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Mighty Boba Truck

Mighty Boba Truck

The Mighty Boba Truck is one of two boba-centric trucks currently on the road - the other is simply called The Boba Truck. Mighty Boba serves different flavored teas with tapioca pearls; it also features Taiwanese snack food such as boneless pork chop, popcorn chicken, and sausage.

Popcorn chicken at The Mighty Boba Truck

Their food's available in a snack-size portion ($4), or in a lunch box ($6), which also contains rice and veggies. I got a snack-size portion of the spicy buttermilk popcorn chicken. Small pieces of light and dark meat were coated in a tangy, slightly sweet breading that packed a bit of heat. Just two tiny complaints: the chicken was ever so slightly overdone, making the breading tough to bite through in places; and it could have used a pinch less salt. Otherwise, it was really tasty, and I ended up getting it again a few weeks after this first visit.

We got two boba teas ($4 each, plus $0.50 each for the boba): black milk tea and honey milk green tea. The boba were a tad smaller than what I've determined to be "standard" boba size. Like too-large matzo balls, big boba tend to be less flavorful, and their outside skins start to soften and slough off, creating a gelatinous muck on their surfaces. (Can you tell I've eaten quite a bit of boba in my time?) These smaller boba were chewy and tasty. They also zoomed up the big boba straw, meaning I pretty much had a perfectly sized mouthful of tapioca every time I took a sip of tea.

Boba tea from The Mighty Boba Truck

I could have drunk a gallon of the black milk tea. (It's a good thing I didn't, though, or I wouldn't have slept for the next three or four days.) So many boba places drown their black tea's flavor in milk and sugar, but here, the tea definitely kept its smoky aroma, even though it was surrounded by sweetness. This boba tea is higher-quality than the tea you'll find in a lot of boba joints, because it doesn't taste like someone made a giant vat of it; it tastes as if it was brewed just for you.

The honey green milk tea was almost preposterously sweet. I loved it, but for those of you who prefer less sugar in your tea, the Mighty Boba Truck will make it how you like it - just ask.

The Mighty Boba Truck

The truck doesn't have too many options for vegetarians, but then again, it is a snack-and-drink truck rather than a full-on meal-serving machine. On the day I visited the truck, there was one vegetarian choice on the menu: sweet potato fries with condensed milk ($4). Looking at the menu online, I see the truck also offers pan-fried tofu steak with a honey-soy sauce glaze. Since I'm a sucker for anything with condensed milk, I'm going to try the sweet potato fries on my next visit to the Mighty Boba Truck.

Photos by Oliver Seldman


No Tomatoes Truck

No Tomatoes truck

No Tomatoes is an Indian food truck that's been on the road for about eight weeks now. It gets its name from one of its co-owners' food-ordering habits. He noticed he was always asking for menu items sans the red fruit, and so he decided to turn that preference into his truck's gimmick. The cute thing is: the truck's soda-and-chips side display features a big stack of plump, bright red tomatoes. They're free, and you can ask for them to be included in any of the truck's dishes.

Tomatoes on the No Tomatoes truck

I paid my first visit to the truck on a freezing night in West LA, on Sawtelle and Olympic. Their menu included: a kathi roll - a whole-wheat wrap filled with either shredded meat or veggies; a chapli burger - ground beef or chicken on a burger bun with mint chutney and red chilies; and biryani rice, which is what I ordered. The dish consists of saffron-flavored biryani rice and tender pieces of chicken, garnished with red onion, cilantro and mint chutney. I got the combo ($8), which came with a drink and two samosas. My food came up super quick, and was piping hot. The spice level was perfect for a pantywaist like me - it was full of flavor, but not mouth-burning. The biryani gracefully walked the line between succulence and greasiness without once stepping over to the dark side.

Biryani and samosas from the No Tomatoes truck

The samosas were stuffed with ground beef and potatoes, and practically melted in my mouth. To heck with crispy samosas, I say; the doughier the better. These delivered.

No Tomatoes served up some seriously delicious Indian street food. I felt like I'd eaten a decadent meal, but escaped the grease hangover that so often accompanies dishes like the ones I chose. I have only one request to make of these lycopene-eschewing folks: that they start offering desserts.

