I’ve always been a little wary of meals in which you cannot choose your food. This is, of course, the case with pop up restaurants. Yet, when I saw Foodshop‘s latest menu, filled with the flavors of the Caribbean, I was convinced to give it a shot. Thus, we took the long drive to Venice to grab some food at an undisclosed location.
Just when you think you’ve eaten every important burrito LA has to offer, a coworker comes along and tells you that you have to try La Cabana in Venice. I’m sure this has happened to everyone and just like me, everyone else probably thought taking a trip to La Cabana was a good idea. After all, while I had never read about it anywhere, I trust the word of real people more than anything.
With a friend in town for the summer and staying in Venice, we headed out to Centanni, an Italian joint in that part of town. The menu wasn’t too big, but had some basic sandwiches and pasta dishes. As per usual, my eyes drifted right to their gnocchi, which came with a pesto sauce. Soon enough, my meal was served and all looked well on the surface.
In the movie, I Love You, Man, a pivotal scene occurs when the Paul Rudd character and Jason Segel character bond over fish tacos at a place called James’ Beach. Jason Segel’s character declares them “the best in the world,” which is quite a claim. Fortunately, James Beach is a real place in Venice and last weekend I took a bike ride with my lady and her lady to see just how great those fish tacos were. Jason Segel hadn’t led me wrong since Freaks and Geeks (except for Bad Teacher) and I hoped he wouldn’t this time.
Walking into Lemonade in Venice is at first quite frightening. This is because the place is set up sort of like a buffet/cafeteria and while that alone can be frightening to someone, the real frightening part is that the entire first section of the lineup is salads. And while these are more like your creative sweet potato or radish than lettuce and tomatoes, there is certainly a staggering amount of veggies. I quickly looked around to see if they had anything I could eat and found a nice menu that detailed some of the real food that Lemonade had to offer.
After what feels like years of hearing about the deliciousness that dwells within Mao’s Kitchen in Venice, I finally found myself an opportunity to try the place out. A big perk of the place was that it was BYO, so I grabbed a sixer of tasty beer and brought it along to see if Mao’s could really be good Chinese food. Before delving into the meal itself, let’s take a moment to consider the name of Mao’s Kitchen. Honestly, I’m not so sure I would want to eat whatever Mao would have served. Most likely it would have involved mass atrocities and a side of untimely death. Cultural faux pas aside, I was still drawn in by their reputation for culinary goodness.
Finally, I feel like I’ve been to just about all of the food trucks in LA that I have any desire to visit. Yes, I know I haven’t been to all of them, but I think I’ve been to enough to justify paying a visit to the Border Grill Truck, despite the fact that the Border Grill is already a restaurant I have been to. I guess I just wanted to see how an upscale Mexican restaurant could translate into a truck. People seemed to be enjoying their food outside of the truck, so I went to see if I could partake in their enjoyment.
I visited the India Jones truck at good old First Fridays evening on Abbot Kinney. The area was pretty packed, but I had been following India Jones on Twitter and was eager to try them out. When I got there, Mr. Jones himself was dealing with a horrible skater punk who had decided to steal a can of Pellegrino. It was an uncomfortable situation, because the skater guy was obviously a terrible person, and luckily someone stepped in and grabbed the can to return to Jones. One of his idiot friends decided to hit the truck with his skateboard and ran away, because he was like a child, and although Jones chased after him, it was to no avail, the buffoon had gotten away. After seeing this, my hunger for some food from this truck grew even more. Jones was willing to defend his truck and fight against dumb hooligans, so I was happy to support. And by support I mean order food.
Combining Asian Food and Soul Food is kind of an interesting concept, and in doing so the Asian Soul Kitchen truck was born in LA. I decided to follow them on Twitter because their twitter name of “itsbentobaby” sounded pretty awesome to me. I found them on Abbot Kinney and took a look at their menu. Although some of their specific Asian foods like yakisoba looked good, I needed something with a lot more meat to it. To get that fix, I turned to their Lollipop Chicken.
No, this isn’t LA’s new mobile petshop, although that is a genius idea that someone should really get on. Instead, it is another one of LA’s constantly expanding collection of mobile food trucks. Dogtown Dogs specializes in hot dogs, which isn’t entirely creative considering the existence of Let’s Be Frank. Despite this, I tracked them down one night after hearing some pretty good things about their dogs. As with most mobile eateries, I ended up finding them parked near the Brig on Abbot Kinney.