely yummy and would be super in a wrap I think. And for those who just don’t get kimchi (me, an hour ago) all will be revealed with Mama’s version. It was tangy and crunchy and a perfect complement to the ribs. (Picture after the jump.) And I love the color scheme of the truck.

This is the $10 L.A. Rib dish.

LA Short Ribs

5 thoughts on “Mama Kim’s Korean BBQ Truck”

  1. What a great discovery during my recent visit to Providence Waterfire! Mama Kim’s was there and they made a great move by giving out the beef bulgogi samples! I was hooked and made a que to order one immediately. I have to admit that I am not a beef lover and I always avoid it whenever I can. But Mama Kim’s beef bulgogi was excellent!!! It was very well marinated, moist and went very well with the rice!! I was also very surprised by the generous portion given at such a great price! Staff on the mobile truck was friendly too! I had a great experience and as I am writing this, I am already craving for it.

    Jack: guess what? local adaptation is the key to success for food business. You express yourself as if you know a great deal about korean food, maybe u are of korean descendant, i dont know, but I think it is great that they made a milder kimchi as many caucasians palates are not accustomed to the spiciness . Annie made a great point, request for it and u shall be given instead of giving reviews like a sore loser.

    In a nut shell, go try it!! Even if you are skeptical, try once and decide for yourself!

  2. Annie Messier

    We tried this Friday night and loved it. Good, friendly service and really delicious veggie pajun and veggie dumplings. I will concede one point to Jack, that the kimchi wasn’t spicy, but this isn’t a dealbreaker to me. I’ve asked for food to be extra-spicy at other eateries and the folks there complied, so I’m sure Mama Kim’s can do something for those who can’t consider it a good meal without a kick. Loved the interesting mix of drinks (went for the pear juice, but considered a rice water drink that sounded like congee in a can). I hate the “sliders” trend, but when I asked for a mini-wrap and they explained that Silver Star Bakery makes a special tiny Portuguese sweet bread just for them for sliders, I had to try it–and it was a yummy mix of sweet and savory! Who would have thought?

  3. I am looking forward to trying it.
    Jack – I think it’s unfair to any business to post such an acid response after only one visit. Talking about it to your friends that you didn’t enjoy it is one thing but placing in print that you had a poor experience is harmful to a new business. Best to express it to them directly so that they have an opportunity to change and then after the second try the gloves are off.

  4. Just had lunch here today and I’m not impressed.

    I got the bulgogi which tasted like mashed sweetened hamburger and looked like someone had thrown a congealed lump of meat on a plate. The “hot” sauce could have been used as caramel topping on a sundae. Kimchi is meant to be a hot, spicy and slightly sour vegetable mix. The stuff that they served tasted like it was in some unrecognizable acidic limbo.

    The point of Korean food is that its supposed to be spicy, not toned down and bastardized for some freshmen from Connecticut who don’t know better.

    Saving grace is that the portion size was OK. But when you have east side pockets and nice slice on the same street, its not necessarily a great thing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Providence Daily Dose