The No Tomatoes truck

Photos by Oliver Seldman


10 Most Reliably Delicious Food-Truck Menu Items

Sometimes I'm not in the mood to try a new truck; sometimes I want to eat food I already know I love. Other times, I hit the street in pursuit of a specific taste memory I want to relive. In these situations, I have a growing list of favorite menu items that I'm sure will be great every time. Here, in no particular order, are my 10 most reliably delicious food-truck dishes.

1. Bamwich, TastyMeat! ($8 for footlong, $6 for eight-inch version). Beef/lamb (hence "bam") shawarma wrapped in a pita, with romaine lettuce, roma tomato, red onion, tzatziki, red feta sauce and tahini. Shaved thin, the meat tastes like it's marinated in garlic, yogurt and vinegar, making it tangy and piquant. If you're a slow eater like me, get the eight-inch instead of the footlong - it's less likely to fall apart and unleash its innards into your lap.

2. Beef gyro, Louks To Go ($5). Beef, tzatziki, tomato, onion, and french fries all rolled up inside the best pita I've ever eaten. It's soft and tender, and you can taste the olive oil in it. Of all the meat options on the Louks truck, I've found the beef to be the most dependably delicious. This dish made me a raw-onion convert - I love their crunch and peppery bite in the sandwich, and I even love the crazy onion breath they give me, although I'm sure my friends and family aren't quite as enthused about that part.

Louks beef gyro

3. Lemongrass chicken or pork banh mi, Phamish ($6). Considering how often I visit the truck, it's ridiculous that I haven't yet reviewed Phamish. This Vietnamese sandwich comes with pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro and jalapeno peppers on a baguette. I opt to leave off the garlic mayo. The lemongrass chicken and pork are intensely flavorful; while many friends of mine love Phamish's lemongrass tofu banh mi, I find the tofu soaks up a bit too much marinade for me - but it's still one of the tastiest veggie sandwich options in town. I tend to think the chicken and pork stand up better to the marinade's flavor onslaught, maintaining their own personalities. The bread is flat-out awesome - the outside's crunchy without being mouth-splintering, and the inside is pillowy soft. Of all the items on this list, this sandwich travels the best - it's the perfect to-go meal.

4. Crack chips, Chef Brian's Comfort Truck ($2). Oh, delicious deep-fried flour tortilla chips! Why are there only 6 of them in a serving? I've tried making these at home, but they never come out so gloriously golden. This is the only food-truck menu item I've brought home, eaten in five minutes flat, then considered driving all the way back to the truck immediately, just to get more.

Crack chips from Chef Brian's Comfort Truch

5. Balsamic fig and mascarpone ice cream, Coolhaus ($5). Hunks of fig dot this dense, subtly flavored ice cream. Coolhaus' thing is that you get the ice cream between two cookies, but I barely notice them when I'm eating ice cream this good. That said, oatmeal raisin cookies work really well with the flavors of fig and sweet cheese.

6. Mini meat pie ($3 for two), Kabob n' Roll. I like my meat pies doughy, not flaky, and as deep-fried as humanly possible. These small empanada-like meat pockets fit the bill. The ground beef inside is rich with gravy. The pastry melts in your mouth.

7. Butter chicken, India Jones ($7). These tender chunks of chicken breast come in a thick, creamy sauce with a side of basmati rice. It's an appropriately sized portion rather than a gargantuan mound of food - which means you'll have room in your stomach to order several other items from the India Jones menu - and it's been consistently good every time I've had it.

8. Holding the joint number 8 spot are: the carne asada taco from KO Tacos ($2.50), and the carne asada taco from Don Chow Tacos ($2).The KO taco's filled with super-juicy beef and tangy, crumbly cotija cheese. Don Chow hasn't been around my neck of the woods lately, and I've missed regularly nomming on their perfectly seasoned carne asada taco.

(Bottom) Carne asada taco from KO Taco Truck

9. A hot dog from The Greasy Wiener. When you have a hot-dog craving, the Greasy Wiener satisfies every time. You can go for the basics if you're in a no-frills mood: the Greasy Wiener's namesake dog has mustard, grilled onions, a dill pickle spear and one topping (we get sauerkraut). If you'd like a bit more 'zazz, go for a Berkowitz, a bacon-wrapped dog with chili and cheese. Your craving for a dog may lead to a burger jones - ours often do. If so, the Wiener has Iggys: two Angus beef sliders topped with American cheese on King's Hawaiian rolls. They're a no-fail burger solution.

