Find LA Food Trucks Blog Blogging LA's twittering food truck scene

14Sep/100

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.

9Sep/102

Sad News: Munch LA Cancelled

From the Munch LA organizers:

"Due to unforeseen circumstances, MUNCH LA regretfully has to cancel its event on Saturday, September 18th, 2010. MUNCH LA deeply apologizes to our supporters for any inconveniences and we hope to reschedule our event soon."

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30Aug/100

Food Trucks at Fairfax High Sep 18

UPDATE SEP 9: Munch LA has been cancelled. We'll let you know when it's been rescheduled.

This is a food truck event I'm super excited about, because I can walk to it! On September 18 from 11AM to 5PM, Munch LA is holding what it's describing as a "food and fashion extravaganza" at Fairfax High School, at the intersection of Fairfax and Melrose Avenues in Hollywood. There will be more than 30 trucks there, as well as fashion vendors like Hudson Jeans and Paige Premium Denim. Here's the list of trucks so far:

Ahn Joo, Baby's Badass Burgers, Big Swirl, Calbi, Crepe'n Around, Del’s, Dim Sum Truck, Don Chow Tacos, Dosa Truck, Dumpling Station, Phamish, Fishlips, Flying Pig, Frysmith, Greenz on Wheelz, The Greasy Wiener, India Jones, Kabob N Roll, Komodo, Lake Street Creamery, Let’s Be Frank, Louks, LudoTruck, Nana Queens, Slice Truck, South Philly Experience, The Sweets Truck, Tropical Shave Ice, Vesuvio, Vizzi, and Worldfare.

Tickets are $7 in advance, or $10 on the day. Get them at munchla.com, or at the door. And - even though I'm taking the heel-toe express - there's also free on-site parking.

I'm looking forward to sampling Dumpling Station's pan-fried pork and leek dumplings again - they were so amazingly juicy the last time, I've been thinking about them ever since. I also want to have another go at Ahn Joo's beef kimbap. Hopefully the Sweets Truck will have those cupcake-pudding shooters; whether they do or not, I'm still having myself some California Zephyr ice cream from Lake Street Creamery. Vanilla, Meyer lemon and fresh mint leaves - sounds delicious.

Find out more at Munch LA's Web site or follow them on Twitter.

12Aug/102

Grill 'Em All: Food Truck Racers

The Grill 'Em All Truck

Want to see seven trucks from around the US - well, 6 trucks from Cali and one from Texas - battle it out to see who can cook the best noms under pressure? You're in luck. "The Great Food Truck Race," a new reality show which is like "The Amazing Race" but with food and trucks (go figure), premiers on August 15 on the Food Network. Tyler Florence hosts the show, which features seven truck-riding teams: Austin Daily Press, based in - you guessed it - Austin; Crepes Bonaparte, from Fullerton, Orange County, California; Ragin' Cajun, another OC truck, from Hermosa Beach; Spencer on the Go, out of San Francisco; and three LA-area trucks - Nana Queen's, Nom Nom Truck, and my personal favorite, Grill 'Em All. The trucks and their crews race across the US, stopping in cities and scrambling to prepare the most delicious food they can, as fast as they can. The show's tagline is "There will be breakdowns." Of the truck variety - and of the emotional variety.

We caught up with Matt and Ryan from Grill 'Em All as they recovered from their "Great Food Truck Race" experience. Joel Brown is the third man on their truck (each "Race" team has three contestants). We tried to get them to give away juicy show spoilers, but to no avail.

Find LA Food Trucks: You’ve said you often work 16-18-hour days. Can you describe an average day in the life of the Grill 'Em All truck and its resident dudes?

Ryan: Wake up, get to the truck, see what prep we have to do, roll out, do service, prep more, maybe another service, prep more, then prep more. We are a really prep heavy truck, everything on the beast is made from scratch, no frozen or pre-made stuff.

Matt: A day in the life? More like "Welcome to our Nightmare." Let's see...wake up, prep, drive, serve, drive, prep, drive, serve, go home...drink away the stress.

FLAFT: The Dee Snider is an insane creation, with peanut butter, jelly, bacon and sriracha. Who came up with it, and was it a gamble for you to put it on the menu?

Ryan: I come up with all the burgs on the truck. Its simple, I love peanut butter and jelly. I love it so much that it's tattooed on my right arm, with a jug of milk on my left! It wasn’t much of a gamble, the flavors work, and they make for a really intense, amazing burger! Don’t be scared, try one...

Matt: Our resident burger genius is Ryan W. Harkins. He came up with the Dee and, no, it was not a gamble, because gambling does not always pay off, but eating burgers always does.

Matt, Ryan and Jeff outside their truck, "The Beast"

FLAFT: "The Great Food Truck Race," the Food Network show you’re taking part in, sounds a lot like "The Amazing Race." Did you guys (the three of you on the truck) fight because of the pressure of the competition, or did it bring you closer?

