Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised to find that Marked5, one of LA’s multitude of food trucks, was making its way down to El Segundo, just in time for my lunch hour. I looked up Marked5 online real quickly to make sure I knew what I was getting into and saw that their menu consisted of a sort of American and Japanese fusion. They made burgers, but instead of regular buns, they used rice. I had no idea how this would work without the rice falling apart, but I was eager to find out.
When I got there, there was a line of people waiting for food, but most had already ordered. I quickly looked at the menu of $5 burgers and knowing I may never see the truck again, I decided to order two of them. The variety wasn’t too shabby for a food truck, but I went with the Torakku Beef and Chicken Curry. I asked for them both without vegetables and also got a fried egg for the beef burger.
It took about 20 minutes for them to make my burger, which isn’t long for a restaurant, but is pretty long when you’re just standing and waiting outside of a truck. Finally my name was called and when I went to grab my food, the guy told me to eat them kind of like a burrito. This meant I should keep the burgers wrapped in paper except for the part I was currently biting into. This would ensure that bit didn’t pop out the back and probably also kept the rice buns from falling apart.
First, I tested out the beef burger. According to the menu, it was marinated in a
secret Torakku sauce. I bit in and it tasted a bit fishy. Like literally. I found that the back of the bun was connected with seaweed, but I still hadn’t bitten down to that point. Perhaps their special Torakku sauce had some fish-like ingredients. If this was true, it didn’t really go well with the beef. I loved the idea behind putting seaweed on the bun in a sort of throwback to old-fashioned onigiri, but there was just so much that the taste of it overpowered the taste of the beef. Plus, I found onions on the burger that had to be picked out. The beef burger left me a bit disappointed and I hoped my backup burger would be better.
I bit into the Chicken Curry burger and was pleasantly surprised with what I found. The chicken was deep-fried in a cutlet style. It was covered in tasty Japanese curry that somehow didn’t make the fried parts all soggy. It wasn’t the best curry I’d ever had, but certainly the best that has been served to me from a truck. This burger was definitely a mess to eat and even the paper wrapping couldn’t save me from needing two napkins. It was all worth it, though. I never thought I would eat chicken cutlet curry as a sandwich, but now that I have, my life is in a much better place.
A little word on these buns. Despite keeping them in their wrappings, I was pretty amazed at how they stayed together. There were points during the eating of my burgers where the outer part of the buns were crispy and although in regular rice this would mean overcooked, I looked at more like a bun that had been toasted to make it taste better. Also, eating that much rice got pretty heavy. I ate two burgers just because I wanted to taste them both, but one burger and a side would probably be enough to keep the average person full.
With that said, if I ever hear Marked5 is back in my neck of the woods again, I will be sure to follow them to get another Chicken Curry burger. It just goes to show that fusion food trucks don’t need to be limited Asian food combined with Mexican.