At 11 a.m. on Dec. 14, Mogo’s co-owners will open the doors of their new Cookman Avenue location and start serving Korean tacos for the first time over the winter months.
Co-owners Sam Chung and Jay Devino [shown above, respectively] have operated their Korean taco pop-up stand on the boardwalk for the past few years. After the owner of Munch announced plans to close the Cookman Avenue restaurant, Devino and Chung welcomed the opportunity to take the space over. Their Korean tacos will now be available year-round at the Cookman Avenue location, as the boardwalk pop up location is only open during the summer season.
“We just want to be a part of the energy that is happening in Asbury Park,” said Chung.
The same $4 original pork, beef, chicken and tofu tacos will be on the menu, in addition to the shrimp taco that made the summer menu from time to time and an all new fish taco. An extended menu features burritos with kimchi or veggie fried rice options, salad bowls, rice bowls, Korean fried chicken wings with soy ginger glaze (and a spicy version to boot), and a Korean-style burger based off of a popular traditional dish made with marinated beef and vegetables called “bibimbap.”
Restaurant goers will also have access to a kimchi bar where they can choose from three options — original cabbage, sweet daikon radish and cucumber kimchi— to top off their meals with.
“If you want just a side of kimchi or to load your taco up with kimchi, it is up to you,” Chung said.
The vegetable fried rice, daikon and cucumber kimchi are additions to the already vegan tofu taco, burrito, salad and rice bowl menu options.
Executive chef Hannah Lee, who is also the restaurant’s graphic designer, came up with the recipes after brainstorming ideas with Chung and Devino, he said.
“We’re taking those traditional flavors and putting a western spin on them,” said Chung.
One of the main focal points of the 72-seat interior dining area is a mural on the large, easterly wall designed by local street artist Michael “Porkchop” Lavallee. It depicts a Korean flower and an urban background with the “eat” face, Mogo’s mascot, according to Chung. The color combinations are the same blue, red, grey and black tones.
“It’s a combination of where we are and where we started with the branding,” said Chung.
Prices will be kept in the affordable range. No entrée is priced over $10.
“We’re trying to be an affordable option in town,” said Chung. “Quick, fast, casual and comfortable — but with gourmet food.”
In addition to the year-round Cookman Avenue location, Chung and Devino will still operate the original pop-up stand located north of the First Avenue in the summer months.
“It’s our original location, it holds sentimental value,” he said. “It’s a great time to work and be by the beach.”
Mogo on Cookman will be open Mon.- Thurs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri. and Sat. from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.; and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. starting Saturday, Dec. 14. The restaurant is located at 632 Cookman Ave.
For more information, visit the Mogo website