East Side King

Review by: Emily Madsen

Hidden in behind the Liberty Bar in Austin Texas, this hipster food truck serves Asian fusion fare to surprise any taste buds. Describing its cuisine as “Japanese street food with a touch of Austin soul,” it quickly became one of our favorite places in Texas. For us, one of the best parts is that about 80% of all its dishes can be made gluten-free or already are. Some dishes can be made vegan upon request.

We got an assortment to share so we could taste a little bit of everything, and we recommend you do the same. Our selection included fried cucumber kimchi, fried beets, Thai chicken, and fried Brussels sprouts. Our taste buds were in heaven. The fried cucumber kimchi has crunch and just enough spice to make itself known without being overpowering. The kimchi is homemade and tastes fresher than most fried foods. Same goes for the fried beets, simply covered in rice flour: Each bite is full of spice and flavor without losing the beets’ natural taste. Beware the beets, though. Ours were insanely hot when they come out, a fact we learned this the hard way. We suggest you wait a few minutes before indulging!

Thai chicken is similar to other Asian chicken dishes in that it is battered and fried, here done to perfection: crisp outer crust, no soggy breading, and glaze to make your mouth sing. This was one of our two favorites of the four dishes. The other was the Brussels sprouts. No batter or flour coating on these; they are tossed straight into the fryer and come out golden and crunchy. A glaze similar to the one atop the chicken is slathered on. It’s got an Asian but also slightly spicier taste, including a twist of Tex Mex heat.

With full stomachs, we left the East Side King wishing we had appetite to eat more. It’s one of the best places we tried in Texas. Even if Asian food is not your top choice, we highly recommend you make a visit. We guarantee there is something you will love.

Note: There are brick-and-mortar East Side Kings at 2310 S. Lamar Blvd. and 2538 Guadalupe Street in Austin, as well as a couple of other East Side King food trucks.

What To Eat

East Side King Recipes


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