#TBT: Fun at the First Annual Los Angeles Food Truck Fest

Editor’s Note: This post was conceived 9 years ago, and never given birth. Ms. Foodie decided to give it a chance to fly on Throwback Thursday. She has no idea whether there have been any other Food Truck Fests, but this one was quite epic! Read on…
Thanks to Jason and Xochitl, our fellow foodie–and church–friends, Ms. and Mr. Foodie were able to catch the FIRST ANNUAL Los Angeles Street Food Festival, and we’re so glad we did!
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How a foodie like me could not have known about this food truck phenomenon , I don’t know; although the past few years have been tough. But I am a neophyte no longer!  And neither were thousands of other Angeleans, who came from far and wide (even Orange County, no less) to partake of mere morsels of gourmet street fare, from sushi to buttermilk donuts.
Personally, Ms. Foodie was looking for the fresh and innovative-Falafel?  Heck, I can go to Pita Kitchen for that.  Sushi?  Very cautious about who I get my raw fish from.  Good thing there were plenty of other offerings that fit the bill.  Jason decided to start at Monsieur Egg, which had some delicious breakfast fare.  The rest of us sampled the FREE mini-quiches they supplied; the only truck that bothered to do this.
After leaving Monsieur Egg, Dogzilla was the next hit, and it was the Hit!  Not since discovering Oki Dog has a food place made me do the happy dance!  I only have two words for you: Kari Furikake!
After sampling our first Japanese hot dog, Mr. Foodie and Ms. Foodie used our free drink tickets to sample an Izze–his was blueberry, mine was pomegranate.  While I appreciate that the company is trying to become more eco-friendly, the drinks taste much better out of glass than from aluminum. Jason and Xochitl went for an Honest Tea, that Xochitl said was mostly water. After quenching our thirst, we meandered around, looking for our next stop, which also ended up being our last stop: The Flying Pig, which was one of the most popular trucks, as it took us two hours to even order—and woefully understaffed, as it took us another two to get our morsels!
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While the food was well worth it (Tamarind Pig Tacos, Braised Short Rib Tacos and a Slider),  the wait was ridiculous. After we ordered, I decided to wander off to another food truck to see if I would have an easier time of sampling, and headed for the Grilled Cheese truck. This was one of the PREMIER trucks with a line all the way back to the entrance from the beginning of the fest—that hadn’t changed by late afternoon when I found the end of the line.

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However, while I didn’t succeed in getting anything grilled or with cheese, I did get a dose of entertainment! Some exceptionally entertaining college students who I met in line. The one on the right is named Cameron—he was a hoot!—Julia and her friend.  She asked me to hold her beer, then disappeared. Needless to say her friend Cameron relieved me of it.  Cameron likes beer!

Food Truck Heaven: Ricky’s Fish Tacos

So Ms. Foodie is making it a New Year’s goal (no resolutions on this blog) to explore more of the L.A. Food Truck scene. After Christmas, Ms. Foodie and visiting family paid a visit to Ricky’s Fish Tacos. The menu is simple: Ensenada-style Fish Tacos and Shrimp Tacos with a few traditional Mexican drinks. In-N-Out has done well with that strategy, so why not?

Ms. Foodie tried both the Fish and Shrimp Tacos. The Shrimp was good, but the flavor of the shellfish felt overwhelmed by all that breading. But the Fish Taco? Oh My! Divine and melt in your mouth. Topped by delicious crema, or a mild, medium, or hot salsa, and you have a winner for dinner. Ms. Foodie didn’t see any lines around the block–yet; but I have no doubt Ricky’s will get there.

Ms. Foodie highly recommends you try the Mint-Cucumber drink–it will change your life!

Follow Ricky’s Fish Tacos on Twitter: @RickysFishTacos.

NoHo Dine Out Friday Nights

Ms. Foodie likes the combination of  food with shopping–this is why the modern food court is so dang popular.

Friends and fellow transitioners MC and CJ are mounting the NoHo Dine Out Friday Nights starting on Friday, November 11 and continuing through November and December!

Each week 10 food trucks and 10 local vendors will be featured, offering a variety of cuisine, along with arts and crafts especially made for the Holiday shopper. In the past, MC and CJ have hosted admission-fee events where the proceeds have benefited animal rescue. This time around, they just want to build community and put Los Angeles on the map as a gourmet food town–this will bring it one step closer.

