Location(s): All Over Korea
Food Category: Mexican
Price Range: $$
Gangnam Number: 02-2112-3883
Itaewon Number: 02-794-9225
The Tomatillo Price Range:
8,000won - 14,000won Per Item
The Tomatillo Story:
January 20, 2018
Tomatillo is a Tex-Mexican restaurant chain that has locations all over Korea. The actual meaning of Tomatillo is a Mexican husk tomato (no idea why they named the restaurant that). I had visited their Gangnam location this week, which is located inside Gangnam Finance Center (GFC) basement 2nd floor. Gangnam Finance Center is located on the famous Tehenran-Ro (테헤란로). Many big named companies such as Google, Disney, and Nike have their Korean Branch HQ located inside this building. Because of all the workers inside and around this area, the building’s basement 1st and 2nd floor is filled with many restaurants for these workers to eat.
Tomatillo Gangnam is an open restaurant, meaning that there are no walls to divide or cover them from the restaurants next to them. I had visited on a Sunday afternoon and the whole building was pretty empty (expected... since people usually don’t work on Sundays, and this is a Business Finance building). The restaurant was pretty big, with the middle of the restaurant being the ordering area and kitchen... and they had a lot of available seating on both sides of the restaurant. To order, they had the traditional ordering area with LED TV menus, or they also offered a Kiosk ordering system.
Next to the ordering stations, they had a glass covered Kitchen in the middle of the restaurant. Inside you could see the chefs create and make the food. It was pretty fun watching them make the food, and interact with each other (especially since my phone batteries was dying and I had nothing to do). The chefs were different races and were all speaking in English, which was also cool to see.
The real reason for my trip to Tomatillo was that they are the only restaurant that I have heard of in Korea that sells a California Burrito. For people who don’t know what a California Burrito is... a California Burrito usually has carne asada, French Fries, guacamole, cheese, and sour cream. The burrito was created in San Diego, California and has been a staple in my diet when I was living in Los Angles, California. Obviously the California Burrito is a fusion burrito, and some people might think French Fries in a burrito is weird.... However, it’s delicious.
After looking over the menu, I decided to order the California Style Burrito and a Chicken Quesadilla. When ordering any of the food item you are asked if you want to add addition items onto the meal (guacamole, sour cream, etc.) for extra charge. *The quesadilla comes with sour cream and salsa on the side.
The Food Ordered At Tomatillo:
California Style Burrito
Taste: Tomatillo’s California Style Burrito was a little different than the ones I ate back in California. The burrito size was decent (pretty big for Korea standard), but way smaller than the California burritos that I was used to eating. The burrito had carne asada, guacamole, thick cut fries, and hot sauce that was all wrapped in tortilla. The burrito was solid and tasty. It was missing sour cream, so I took the side sour cream from my quesadilla and poured some inside... which made it better. The asada was seasoned well, the guacamole gave it the fresh “California” taste, and who doesn’t like French Fries? There is no way this burrito can taste bad. At 9,500won for a burrito... it could be expensive, but I honestly thought it tasted pretty good.
Taste: The Chicken Quesadilla was a standard quesadilla. Inside it had marinated chicken, cheese, and grilled onions. Mentioned before, they gave you a side of sour cream, salsa, and pickled items (pickles and radish). The chicken tasted delicious, but everything else was just a normal quesadilla. It tasted like a upgraded Taco Bell’s quesadilla, but at 8,500won.
Bottom line, I thought Tomatillo was alright. The California Style Burrito wasn’t exactly the same California Burrito I’m used to... but it satisfied my cravings. This place's proteins (asada and chicken) were cooked deliciously, but at the price point... I’m not sure how worth it is. With that all said the food was tasty, and if I get my California Burrito itch imma probably head over here to fix it.
The Rating At Tomatillo:
The Hours, Website, & Phone Number At Tomatillo:
Gangnam (GFC) Branch Hours:
SUNDAY: 11:00AM - 10:00PM
MONDAY: 11:00AM - 10:00PM
TUESDAY: 11:00AM - 10:00PM
WEDNESDAY: 11:00AM - 10:00PM
THURSDAY: 11:00AM - 10:00PM
FRIDAY: 11:00AM - 10:00PM
SATURDAY: 11:00AM - 10:00PM
Gangnam Phone Number: 02-2112-3883
Itaewon Phone Number: 02-794-9225