10. Barbecued meat, Barbie's Q ($8 for a sampler plate). Whether it's pulled pork, barbecued beef, or smoked chicken, the meat on this truck is absolutely top-notch. A friend once skipped the sides (excellent collard greens, cheesy grits, and mac and cheese)  and ordered nothin' but a big old plate of meat from Barbie's - and that was his entire dinner. That's pretty much a ringing endorsement right there. Oh, and by the way? He ate that plate - and then he ordered another one, to go.

I considered adding some other menu items to this list, but I can't yet call them reliable: either I've only had them once, or I sampled them a second time, only to be ever so slightly disappointed. That said, I hope to be adding more dishes to the list very soon. One item I would love to include: the cheeseburger dumplings from Dim Sum Truck. I was so disappointed on the first Melrose Night when the truck sold out of them before I got a chance to order any. You will not thwart me twice, oh elusive dumplings! I may have only eaten you once, but, by God, I shall have you again!

What are your most reliably delicious food-truck picks? Post them in the comments, and we'll compile a reader-suggested list of favorites.


First Friday 11/5: Slammin' Sliders, Che Truck and More

Yesterday at First Friday on Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice, I checked out several trucks I'd never tried before. My first course came from Slammin' Sliders, and my second from Cafe con Leche. Third in my belly was Chef Che's Argentine Cuisine. I then went back to one of my favorites, the KO Taco Truck, for a special pork sisig taco. Coming in last, but definitely not least, was New York Ice Connection.

Parking on Abbot Kinney gets crazy on First Friday. We were psyched to snag a spot right on the boulevard at Westminster Avenue. Across the street, we spotted Slammin' Sliders, and made a beeline for the truck. We got the Kobe beef sliders with cheddar ($6 for two). They were simple, no-frills burgers with nothing but cheese on King's Hawaiian sweet buns, and they were perfect. They're some of the best food-truck sliders I've tasted. We also ordered an orzo pasta opal basil salad - $1 got us a generous serving. This was a damn good pasta salad. The orzo was accompanied by tiny cubes of tomato and cucumber, as well as onion, and I tasted just the faintest hint of the opal basil (a darker-leaved variety of the herb) in the creamy pink mayonnaise dressing.

Kobe beef sliders and orzo salad at the Slammin' Sliders truck

Cafe Con Leche (sometimes also referred to by their Twitter account name, Cuban Cafe Mobile) was our next food-truck victim. We ordered from the Pastelitos (small pastries) section of the menu. Pastelitos can be sweet or savory, so we decided to choose one from column A and one from column B. On the savory side: a beef empanada (also $1.75). The pastry managed to be simultaneously thick and fluffy. The beef it enveloped was shredded, rather than ground. It came with a tiny cup of deliciously tart and spicy mayo for dipping. Nowhere was it specified that I had to restrict my dipping activities to pastry-only administration; therefore, I also dipped my fingers in the mayo several times.

On the sweet side: guayaba y queso ($1.75), a warm guava and cheese pastry that has a lot in common with a Danish. The guava and sweet cheese oozed out of the puff pastry, and I didn't feel even a little bit guilty for having dessert in the middle of my meal.

We also got one of the best cups of coffee I've had in a very, very long time. I must admit that I don't really like coffee: I know, blasphemy and heresy and all those things. This cafe con leche ($2.50), however, was mellow and sweet, with no trace of the metallic taste that so often characterizes coffee-drinking for me. Bonus: it was the perfect temperature to drink right away.

Onward we rallied, to the Che Truck, where we got El Mariachi, otherwise known as a chicken empanada ($3.50). I accidentally spilled chimichurri sauce all over it, making for a flavorful, if slightly soggy, pastry. The crust was a tad too thin for my taste: I tend to prefer it thicker and more robust. The chicken filling was also not quite to my taste: seasoning-wise, it had a lot of heat, but not much spice.