The best part–admission is free! So you can spend your ducats on the yummy food and the local arts and crafts.

Date:  Every Friday starting November 11 through the months of November and December

Time:  4:40 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Location:  The parking lot at 11458 Burbank Boulevard, North Hollywood (west of Lankershim, next to Twin Palms Apartments)

Ms. Foodie hopes to pop in before she plays the Yoga instructor on Friday nights–maybe I’ll see you there!

On the Plate…

Image Artwork: Jennifer Oliver O'Connell

If Ms. Foodie Patootie had had any sense, she would have been at the 1st 8th annual Grilled Cheese Invitational on Saturday.  Another premier event at the L.A. Center Studios that featured vendors like Tillamook Cheese and food trucks!  Will definitely have to put it on the calendar for next year…

And speaking of trucks, we have a new one to stalk!  The Munchie Machine rolled out its fare on April 20 at Bigfoot West in Venice.  Which is apropos, since the truck decor and menu would definitely appeal to a certain crowd that appreciates umm… herbal refreshments.   There’s much there for the rest of us too, with lots of tasty sandwiches with even tastier ingredients; and of course, salads and vegetarian fare for the non-carnivores of L.A.  The website is not up full blast just yet, but The Munchie Machine menu is viewable, as well as their follow link to Twitter.

When I worked near LAX in the early ’90s, there was little to speak of food-wise except fast food and greasy spoons.  Thankfully that has changed considerably, and now they are really upping the ante with the new Century Food Truck Lot!  On it’s premiere date a week ago, it hosted nine of the L.A. Food Trucks, including Komodo, India Jones, and The Buttermilk Truck.  Schedules are viewable in Google calendar–very convenient for those times when Ms. Foodie is near the airport!  Century Food Truck schedules.

H/t LAist.

The Word according to Eshman: LA is not yet a food city…

Could L.A. rival Chicago and New York as a Food City? Only time will tell...

Interesting post from the Foodaism blog at Jewish Journal dot com. “Nine ways to make  L.A. the ‘Ultimate Food City‘” is two parts snark, and one part “CYA”.   Rob Eshman is rebutting comments from a previous post where he posited that a Saveur magazine article claiming L.A. as “The Ultimate Food City” was a bit overhyped.   Apparently the locals got restless, so he decided to give his critique a new spin.

Read it for yourself, but points 2, 3, and 4 jumped off the screen at me, because it’s stuff I’ve been saying since I moved here 22 years ago:

#2. Triple the number of Food AND PROVISION trucks. Hello?! One of my major complaints is that you have to go to some “town” in order to get a particular type of food.   Sad. Sad. Sad.  The food trucks are the best thing that’s happened to L.A. food, ’cause it’s bringing good stuff to the people!  Being a transplanted native, I don’t have the memories of bakery trucks, etc. that he has, but I do remember being able to get Soul Food and Mexican in the same neighborhood, and getting donuts from a corner kiosk, not having to drive to Krispy Kreme.  Are they even still around?

# 3. Free up zoning and licensing to mix food businesses and residential areas, and F the NIMBYs. Again, NEVER understood this.  Chicago, San Francisco, New York all zone mixed-use neighborhoods.  Burbank is catching on and having GREAT success.  Wake up, L.A. City Council; opportunity is pounding and you’re asleep on the couch…

# 4. Loosen after hours regulations and encourage more late dining out.  Joe and Sharon, my New-Yorker transplant friends share this pain–why does every good restaurant close at 10 pm on a Friday night? What’s up with that?!  Some of my best social times have been 2 am dining adventures, and after moving here, those times have been limited to three restaurants: Mel’s Diner, Denny’s (sorry, not quite fine dining, but you know what I’m sayin’) and In-N-Out.  That needs to change, and change quickly.

I would add a #10 to this list: Get rid of the Nanny State food regulators in our government who create useless zoning regulations, come up with trans-fat restrictions, and trumpet fictitious causes like obesity.  Yes, Governor Schwarzenegger, I’m talkin’ to you!

H/t: LAist.

Gourmet Food Truck locations in real time… you gotta be kiddin’ me?!

In the past, you would have had to locate LA Food trucks like Calbi BBQ and Komodo by visiting their Twitter page.  But as usual, Google has come to rescue!

truxmap is a new Google Maps addition, that pinpoints the locations and times of where trucks are right now, where they’ll be later, and where they have been!  And duh… of course there’s an app for that–Suhweet!

H/T LAist.