When most people hear the words “cheap,” “fast,” and “easy” to describe a Los Angeles culinary adventure, the next adjectives to be used in their descriptions of the food most likely wouldn’t be “gourmet,” “exciting,” and “innovative.” Yet, with the food trucks that travel across the county, that’s just the combination of labels to expect.
No matter what type of cuisine or what type of meal you crave, the LA food trucks have taken advice from Steve Jobs and modified his motto for their business—“there’s a truck for that.” The LA Food truck scene boasts the standards (Asian, Italian, American, Indian, French, and Thai), as well as the unique (vegan and gluten free friendly), and offers numerous options for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. The best part, especially after that cumbersome, bank-draining move to LA, is that all the main menu items are served for $2-$8, and they might be waiting just down the street.
Not surprisingly, with the invention of twitter to stream press, and the production of a Food Network show to showcase certain truck talents, the food truck industry has been gaining popularity and nationwide recognition faster than Jacques Pepin can cook an omelet. Luckily for Los Angelenos, these gourmands are too portable to attract a consistent flow of foodie tourists—as do traditional quick-fix favorites like Pink’s, Philippe’s, and Sprinkles—so for once, locals can eat well without waiting an hour in line for a sandwich (or 30 minutes to clear a Whole Foods parking lot).
If you’re new to LA, I highly endorse trying one of the food trucks listed below as your first experience. Most food trucks have their own websites, twitter accounts, and Facebook accounts for publicizing their locations, but if you have a certain hunger at a certain time, or fancy a drive around the city, you can follow the trucks at http://www.foodtrucksmap.com/
I also recommend listening for nearby festivals and events—companies sometimes hire the trucks for their promotions, and occasionally the trucks congregate spontaneously where there’s a crowd, and offer special discounts, especially if the event is culinary-centric.
For more detailed information about the food truck scene in general, you can check out this comprehensive site: http://www.findlafoodtrucks.
Famous Chefs for Less
The Border Grill Truck – Skip the wait at the popular restaurant of the same name and get the famous Mexican food of chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken on the go. Three-dollar tacos, quinoa fritters, and the dulce de leche infused churro dots are some LA favorites.
Ludo Truck – Featuring the hearty American cuisine of Chef Ludo Lefebvre, without the upscale price tag or trendy atmosphere of his sit down restaurants
Comfort Food, West Coast Style
The Slice Truck – Hefty slices of pizza with various toppings of your choice, as well as the option to order a whole pie (18” not the standard 15”). The fluffy crust is not for the light-hearted or artery-weak.
Grilled Cheese Truck – Make your own by picking a cheese, crust, and sweet and savory additions, or opt for one of the signature combinations, like brie with smoked pork loin and peach preserves, or mac and cheese with caramelized onions.
For the Sweet Tooth
The Buttermilk Truck – For those who aren’t satisfied by segregating breakfast only to mornings. Try the red velvet chocolate chip pancakes for some quintessentially LA food trends.
Cool Haus – A make-your-own ice cream sandwich truck inspired by famous architects and their creations. Featuring wacky ice cream flavors to mix and match between your favorite two types of cookies. My personal choice: Guinness chocolate chip and chocolate orange Cointreau between two chocolate chip cookies.