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Boka Kantina [121]

by Ethan on July 1st, 2013

boka1To date, we have avoided reviewing food trucks. It shouldn’t be a problem… Richmond has some great ones and we are “52 Lunches” not “52 Restaurants”. But every time we envisioned reviewing a food truck, the scenario ended with us eating in our cars or taking it back to work and eating it lukewarm. So we’ve always tacked back to a sit-down place. Boka Truck in particular nagged at us because they visit one of our corporate neighbors every Monday and we drive by it every Monday on the way to… something else.

Boka solved all of this for us by opening Boka Kantina near Regency Mall. A new friend from Richmond Magazine explained it to us at a party a couple weeks ago. Boka was already leasing multiple kitchen spaces to support their truck operations… why not rent a place that could support a few tables, too? In our semi-professional estimation, Boka’s small retail space won’t stay small for long.

IMG_4557Boka’s new restaurant space isn’t large, just a few small tables, but the menu is huge, based on “Chef inspiration and Seasonal Availability”. Adam and I went expecting to get the signature item from their truck, “The Gauntlet” (three tacos, each with a different meat and style) which he have both enjoyed in the past. We weren’t expecting more than a dozen new choices, each of which was explained to us personally by the chef. There was too much to choose from, but I zeroed in on the side portion Boka Mac & Cheese (Bacon, Wild mushroom, and Sherry mac & cheese) and ordered a side Pork Belly Taco. Adam chose Coconut Curry Shrimp with a side Braised Lamb Taco.

We both liked our tacos, but loved our pasta dishes. Adam’s lamb taco was tender and tasty and an interesting flavor combination for a taco. Boka seems to thrive on interesting and unexpected flavor combinations. My pork taco was also a little runny, but a great flavor combination and held together by a high-quality tortilla.

But those pasta dishes… Adam called his Coconut Curry Shrimp probably the best mac & cheese he had ever had. And my wild mushroom & sherry bacon mac was fantastic and possibly the best I have ever had. Boka’s website indicates that the menu is subject to change but I’m hoping and expecting this dish to be a mainstay. The picture above make it look good, but it tasted even better. My mouth is watering as I type this, remembering the dish days later.

IMG_4556As of this writing, Boka Truck’s restaurant space is strictly lunchtime, Monday through Friday. While there, we overheard news that they had acquired an ABC license and would be opening for dinner shortly. Depending on when you read this, call ahead to be sure. Until they have dinner hours, I have to figure out how to drag my bride out of the Fan at lunchtime so she can try that mac & cheese, too. Adam and I thoroughly enjoyed Boka Kantina and deem it a Hall of Famer.

Lunch Topics: finding time for keeping up with friends in a post-kids world, Card Hunter, Lego tables, SWTOR, the economics of bridging a food truck business with a restaurant, Frostbite 3, work, summer camps & field trips, the creepy business model of plasma buying companies

Boka Kantina on Urbanspoon
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