The East Side King pop-up at Toki Underground is happening now

For just one day, Paul Qui and Moto Utsunomiya of Austin's East Side King food trucks have uprooted from their usual perch on some of Austin's streets to serve a handful of mint-and jalapeno-covered treasures at Toki Underground.

Why the pairing? Qui (of "Top Chef" and Austin restaurants Uchiko and, now, Qui) is in town to take part in this weekend's charity foodie marathon, Sips & Suppers.


Paul Qui at the East Side King pop-up at Toki Underground on Friday. (Photos by Lavanya Ramanathan/The Washington Post)

The ESK pop-up opened at 11:30 a.m. today, and if you're familiar with Toki, you'll be comforted by the fact that the organized mayhem of loitering in the narrow stairway, leaving your name and getting a text when your seats are ready remains the same.

Once you're seated, you're handed a fancy embossed postcard of a menu that boasts six dishes ESK regularly serves on the Drag, South Lamar and other Austin streets. Prices range from $6 for a garlicky vegetarian Liberty Rice bowl, to $9 for Thai Chicken Kara-Age, the increasingly ubiquitous rustic fried-chicken dish.

Check out photos from lunch service below. The pop-up continues through dinner service, so if you can skip out of work early, do it to avoid (some of) the inevitable line.


Beef tongue kare kare buns (served with basil, mint, and cilantro) at the East Side King pop-up at Toki Underground.

The fried Brussels sprouts salad at the East Side King pop-up is one of the handful of vegetarian dishes on the menu, and it's excellent. (Lavanya Ramanathan/The Washington Post)

The beet home fries at the pop-up are also vegetarian. (Lavanya Ramanathan/The Washington Post)

The East Side King menu. (Lavanya Ramanathan/The Washington Post)

The line at 11:30 a.m. to get into Toki for the East Side King pop-up. (Lavanya Ramanathan/The Washington Post)
Lavanya Ramanathan is a professional eater/drinker/thinker for Weekend and the Going Out Guide. University of Texas. Northwestern University. Rap fan.
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