Koja recently opened a new brick and mortar in downtown Walnut Creek. It’s right across from the movie theater and close to the Broadway Shopping Plaza. Much like their food trucks, Koja displays images of their food on large lcd screens in the entrance area. The decor is modern, minimalist, and has accents of Asian style incorporated.
The menu includes the staples (Koja “burgers”) that made them one of the most popular food trucks in the Bay Area. They also included some new items to fill out a larger menu for a sit down style restaurant. I haven’t been to their food trucks in a while, so I’m not sure what they have on their truck menus, but the brick and mortar menu includes bowls, tacos, and various sides.
I’ve had the Koja several times, so I decided to try a taco. The corn tortillas were really good; flexible, but sturdy and had a good corn taste. Yes, I take my tortillas very serious. The worse thing you can serve me is a taco with sh!$@# tortillas. I also have an aversion to tacos that I cannot pickup with my hands and eat. Thankfully, Koja made a proper two-tortilla taco! The tacos were good and taste exactly as they are described. For example, the braised pork taco has a coconut flavor that is noticeable. All the tacos have plenty of salad in them to give it a fresh flavor. The only thing they’re missing was some crunch. One crispy tortilla like La Taqueria (in SF) or a cabbage slaw would add the crunch that’s missing.
I also tried the DMZ Wings (habanero infused bbq sauce, black pepper, sesame seeds). Was it 🌶? Of course it was spicy; however, Koja did a great job of making the subtle. It slowly creeps in and becomes hotter over time. Ever had those really spicy wings from a traditional place that was so spicy and so vinegary that you had to hold your breath while eating them because the fumes would make your nose recoil? These wings won’t make your nose recoil. The spice is their, but it doesn’t bash you over the head with one bite. The deep fried crust is also very good; nice and crispy, but not super oily. My guess is the chicken is twice fried to get the solid crispiness.
Overall, the visit was a pleasure. Good tasting food and definitely unique. There is absolutely nothing else like it in Walnut Creek.