It probably does not take much in the way of perusal of the reviews on this site to come to the conclusion that when it comes to food I need no persuasion to go eat Asian.
And an Asian-inflected food truck? So much the better. Where Hoangie’s is basically Vietnamese and Tabe focuses on the Korean-Mexican fusion thing, Asian Persuasion takes a far more eclectic Pan-Asian approach to their fusion fare. Some dishes take their cues from Korea (their Korean BBQ Burrito), others from Japan (their FOB taco), still others Chinese (the Char Siu Pork Sandwich). And then there’s the Spam Musubi. More on that later.
The Char Siu Pork Sandwich riffs on various notions of “Barbeque” across the rock, including the pulled pork sandwich of American BBQ tradition, the flavors of Korean BBQ and the form of a Vietnamese Banh Mi. If it sounds confused it doesn’t really taste that way. It works. The Asian-style slaw perfectly plays off the richness of the meat. A dash of the chile garlic sauce gets the endorphins flowing and brings the whole thing into focus.
My only minor gripe with Asian Persuasion is that, on occasion, they seem to reflect a bit too much of the Asian Food Truck top 10. Do we really need more Korean-Mexican fusion? What does Asian Persuasion do with it that Kogi and Tabe haven’t It is when they go different directions – like the Char Siu Pork Sandwich or the FOB tacos – that they thrive.
And then there’s the Spam Musubi. Not to put too fine a point on it, its perfect. Spam Musubi is a Hawaiian classic, built with a slice of grilled Spam supporting a block of rice, wrapped together with nori, loosely in the tradition of Japanese omusubi. And Asian Persuasion makes a perfect package of it. The spam is perfectly charred, bringing into play the full sweetness of the Maillard Reaction. That sweetness plays perfectly with both the sweet and sour flavors of the sushi rice and the umami of the nori wrapper.
While the innovations Asian Pacific made to the original in form are minor, the simple fact is their version is nearly perfect…and, even if it weren’t would be one of the few versions available east of the Banzai Pipeline. Don’t miss your opportunity to enjoy it.