food trucks craze

more on the food truck “movement”:

http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-foodtrucks22-2009jul22,0,7542552.story

These were widespread in japan but not as popular as they are in LA. I guess LA/Yelp type people are always seeking new and novel entertainments, and we are as Japanese as the Japanese when it comes to trends (see: pinkberry, coach accessories, etc) and perhaps for all the same reasons. In japan i saw:

—a tiny, tiny crepe truck with a hatch cover, and two guys operated it out of the hatch. and this truck could not have been much longer and definitely no taller than a toy yaris. the ‘cook’ sat cross-legged in front of two crepe diases and made em on the spot. i ordered once or twice out of pity because they were obviously trying to start a new biz which in japan is probably harder than it is here;

—a bigger “melon pan” (melon bread) truck painted green and orange, the size of a dodge/benz diesel truck, posted up outside one of the many multi-story vertical malls outside of a train station, the department store name was OPA;

—another tiny (but older and more busted) truck selling gyoza out the back and on a speaker it blared “gyooou~~~za” which was funny. i chased him down on my bike once and bought some.

there are lots of truck-based food servers in the us now that i think about it…not just taco trucks but also the guys at farmers markets who sell chicken/potatoes, kettle korn. i can only see more of that type of stuff happening since ZONING is so stringent here in the US. and that would really work well in suburbs like LA or smaller ones up here. this is a cheap solution to get around zoning restrictions and all the capital costs of setting up a stationary restaurant space.

i’m curious though…how does LACDPH handle vehicle-based foods? i assume they have all the same licenses.

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4 responses to “food trucks craze

  1. Ever see the mobile espresso truck in JLS? The serve the produce market people.

  2. no, havent seen it yet. thanks for letting me know!

    ive also seen a bar or lounge under constrction at jls, south end…

  3. I recommend the taco truck in front of Grocery Outlet (affectionately nic-named “Gross Out”). $1.25 for a taco. Skip the fancy lipstick-on-a-pig restaurants that are being economically force-fed to the Oakland economy. Save your cash for some yuppie post-crash organic/fair-trade coffee at GrossOut. If you are lucky you will find other post-crash flotsam and jetsam treasures. Don’t forget to check the ice-cream case for Ben-and-Jerry’s ice-cream at $1.50.

  4. Hey David thanks for the recom. I haven’t been to Gross Out in a while. I do remember finding some type of industrial Tyson-like teevee dinner instameal there except that it was “organic.” def some cheap deals there much like you might find at target or walmart, or not find at a 99cent store/liquor store.

    As there is no good down-home cooking in Oakland that is affordable, I’ve taken to doing my own. (the good stuff is just a bit unaffordable: Gregoire’s on Piedmont Ave, Luka’s Taproom food here in Uptown; Brazil Shack on University in Berkeley is awesome but still costs more than what i can make.)

    last night i made some red bean ice cream, for instance. 25 minutes on auto-pilot. one cup each of red bean, organic valley co-op 2%, and heavy whipping cream all in a 1:1:1 ratio. wonderful stuff! i don’t knwo what industrial byproducts such as soy lecithin B&J uses since they are all corporate now but more power to everyone for the cheapo factor.

    also baked chicken in the oven last night rubbed with olive oil, pepper and a bit of salt. cooked a ham round with garlic at the same time in its own pan. add some quinoa with freshly harvested organic red tomatoes from my balcony (as fresh as you can get), chicken stock and yellow onion. shazzam!

    maybe will take a photo next time. all done in an hour.

    (thank god for our cheap fossil fuel energy slaves to power the 1. ice cream machino, 2. microwave to defrost chicken, 3. stove to fry up the onions and make quinoa, 4. the oven to bake chicken and ham, 5. the toaster oven to bake lasagna. and most of all the refrigerated 18 wheelers to get most of this to the refrigerated grocery store! yee haw. plus the magically FF pumped water inherent in all these veggies… think of food and drink as “exported water.”)

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