Ryan: Not really. The three of us have all been in touring bands before, so we know the stress of the road and we know each other so well we know what buttons not to push. We had an amazing time and made some really incredible friends out of this show!

Matt: I've always been a loner, a nomad, a stranger in the night. That said, I have never felt closer to two weird-looking men before. Blame it on the road or Bon Jovi songs, but, in the end, I feel like we've all been bonded by buns.

FLAFT: Did you get to mingle with the other food-truck teams on the road, and if so, who did you get along best with?

Ryan: We got along with everyone really well, we love all those guys. but especially the Austin Daily Press gang, those dudes were long-lost brothers and sisters! We even got ADP tattoos and they got Grill ‘Em All tats! Pretty rad!

Matt: Ready for a cliche? Well, here she is: after the dust settled, everyone was just so great. The kids from Austin Daily Press and the lovely gentlemen from Spencer on the Go will remain some of our best food truck buddies for years to come. Drinking beers on treadmills in random hotels across America? Ohhh, the priceless memories.

FLAFT: Give us a little sneak peek at one Truck Stop Challenge that was particularly memorable for you.

Ryan: I wish I could. They were tough, but it would give away the show!

Matt: The truck stop challenges were nothing short of nerve-wracking and annoying, but they could, truly, make or break a team. That said, I don't remember any of them.

FLAFT: There are basketball groupies, hockey groupies, police groupies – have you ever, uh, “encountered” any food truck groupies?

Matt: Groupies? Um, we sell really big burgers, dude. The taste is the best groupie because it sticks around.

Ryan: We get a lot of people who love our truck, and how could you not? I mean, it rules! We have loyal fans we dubbed "ghouls" (in honor of the late/great Ghoulardi [a Cleveland legend]) and we love our ghouls!

FLAFT: Do you have a Number One Fan? If so, describe him or her.

Ryan: Every customer is our #1 fan. We love everyone who comes to our truck and hopefully that love is reciprocated!

Matt: My mom, Barb, is my biggest fan. She came all the way to Los Angeles from Cleveland to eat our food AND she did our taxes.

Catch "The Great Food Truck Race" beginning Sunday, August 15 at 10pm/9c on the Food Network.

For those about to cook... we salute you

15Jul/101

LA Street Food Fest 2: July 24

LA Street Food Fest crowd at February's event

It's coming up soon - the second installment of the LA Street Food Fest. For round number 2, the Fest has moved from LA Center Studios to the Rose Bowl. This time, the good eats won't be marred by long lines and sold-out noms - there are only a few thousand presale tickets available, you can only purchase them online, and one price gets you all you can eat, rather than your having to wait - and then pay - at the trucks and carts once you get in. The event's also in the evening (from 5:30 to 9 PM), so there's less chance of frying in the hot sun, as queuers and eaters did at the last LA Street Food Fest in February. While you eat, you can watch a concert, vote in the Vendys-style cook-off, and hang out in the beer garden. Ooh, and the entry price includes free parking, a boon at any festival-type event.

Food truck-wise, all your favorites will be there: here's the complete list. Top three trucks I'm most excited about hitting: The Manila Machine, to try their lumpia (Filipino egg rolls); the Fox Pizza Bus, to get some wood-fired pie from a double-decker; and The Mighty Boba Truck, because I'm always up for some milk tea. Top three trucks I already love and will be hitting at the Fest: the Gastrobus, for their awesome daily specials like the plum juice they had recently; Louks, whose pitas I just cannot praise highly enough; and Coolhaus, because even though their free-ice-cream-sandwich days appear to be over for now, I will gladly pay full price for their balsamic fig and mascarpone ice cream.

Visit the LA Street Food Fest website for more information.

11May/100

The Vendy Awards this Saturday 5/15

Photo by Oliver Seldman

Photo by Oliver Seldman

This Saturday, May 15, the Vendy Awards will be held in MacArthur Park. Six finalists will battle for the title of Best Street Food Vendor in LA. The finalists are: India Jones Chow Truck, Hot Dog Kings, Bigmista's BBQ, Nina's Foods, Grilled Cheese Truck, and Tacos el Galuzo.

Tickets are $50, which at first might seem a bit steep, but once you pay, you eat and drink for free. You're also helping raise money to protect vendors' rights - and your ticket's tax deductible. LA Street Food Fest is also offering a $5 discount if you buy your tickets today (5/11) or tomorrow (5/12): buy these discounted tickets using the code "tacotruck" online here for $45. This discount code is only valid from Tuesday 5/11 to Wednesday 5/12 at midnight PST.

Find out more about the Vendys at the official site.

4May/100

Cart for a Cause

Photo by Oliver Seldman

Photo by Oliver Seldman

Cart for a Cause has been hitting the streets of LA every Tuesday lunchtime since March 23. Each week, a different celebrity chef mans the truck and prepares a gourmet meal for $10 a plate. 100% of the net proceeds go to St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, a program which feeds the homebound elderly. It's a one-for-three deal: every lunch sold at Cart for a Cause equals three square meals for one senior citizen.