We also got an order of chimichurri fries ($2.50) - the large, flat steak fries soaked up the oil in the chimichurri, coating the fries with tiny, tasty pieces of parsley and garlic. The fries got very soggy after a while, which was OK because we were eating them immediately, but they wouldn't have lasted if we'd taken them to go.

And still onward we forged, though our bellies were getting ever fuller. My husband had heard that the KO truck was serving a pork sisig taco, named the Pacquiao in honor of Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino boxer who's due to fight Antonio Margarito on November 13. (KO was also offering a Margarito taco - deep fried beans and cheese.) We squeezed our way into the jam-packed Brig parking lot, where Chef Chris Goossen told us he'd read a lot about pork sisig before devising his own take on the classic Filipino dish. The pork was chopped rather than shredded, making it juicier. The KO Truck is one of my husband's and my favorite mobile eateries, and this new menu item was just as tasty as their regular fare. Which sold out first - the Pacquiao or the Margarito? On this particular night, according to a tweet from the KO truck, Pacquiao took the title, but it was an extremely close fight.

I can't truly feel like my meal is finished until I have dessert (even if eating that guava pastry means I technically already had it), so our last stop was New York Ice Connection, where we got two Italian ices - one lemon and one chocolate. They have two sizes: "Skinny" ($3) and "Fatsy" ($4), or two Skinnies for $5, which is what we got. The ices sent our son into paroxysms of giggling insanity every time he took bites. If I wasn't an adult, and therefore required to maintain some semblance of propriety in public, I would have been cackling hysterically right along with him - these ices are that good. I was surprised that a chocolate Italian ice could taste as rich as regular ice cream. Plus their slogan is "The Best Friggin' Ices in New York," which is just plain awesome.

After the ices, we staggered back along Abbot Kinney, passing the Slammin' Sliders truck again. We lamented that our stomachs were too full to accommodate any more sliders - this was our favorite new truck of the night, and there were plenty more menu items we wanted to try. We found our car and shoe-horned ourselves into it. First Friday can get a little packed, both in terms of cars and of people, but it's one of the best events for sampling multiple trucks' cuisine. And if "sample" means "stuff oneself to the gills," then sample we did.

Slammin' Sliders truck


Sweet E's Bake Shop

My husband and I have an almost foolproof technique when it comes to hitting Miracle Mile food trucks during lunchtime. We show up later in the lunch service, when the lines have shortened, but the trucks haven't yet run out of food or put their doors down. Sweet E's, however, foiled our plan - they'd sold out of much of their stock by the time we made it over to their van, and we were faced with a largely empty baked-goods display. I knew then that their sweets must be "on point," as the young people say.

All smiles at Sweet E's

Sweet E's calls itself a mini bake shop, because its petite creations are "2-3 bites of pure delight." Since I'm a sweetaholic, 50 bites of pure delight is more my thing, but I know it's good to practice moderation, so instead of buying up all their remaining stock, I limited myself to a cookies-and-cream whoopie pie ($3) and a chocolate chip brownie ($1.25).

The Whoopie Pie featured cookies-and-cream icing sandwiched between two dense chocolate cakes. When icing's bad, it's really bad: before I take my first bite of anything iced, I'm always slightly wary of potential lardiness, grittiness, or tooth-piercing sugariness. I had nothing to be afraid of here; the Whoopie Pie's center had the smooth, perfectly blended consistency of ice cream. I also had no complaints cake-wise - they had a great chewy:cakey ratio, and their sweetness seemed like it'd been dialed down a notch so as not to compete with the icing.

Whoopie Pie and brownie from Sweet E's Bake Shop

If the Whoopie Pie's cakes were dense, the brownie was like an edible version of a black hole - just the way I like them. It was hard to believe there was any flour whatsoever in that thing. I couldn't hold it for more than a second without it melting all over my fingers, so, of course, I had to eat it very quickly. (I wouldn't normally have done that, you see. No, really.) In a remarkable display of self-control, I managed to save some for my son. After he'd finished it, he didn't believe me when I told him there was no more, and even demanded I show him the paper bag it had come in, just in case I was hoarding some for myself.

