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TaKorean's newest outpost coming to Capitol Riverfront

Twelve12, where TaKorean will open its newest location

In announcing its second brick-and-mortar location, TaKorean continues its push to make the spicy pickled cabbage known as kimchi a taco topping de rigeur.
To the Twelve12 complex near Yards Park, TaKorean owner Mike Lenard will bring his signature caramelized tofu and bulgogi beef tacos, enlived with kimchi or napa cabbage slaw, lime crema and more. The restaurant, now under construction, is slated for a summer 2014 opening.
The Capitol Riverfront area “is a beautiful neighborhood,” Lenard says. “There’s lots of stuff going on down there. It is really going to be a destination for the area.
“It already is,” he added.
The forthcoming outpost of the fast-casual chain, where patrons can get three tacos or a rice bowl with their choice of toppings for $9, will be its largest to date. This location will probably offer soju, Korea’s signature spirit, a clear alcoholic beverage made from barley or rice and consumed neat. “It’s what I drink when I go out to eat Korean,” Lenard says.
Not necessarily Korean beer, though. “We’ll probably do more local American stuff,” he says. “There’s no microbrewery culture in South Korea."
TaKorean staked its first permanent claim with a stall at Union Market in 2012, and its original food truck edition continues to roam the District’s streets.
“Union Market is a great project for us,” Lenard says, speaking to Elevation DC from that location.  “We’ve done pretty well here and established our name a lot further than we had been able to do with just the truck.”
Lenard wouldn’t speculate on the next target for his “tako” takeover, but noted that the Yards Park location was “the obvious next step.”

Read more articles by Amy Rogers Nazarov.

Amy Rogers Nazarov is a Washington, D.C.-based journalist with more than 25 years experience as a staff reporter and a freelance writer, covering technology, adoption, real estate, and lifestyle topics from food & drink to home organizing. Her byline has appeared in Cooking Light, The Washington Post, Slate, Washingtonian, The Writer, Smithsonian, The Washington Post Express, The Baltimore Examiner, The Sacramento Bee, Cure, The Washington Times, Museum, and many other outlets. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists & Authors and tweets at @WordKitchenDC.
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