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Gourmet Tacos Now at Hollywood and Highland

Newly opened Komida marries a casual dining style with exotic ingredients.

Asian fusion and quick-service tacos are a staple in most Angelenos' diets.  For casual food with a sophisticated twist, now there's Komida, a new eatery on the second floor of the Hollywood and Highland Center. Chef Brock Kleweno, of fine-dining restaurant , offers up gourmet-caliber ingredients, including duck confit and miso sake black cod, that fall within the affordable price range of $4 to $6.

The simple menu features six taco choices, three salsas (in jars and at the salsa bar) "artisan cocktails" and beer. It's cash-only until November with counter service and a self-seating area.

Komida's menu manages to stand out in a town already full of tacos. Japanese Miso Sake Black Cod and Chinese Hoisin Duck Confit are the most exotic offerings. The duck makes for a sweet and juicy filler, and at just $6, it's entirely affordable. The black cod was plump and fresh, but tasted better after a dab of salsa (I went with the Korean Chili Salsa Roja). The Korean Braised Short Rib was perfectly tender and tasted like it was slow-roasted with care.

Vegetarians are only offered one option on the menu: the Roasted Corn Veggie taco.

Tacos are served with tortilla chips topped with two surprising treats: wasabi guacamole and butter-pickled shishito peppers.

Kleweno tapped into Los Angeles' speedy gourmet trend when he started serving up delectable tacos at the weekly in the restaurant parking lot. Suddenly diners could satisfy their refined taste buds for a sliver of the cost of a sit-down meal at his restaurant.

After two years of being served exclusively at the seasonal market, Kleweno's overstuffed tacos and specially-concocted salsas have found a permanent home at Komida.

As with any newly opened restaurant, Komida faces some challenges. The location is currently only open two days a week for limited hours: Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kleweno said hours will be expanded in November.

And though the location is within the giant tourist attraction of the Hollywood and Highland Center, it is tucked away in a corner on the second floor (where the H. Wood club used to reside).

It seems that Komida is taking baby steps: the Thursday hours will serve the former Farmers Market crowd (the market is closed until next year) and the Saturday hours will coincide with the new Orange Drive Farmers Market.

Komida, 1738 N. Orange Dr., on the second floor of the Hollywood and Highland Center. Parking is available in the Hollywood and Highland structure.

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