The next time I can make it out to the Sweet E's van, I plan to sample an assortment of the Cake Pops, chocolate-dipped mini cakes on lollipop sticks. I've been running my mouse pointer over the cake pop menu, watching the pictures of the cakes flash by, and drooling. My top three flavors to try: lemon cake dipped in white chocolate; chocolate cake dipped in peanut butter; and pumpkin spice cake dipped in white chocolate.

Sweet E's Bake Shop truck


Lake Street Creamery

Lake Street Creamery truck

Ice cream + food trucks = perfection, as far as I'm concerned. My trip to Lake Street Creamery only served to strengthen this conviction. The service is exceptionally accommodating, and the (ridiculously good) ice cream comes in unique, interesting flavors.

I love the look of the truck: its powder-blue wrap and classic fonts come straight from the 50s, but its logo is hardcore gangsta. The speakers were blaring the Brian Setzer Orchestra's "Dirty Boogie" album when I visited, which added to the 50s vibe.

Lake Street Creamery menu

The kind folks at Lake Street Creamery obliged us by letting us taste a few of the ice cream flavors. Donut was awesome, but my favorites were Black Jack and California Zephyr. Both were incredibly subtle flavors that still managed to be memorable. Black Jack is licorice-flavored, but isn't so intense that it blows your head off. California Zephyr blends Tahitian vanilla, mint and Meyer lemon. I expected it to be much tarter and tangier, but there was only a hint of lemon - the perfect amount. I eventually opted for a single scoop of Holiday Chocolate ($4), which featured cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and ginger in a base of Ghirardelli chocolate. The bits of ginger gave the ice cream a nice kick, and were the ideal size - big enough to be recognizable as pieces of fresh ginger, without being giant chewy chunks.

The scoop came in an edible waffle-cone bowl that stayed crisp all the way through my leisurely devouring of the ice-cream inside it. Seriously - my husband and I were amazed at this waffle bowl's ability to keep its shape and not get in the least bit soggy. A feat of culinary engineering! It was crunchy and sweet, with a touch of molasses flavor - one of the best waffle cones (and the only waffle bowl) I've had and it's eco-friendly, too.

The Pancake Breakfast flavor had maple syrup, bacon, and big cakey slabs of flapjack, all topped off with a sprinkle of fresh-ground coffee. My only beef? The pork. The bacon flavor was just too overpowering - maybe it was the size of the pieces. I'm not generally a huge fan of bacon in my sweets, however, and judging from the very positive online reviews, this flavor's a fan favorite, so what do I know: try it, despite what I say.

Lake Street Creamery offers floats, too - mix any of the truck's sodas with any ice cream flavor, and, as the English say, Bob's your uncle. Try Donut ice cream with chocolate soda for a Chocolate Donut float. There are also a whole bunch of flavors the truck serves as daily specials. One I definitely want to try is the Don Draper: vanilla ice cream with smoke, bourbon, and caramel sauce. Another is Bananarella: banana ice cream with chunks of banana and a Nutella ribbon. I'm going to have to go back to Lake Street Creamery for a return visit very soon.

Holiday Chocolate ice cream from Lake Street Creamery

Photos by Oliver Seldman


Heal the Bay Benefit 9/25

Heal the Bay benefit

Yesterday I went to the Heal the Bay food-truck benefit at the Latitude 33 apartments in Marina del Rey. From 9am to noon, 14,000 volunteers worked to clean up the Los Angeles-area coast; the food-truck benefit, from noon to 5pm, was the second of the day's beach-centered charitable activities. 10% of all food-truck proceeds went to Heal the Bay and the International Bird Rescue Research Center. Watch this quick video we took of the festivities:

29 trucks showed up for the event. I managed to hit six, four of which I hadn't visited before. My first stop was the Shrimp Pimp. I was relieved to see that this truck took credit cards, since upon entering the event, I'd suddenly realized that I was carrying only six dollars in cash.

One of the Shrimp Pimp's catchphrases is "Shrimpin' ain't easy." Say this to most people and you'll get a laugh out of them. I hoped their food was as good as their sense of humor, and I wasn't disappointed. I got a drunken shrimp taco ($3). The shrimp was marinated in sherry and ginger, then sauteed and thrown in a taco with daikon, carrot, cilantro, slivers of green bell pepper and orange slices. There were about five shrimp in the taco. I'd expected them to taste more boozy, given their moniker, but they had a very light, fresh flavor.

