Heading into Beechwood, I was feeling a bit skeptical. Bars in Venice can tend to be a bit trendy, especially the food-serving kind. Once inside, part of my skepticism was confirmed, with strangely shaped lounge seats and a half hour wait even though we had reservations. Oh well, at least they had a pretty sweet beer menu so I could have a little something to drink while waiting. They had a pretty cool-looking wheat beer called Moosbacher from Germany. Since I like moose and wheat, I figured these would outweigh my distaste for Germany, and I was right. It was quite good and came in aÂ huge bottle.
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.
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.
Sometimes, following LA’s food trucks on Twitter can be a difficult process. If you don’t have a Twitter account or a smartphone, then it gets even harder (seriously, not having Twitter or a smartphone is soooo 2008). Luckily for those who fight the future of technology, there is a little event on the first Friday of every month on Abbot Kinney in Venice creatively called First Fridays. These nights are the best opportunity to experience LA’s food truck culture.
One truck I’ve been trying to find for a while happened to be there. It’s called South Philly Experience (SPE) and dishes out Philly Cheese Steaks, plus a couple other random East Coast faves like Tastykakes. The menu was as basic as you’d expect from a food truck, offering a couple varieties of sandwiches, but I only wanted the original. I ordered as specified on the menu, “witout” onions and “wit” Cheez Wiz, as I’ve heard the Wiz is Philly’s top choice for cheese steaks.
With one of those strange restaurant.com gift certificates in hand, my girlfriend and I set off to try Agra Indian Kitchen in Venice. Kitchen is an appropriate name for the place because it was only slightly larger than a kitchen. Luckily, though, one table was open when we arrived and we were seated immediately.
The menu looked pretty good, despite its massive vegetarian section. I was stuck in the bread are for a long time, trying to figure out which sort of naan or other bread we should get to start the meal. In the end, we kept it pretty simple with garlic naan , but also experimented with some cheese naan. The cheese naan was kind of like an Indian version of a quesadilla. There wasn’t a ton of cheese in it, but the bread was like an edible pillow, in a good way.
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.
The highly anticipated Grilled Cheese Truck finally rolled into town tonight and due to my frightening obsession with cheese, I made sure to greet the truck. In the tradition of other great ks before it, the unveiling took place at The Brig on Abbot Kinney. I arrived 15 minutes before the scheduled 8:00 start time and was shocked to find the parking lot at The Brig empty except for the shiny orange truck. Apparently, I was to be the first in line!