Photo by Oliver Seldman

Photo by Oliver Seldman

We visited Cart for a Cause on April 6 at the Pacific Design Center, when chef Dong Choi of West Hollywood's Comme Ça restaurant was manning the stove. He offered two menu options: Le French Dip and Quiche Lorraine. For $10, you got an entree, a drink (Pom Wonderful is one of CFAC's sponsors, and was offering a range of teas and coffee drinks; Fiji Water is another sponsor), a bag of Everybody's Nuts California pistachios, and a cookie.

Photo by Oliver Seldman

Photo by Oliver Seldman

The French dip sandwich was a delicious shiny-topped roll filled with melt-in-your-mouth rare roast beef. It came with gravy for dipping. The Quiche Lorraine had big, chunky cubes of ham suspended in the egg custard: it looked beautiful, but the ham had a touch too much fat on it for me. The quiche's crust was divine - I could have eaten it all day.

I have to say, I was kind of disappointed with the cookies, and coming from me, that's a harsh criticism. I will eat and enjoy almost anything with sugar in it. Hostess Ding Dongs or Pierre Hermé macarons, they're all going in my mouth. I got an oatmeal raisin and a chocolate-chocolate-chip cookie at CFAC, and they were both a bit too crumbly and dry.

CFAC will be out and about until the fall. Chefs often volunteer with the truck more than once: Comme Ça has served lunch twice so far. Past chefs have included Eric Greenspan of the Foundry; Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook from Animal; and Alex Becker from Nobu West Hollywood. Check CFAC's Twitter feed and Facebook page every Tuesday to see who's on board and where the truck's going to park.

Photo by Oliver Seldman

Photo by Oliver Seldman

7Apr/100

Dainty Cakes and Crepe'n Around at Pet Adoption Event Sat 4/10

This Saturday, April 10, from 11AM to 3:30PM, Much Love Animal Rescue will be holding a pet adoption event at Route 66 Riders in Marina del Rey. Two food trucks will be there: Dainty Cakes and Crepe'n Around. There'll also be a pet photographer and an ask-the-vet table with Dr. Heard from VCA Petville animal hospital in Venice. Come get a crepe and a cupcake, and give Boss Hogg, Melon, Currant, Ketchup or many more adorable dogs a forever home.

Find more information here.

29Mar/101

New Truck Watch: 3/27

Photo by Oliver Seldman

Photo by Oliver Seldman

Just Rolled Out

Nana Queen's Puddin' and Wings, out and about for only the 12th time today, does a mean butterscotch banana pudding. I know; I ate it on Friday.

Canter's Deli hit the streets with its new food truck on March 19.

Chef Brian's Comfort Truck (whose wares I am sampling as I write this post!) marks its eighth day on the road today.

Cart for a Cause is a food truck helmed by a different celebrity chef each Tuesday. Each meal combo costs $10, and proceeds benefit St. Vincent Meals On Wheels. It took its maiden voyage on March 23 with Nobu Matsuhisa at the burners. It hasn't yet been announced who's on the truck tomorrow: check CFAC's Twitter and Facebook pages for news as it breaks.

I mistakenly thought The Greasy Wiener was the new Canter's truck, but it turns out the Wiener stands alone. It launched on March 13.

On The Way

There's a second Dim Sum Truck on the way in one to two months, this one featuring exotic dumpling fillings.

Papa's Tapas truck doesn't have a rollout date just yet, but keep an eye on its Twitter feed for more info. I'm hoping there's some bacalao on the menu.

Derb's Gourmet's last tweet was on Jan 1, and it still shows no signs of rolling out. I shot them a tweet to see what's up. I'll let you know what I find out.

Louks was going to have a second truck by now, but its original one crapped out, so now its new second truck has become its first and only truck. It's currently having another one custom-built, and will soon be a two-truck operation.

Photo by Oliver Seldman

Photo by Oliver Seldman

25Feb/100

This weekend: Food Truck Block Party at Silverlake Art* Craft and Vintage Market

This weekend (February 27th and 28th), the Silverlake Art* Craft and Vintage Market is hosting its first monthly Food Truck Block Party. The market is held at Micheltorena Elementary School on the last Saturday and Sunday of every month from 10 AM to 4 PM. Barring rain, the lineup is as follows. The trucks will be arriving at the listed times and staying until around 4 PM.

Saturday, February 27th:
Slice Truck - 10:30
King Kone - 11:30
Grill 'Em All - 11:30
Willoughby Road - 11:00
Tasty Meat - 11:45
Don Chow Tacos - time TBA

Sunday, February 28th:
Yum Yum Bowls - 9:30
Buttermilk Truck - 10:00 (leaving 1:30 - being replaced by Asian Soul Kitchen)
Phamish - 10:00
Louks To Go - 11:00
LA BBQ Guy - 11:15
Del's - 12:00

Silverlake Art* Craft and Vintage is at 1511 Micheltorena St. (at Sunset Blvd), Los Angeles, CA 90026. For more information, visit silverlakeartcraftvintage.com.