Drunken shrimp taco from the Shrimp Pimp

I always used to snicker like a teenage boy when female judges on the original "Iron Chef" show would describe a dish by saying, "It's exploding in my mouth!" then giggle and cover their mouths demurely. That, however, is exactly what the supremed orange slices on top of the shrimp taco did: they exploded in my mouth, and it was awesome. Tee-hee-hee! (covers mouth)

Get Shaved truck

Next, I joined my husband and son at Get Shaved, where my son was already face-deep in a cup of pink lemonade, strawberry and mango-flavored shaved ice (it's $3 for a small container). It was very tasty, if a tiny bit syrupy for my liking: I think that was because my son couldn't quite eat it fast enough (or that it was ridiculously hot outside), and by the time I got a substantial bite, it was more like shaved-ice soup. I saw the flavor "tiger's blood" on the menu, and wondered what it was: my husband asked the Get Shaved folks, who told him that it's a combination of watermelon, strawberry and coconut.

Get Shaved shaved ice

Lardon truck

Lardon was my husband's truck of choice for his late lunch/early dinner. It's a bacon-themed truck that's only been on the road since September 20th. He got a Baco (I'm assuming it's a portmanteau of bacon and taco, in which case it probably should be pronounced so that it rhymes with "wacko"), a hard-taco-shaped bacon shell filled with potatoes and cheddar cheese. ZOMG that thing was good! The bacon wasn't at all greasy - it was perfectly crispy, and the crunch gave way to the delicious home-fry-style potatoes and molten cheddar inside. There was also horseradish bacon sour cream for dipping.

Baco from Lardon truck

I only got a few bites of the Baco, so I was still hungry, and intrigued by the Dim Sum Truck's new wrap (new since the last time I saw it, anyway). In addition to the regular Dim Sum logo, the words "Dumplings Deluxe" were written on the side of the truck in elegant script. After doing a bit of research, I discovered that Dumplings Deluxe is sort of a spin-off project of the Dim Sum Truck's. "Look forward to new dumplings inspired by different cuisines from around the world," the web site says: right now, the truck is offering American-inspired dumplings like baked potato and cheeseburger. I tried the cheeseburger dumplings (2 for $3.75): they were pan-fried and filled with ground beef, American cheese and grilled onions, with a side of ketchup for dipping. The menu claimed they came with garlic aioli (and indicated that the ketchup was actually inside the dumpling), but the dipping sauce I got was most definitely a gourmet ketchup. It was really good, so I can see their reasoning if they decided to offer a different dipping sauce than the one listed on the menu. A friend had recommended the dumplings, and, after tasting them, I will trust every piece of advice this man gives me from now on. I wanted more as soon as I'd finished them. They were f'ing amazing - doughy and juicy and cheesy.

Cheeseburger dumplings from Dim Sum/Dumplings Deluxe

As my belly's last hurrah, I got a banana hazelnut cream puff ($3.50) from Morsels Baking Co. The banana pudding on the bottom layer of the puff was phenomenal, and made me wish I just had a bowl of it instead of the cream puff. The rest of the puff was decent, but the pastry felt a bit dry, and the cream wasn't quite airy enough. Morsels also has a fresh strawberry puff - I think the pastry would be better if it soaked up a little strawberry juice, so maybe I'll try that one next time. I still ate the whole thing.

My friend - the same one who recommended the cheeseburger dumplings - wanted to visit Ahn Joo. My husband and I had had their kimchee citrus pork and roast fuji apple skewer (two for $3) before, and thought it was delicious, so we recommended it to my friend, who got it in addition to the salmon and scallion skewer with Korean miso honey (also two for $3). He offered me a bite of the salmon skewer. While it was tasty, I had one hell of a time biting through that scallion: I eventually gave up and handed it back to my friend, teeth marks and all. Also, I would have liked a stronger miso flavor - the salmon was fresh and perfectly cooked, but without a more distinctive flavor, it was just a really good piece of fish, and nothing particularly special.

Looking down at my belly as I type this entry, I see that all this food has made me appear to be about four months pregnant. I would say that I'm going to take it easy for a few days, but I know you, my loyal readers, are counting on me to visit more trucks and report on all the noms they have to offer. I won't let you down.

