By the strictest definition, nachos are tortilla chips covered in melted cheese, likely accompanied by other toppings like sliced jalapeno peppers, black olives, salsa and sour cream. If you’re feeling really fancy there may be a side of guacamole and, in the most extreme cases, a scoop of chili.
Madison’s 12|12, the new nachos and salad restaurant in Inglewood, is not a conventional eatery. And it doesn’t make a conventional nacho.
There are currently five nacho varieties on Madison’s menu, and with the exception of their Mexican nachos, none of them even remotely resemble your classic nacho platter. The social media star of the menu is the Korean nachos, a play on traditional Korean barbecue.
“The inspiration for this dish is from the Korean barbecue craze that swept the city a few years back,” says Pieter Boekhoff, who is part of the team behind Madison’s 12|12. “We periodically take what’s hot and trending around us and make a nacho that reflects the honour of the style while always adding a flair of our own.”
The homemade corn chips are topped with thinly sliced bulgogi-style beef, kimchi, mozzarella cheese, green onion, and, for extra drama, a sunny-side up fried egg. The secret ingredient that makes this plate so tasty is a housemade gochujang aioli. Gochujang is a fermented Korean chilli paste that hits a unique balance of sweet, spicy, and savoury, with a bit of tang thanks to the fermentation. The Madison’s kitchen combines it with mayo and honey then drizzles it over the nachos.
As with all of Madison’s nacho dishes, the Korean Nachos are matched on the menu with a sister salad, full of similar flavours. The Korean Salad features the same bulgogi beef with mixed greens, oranges, a gochujang-sesame dressing and a few crispy wontons on the side. Both the salad and the nachos can be made vegetarian for diners who want to sub out the beef for tofu or jackfruit.
1212 9 Ave SE, madisons1212.com