Even Buffalo has succumbed to the nation-wide food truck craze, one of these going by the name of Lloyd Taco Truck. In fact, this truck seems to be so successful that it has spawned a fleet that even reaches sunny East Aurora. With high expectations, I once again set out far away from the land of Mexico to eat some Mexican food. What I found was a big green truck and a menu that sported some good-looking food if not authentic-looking.
If you could have one final meal in LA that truly represents the city, what would you choose? Umami Burger? Korean BBQ? Some sort of Asian fusion? Anything with avocado in it? Seeing as I had eaten Umami the night before, for me it was a taco truck. You see, taco trucks just might represent LA better than any other food purveyor. Their mobility is all-important in a city that relies so much on cars. Their Mexican dishes feel perfectly at home in a place that was once Mexico and is chock-full of Mexican heritage. And their relatively low barrier to entry provides a great opportunity in a city that brings new opportunists in every day. For my last meal in LA, I chose Leo’s Taco Truck.
In my experience, most taco trucks aren’t worth blogging about. It’s not that I feel like I am too good for them or that they aren’t interesting, but in most cases I have found that they all taste pretty much the same. This is not true of Tacos El Gallito. I stopped by here one night with no plans to blog, but just hoping to get a decent taco. Instead, I had one of my most legendary LA nights and wound up befriending a couple of their Mexican patrons named Toast and Reuben. I also fell in love with the truck and vowed to return to give them a proper unvegan review.
EDIT: While the truck is grounded for good, the Flying Pig has spawned some brick and mortar that may or may not be anything like the truck.
For my second course on First Fridays in Abbot Kinney, I headed out to one of LA’s newest food trucks, the Flying Pig. When I first read about this Mexican-French fusion truck, I wasn’t too amazed by what I read. Fusing Mexican food with Asian is one thing, but to try to fuse it with French as well seemed like a strange niche that I didn’t need to explore. Lo and behold, my opinion changed when I saw the truck and the happy customers outside of it.
The truck isn’t nearly as shiny as Kogi or Nom Nom, but I’ve never felt the need to be served from a shiny establishment. In fact, when I did catch up with the Don Chow truck in Venice, the cheap sign had fallen off and it looked like any other generic taco truck. Good thing my girlfriend noticed a small sign on the front of the truck ensuring us it was Don Chow.
A little more than eight months after my first taste of Kogi BBQ, I found myself once again standing in the parking lot of The Brig, eager to take on another food truck inspired by the fusion of Asian and Mexican food. If so much hadn’t changed in the food truck scene of LA since that first taste of Kogi, I would have felt some intense deja vu. Since the arrival of Kogi, it feels like a new food truck is unrolled every week. From the architecturally inspired ice cream sandwiches of Coolhaus to the beautiful women running Baby’s Badass Burger truck, I almost feel like LA offers more food on wheels than it does in restaurants, with more coming. Nonetheless, the official opening of the Vietnamese and Mexican fusion Nom Nom Truck was exciting for me, and I made my way to The Brig in Venice to see if I would have a new friend on wheels.
Over the weekend, a friend of mine enlightened me to the existence of Kogi BBQ, a Korean taco truck. The very concept of this blew my mind, in a good way. The truck’s whereabouts can be tracked via Twitter. Now I’m not entirely sure what Twitter is (perhaps a polite way to say twister without offending people with lisps?), but we found out that the truck would be outside of a bar called The Brig on Abbot Kinney that night.
We set off, and although most of my friends were looking forward to the bar, I really only cared about the taco truck.