Japan meets Mexico at “Domo Taco” Truck

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Taco trucks were one of the earliest forms of culinary vehicles in most states to have them, and variations on the classic formula are now just as plentiful as the popular Mexican standby. Last time, we took a look at a Korean taco truck, “Kimchi Taco“, and today we continue into the world of Asian tacos with “Domo Taco”.

With its lime green truck and adorable batter-fried mascot adorning the sides, “Domo Taco” stands out on the streets that it parks on, and offers a taste from different parts of the East, mostly Japan but with a small Chinese and Thai influence too. I have had tacos from this truck plenty of times before, and was always surprised when I read mediocre reviews about the place, so it is time for Blowtorch Pudding to either set things straight, or figure out why my peers were not as into “Domo Taco” as I am.

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Eight bucks will get you three tacos, and ten will get you four. From left to right, I got the chicken, pork, fish, and steak tacos. Topping these bad boys is a slaw made of cabbage and scallions, and drizzled with Mexican crema, a fresh tomato salsa and refreshing salsa verde, with sesame seeds as a garnish. If you look on their website, a few of these tacos were supposed to be topped with Monterey Jack cheese, but there was none on mine, so not sure if they no longer do the cheese thing or if it’s now extra (as of the time of this article, their website is slightly outdated and does not include their shrimp tacos and a few new side dishes on the online menu).

Before I get to the food, one thing I need to compliment Domo Taco on is their packaging. I think this is the first taco truck I have gone to that did not give me my taco in either a plastic container or wrapped in foil. Whenever you use those two things, the heat from the food causes condensation in the container and therefore, gives you soggy tacos. Domo Taco uses a cardboard package with openings on both sides to keep your food warm, as well as keep the air circulating so you do not end up with Domo Taco soup.

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The lemongrass chicken (most left-oriented taco above) is the most mild in terms of exotic flavors from this taco truck, but is grilled wonderfully and is still very tasty. The tender pork taco, made from Char Siu pork and done in a pulled style like a traditional Mexican carnitas taco, was my favorite, with extremely moist and flavorful meat, and was the most complex tasting taco of the bunch.

One of the other complaints I had read about was that “Domo Taco” only uses one tortilla shell on each of their items. It looks like the people inside the truck saw that review, and I can say that they are now using two tortillas per taco – the way it always should be!

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The tempura battered fish taco was big lumps of lightly fried fish and used to be one of my favorite picks from this truck (until I had the pork). I had read reviewers complaining about an overpowering fishy odor, and I have never smelled that ever when I ordered this item. The only time I have had anything reeking of “The Little Mermaid” was when I ordered their Japanese Nacho Tots, which were covered with shaved bonito flakes that gave it a pretty offensive stink.

Lastly, the teriyaki steak taco was meaty and delicious, but I felt it was one of the few tacos in the bunch that suffered from those toppings. I felt like the taste of the meat was hidden thanks to the abundance of slaw and sauce on top, which was a shame since it was a nice portion of ribeye under that mess. While I do like the toppings, I wish there was some variation to those toppings (I remember a visit to them last year where there were more options), since not everything goes well with their uniform salsas and chopped cabbage (that do not add much to these tacos to begin with). I was lucky my pieces of fish were big enough to contend against the flavor of those garnishes, and it would be a pity if other tasters did not get to enjoy the meat the way it should be.

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“Domo Taco” has not come to my neck of the woods for many months, definitely eight months or so, and I can see why some reviewers were not as pleased as I was. The truck has made some changes since I last ate there, both in positive and negative ways, but the good news is that they are listening and open to feedback. I saw one reviewer title their post, “Domo Taco should be better than it is”, and I agree. I will remain a fan of their truck and will keep eating there, but I also hope that they continue to fix the issues they are having and maintain their quality as they do this. Domo is on the verge of going from good tacos to great tacos, and with a little more work, I think they will get there. Give them a try and let me know what you think!

You can follow “Domo Taco” on Twitter or Facebook to learn where they are on any day in NYC, or check out their website for more info on their menu or catering services.

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