Coreanos Will Bring More Korean-Mexican Fusion to Allston This Month

Bulgogi tacos, kimchi papas fritas, and traditional Korean fare is taking over the former Wan's Deli.

Coreanos exterior

The Coreanos exterior, before the Allston restaurant opens mid-June. / Photo by Alex Wilking

Jina Kim was once a partner at Bibim, a homestyle Korean spot, but for her next venture in Allston, she’s combining her country’s traditions with the comforts of Mexican cuisine. Coreanos is slated for a mid-June opening from Kim, her husband, Yongsik, and her son, Alex.

“We wanted to do something different,” Alex Kim says.

Different for their family, and fairly different for Boston. The “KoMex” trend started years ago in California, and it’s been gaining popularity around the country, although the Hub has been slow to catch on. Now, Gogi on the Block rolls through town with bulgogi burritos and rice bowls, and a casual spot called OliToki just opened a few blocks away from Coreanos. That’s just a coincidence, and Kim was happy to meet his new neighbors.

It says something about the Allston neighborhood. This [fusion concept] is huge in L.A. and New York. It’s a long time coming here, especially Allston, with such a young, hip, diverse population,” Kim says.

With career chef Yongsik Kim in the kitchen, Coreanos will offer Korean tacos, doubled-up corn tortillas loaded with marinated meats and spicy ginger slaw; a pan-fried kimchi quesadilla on a flour tortilla with cheese and a choice of meats; and kimchi papas fritas, topped with cheese, house-made kimchi, and optional meats and a fried egg. Kimchi is house-fermented, and they are also developing a handful of signature sauces, including gochujangKorean spicy mayo, sweet miso, and cilantro lime sauce.

Beyond the fusion fare, there will be double-fried, Korean-style chicken, as well as some of the more traditional plates found at places like Bibim.

“We’ll have bibimbap, ddukbokke, kimbap, Korean stews like kimchi jigae, a lot of traditional stuff, because there are so many students in Allston that want to eat Korean food,” Kim says.

The Kim family has been renovating the small storefront, formerly Wan’s Deli, for just about a month, including laying porcelain flooring that mimics redwood, and covering the walls with gleaming white subway tiles. It will have about 10 seats, and also a robust catering program, and local delivery.

The restaurant will softly open next weekend, and Kim is hopeful full-time hours will begin Monday, June 14. It will be open daily for lunch and dinner.

Coreanos, opening June 2016 at 172 Brighton Ave., Allston, Facebook.