Photos by Oliver Seldman

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Review: Kabob n' Roll

Kabob n' Roll Truck

Kabob n' Roll is one of my standby trucks. Sometimes I venture out to hit up some trucks, but I don't see anything new that looks good. In those situations, if Kabob n' Roll is around, I'll often get lunch or dinner from there, because the food is consistently delicious. I can't quite believe I haven't yet reviewed this truck, so here goes.

Kabob n' Roll Truck

Truck owners Wa'el and Chrissy hail from Egypt, and serve authentic Mediterranean food including falafel, lamb gyros, pita and baba ganoush. They've been on the road since January 29th, when they made their public debut at The Brig. The first time I visited Kabob n' Roll was outside that very same bar, during First Friday in Venice. My two-year-old son was going through a phase where he hardly ate anything, so I was desperate to find something he'd like. I got a chicken kabob plate ($8.50), which came with grilled vegetables, basmati rice, green salad, hummus, and pita bread. I also got a complimentary side of baba ganoush. To my surprise and delight, my son practically inhaled both the kabob plate and the baba ganoush. I did the same - the chicken was juicy, and the baba ghanoush deliciously creamy and more-ish.

There was still a bit more room in my stomach, and, I hoped, also in my son's, so I ordered triple cheese rolls and a mini meat pie ($5 when you order them together). It's hard to go wrong with a crispy tube of pastry filled with cheese; likewise with any kind of meat pocket, whether it's a Brazilian pastel, a Cornish pasty or a Mediterranean meat pie. Both the rolls and the pie were outstanding appetizers, even though I had them at the end of my meal instead of the beginning. My son devoured the rolls.


Since that first First Friday, I've visited Kabob n' Roll several more times. Most recently, I had the lamb gyro pita ($6) and the feta caprese ($4.50), which were both on the Specials board. I can always count on the lamb gyro to be tasty. The feta caprese was good, but needed more dressing, and perhaps a bit more of a twist to the overall dish. Yes, the feta was exceptionally good, and the tomatoes were at their absolute pinnacle of ripeness, but that wasn't quite enough, especially considering the dish's price: maybe the tomatoes and feta needed a third ingredient to tie them together in a more interesting way.

Kabob n' Roll Lamb Gyro

Kabob n' Roll makes a point of putting seats, and sometimes tables too, outside the truck. I'm not sure why more trucks don't do this, because it's fantastic to be able to sit down in a chair and eat, rather than finding a spot on the street to pop a squat. I understand that alfresco eating is part of the charm of food trucks, and I like it too, but I don't think seating spoil the atmosphere. Kabob n' Roll uses portable plastic pails that make great stools when they're turned upside down.

Also, Kabob n' Roll often stations a friendly employee outside the truck - he or she takes orders and helps customers decide what menu items are going to make their bellies happiest that particular lunchtime or dinnertime. I feel like Kabob n' Roll really cares about making sure I love their food. That atmosphere - coupled with the platefuls of deliciousness they sell - makes me want to come back again and again.

Kabob n' Roll Caprese

Next: I want to try the baklava.

Photos by Oliver Seldman


Food Truck Festival for Heal the Bay Sep 25

On September 25th, you can help fundraise for Heal the Bay - just by eating your lunch! Latitude 33, a beachside condo community in Marina Del Rey, is throwing a benefit that begins at noon, right after Coastal Cleanup Day, and goes till 4 PM. Over 20 food trucks will be there, and 10% of their sales will go to Heal the Bay and the International Bird Rescue Research Center.

Confirmed food trucks include: The Grilled Cheese Truck, Papas Tapas, Big Swirl, Frysmith, Del’s Lemonade, Vesuvio, India Jones, Crepe'n Around, Ahn Joo, Worldfare, Buttermilk Truck, Lake Street Creamery, Morsels Truck, Border Grill, Dosa Truck, The Sweets Truck, Dim Sum Truck, Organic Oasis, Dogtown Dogs, Slice Truck, Get Shaved, The Shrimp Pimp and Canters.

Latitude 33 is located at 330 Washington Blvd in Marina Del Rey.

Beyond O2 Water on Main Street in Santa Monica is also a proud sponsor of the event and is supplying water.