I love Chipotle. No, no. You don’t understand. I love Chipotle.
You see, I worked for them for a year when I was in school. E. Coli outbreak be darned! It is one of the cleanest places with the freshest ingredients. I once won a contest of selling about $7k in Chipotle gift cards. Really, they sold themselves.
Being in Korea, it’s common to see a lot of pretend Chipotles. They’re usually well-intentioned, and they might get the job done when you’re hangry, but they’re usually missing something(s).
But this one? This one is different.
I had been settling for less for too long. I have a history of sending Chipotle love letters. This time last year, I sent them another love letter begging them to open in Korea. (I would be a great PR rep for them. Chipotle, I hope you read this one day.)
Upon reading this, my burrito-filled dreams really were crushed. I was left to settle for imitations all around Seoul. My only hope of ever having Chipotle again was in my visit America fantasies.
But something changed that. That something was La Cuchara. I didn’t even know about it at first. I got an urgent message from a friend. I was skeptical at first, but I knew she wouldn’t play me like that. You can’t tease someone about something so important.
So I went to check it out for myself. (Gangnam Station, Exit 8–go up the little escalator). La Cuchara did me well. It really was Chipotle.
Prices were similar, but why would the vegetarian bowl be about $2 extra? I also don’t think it comes with free guac.
No, it was not cilantro lime rice, but we all have a cross to bear. I don’t recall seeing red peppers in my Official Chipotle fajitas, and red peppers are great! +1 La Cuchara! So far, so good. Little La Cuchara was trying it’s best. These minor bumps have the potential to be smoothed out.
My rating: 10/10. No you didn’t read that wrong. It was all about the guac. It really tasted like Chipotle guac. That sold me. On the other hand, the chips were just like Chipotle’s, only they were missing the salt and lime.
I loved it so much that I had to go back. Going twice in 24 hours is nothing when it’s for an avocado. The second time I went back, they were out of guac. No sign, no forewarning, nothing! My chicken bowl was naked. If looks could kill, I just sent the two people behind the glass to the DMV with a 4 hour wait on a 95 degree day with the air conditioner broken. How could they.
I didn’t even bother to take a picture. I begrudgingly bought the bowl because I didn’t want to be that awful customer. I took a bite into the bowl…and it was so good even without the guac. I literally never thought that something like that could be possible.
La Cuchara, you’re new, and you’re still trying to figure things out. I forgive you. You’re the closest thing I’ll have to a real Chipotle for a very long time. I feel myself falling for you already. I’ll let Guacgate slide. Just this once.