We’ve been busy roaming the streets of Los Angeles sniffing out the best-in-class food trucks on curbs across the city. Since 2008, when the Kogi BBQ truck fired up its engines (the ‘little Korean-taco-truck-that-could’) we’ve been blessed in the LA area with the hipsterest, most flavorsome and most comfort-foody mobile meals and street food on the planet.
But which ones are really delivering us real food, sustainably sourced, nutrient dense as well as uber delicious? Read on, and find out…
From the ridiculously successful caterer (“arguably the breakout catering company of the decade,” says HuffPost) comes a truck that serves an ever-changing menu of locally grown, organic food like homegrown garden salads, shrimp and vegetable fritters with peanut sauce and local halibut. But it’s Chef Matthew Poley’s celebrated lasagna cupcakes that are the food magnets pulling in hungry evening strollers in Silverlake and Pasadena…
They say: ‘Best Gourmet Food Truck’, Los Angeles Magazine; “devoutly organic and putting into practice a farm to plate gospel,” LA Weekly
Signature dishes ‘n drinks: Lasagna cupcakes (“tender squares of al dente noodles layered between braised short rib and cipollini, butternut squash lacquered with brown butter and garlicky bits of artichoke confit,” drools LA Mag; “Take-out dish of the year,” agrees Jonathan Gold over at LA Weekly…)
Menu (they pop up on Twitter so follow): here
Who: Tara Maxey used to be in fashion then worked at All’Angelo before teaming with Matthew Poley, formerly with Angelini Osteria, La Terza and head chef at Michael’s On Naples in Long Beach.
Find The Truck: Mondays 5–9 pm, Silverlake Wine, Silverlake; Tuesdays 5–8pm, Everson Royce, Pasadena
‘Healing our planet one meal at a time‘ with salads, vegan burgers and tuna tacos … the Green Truck runs on the cooking oil it cooked with the day before and inside only biodegradable containers and utensils are allowed. Ingredients are either local, organic, sustainably raised or vegan.
They say: named one of top 10 lunch trucks in the nation by the WSJ
Signature dishes ‘n drinks: ‘Mother Trucker’ vegan burgers; beet and quinoa salad; watermelon fresca
Who: An ex-Wall Street trader Kam Miceli and former model (and now surfer and cowboy) Mitchell Collier created this truck operating as a franchise also in San Diego.
Find The Truck: this week 11-12am Santa Monica Food Truck Alley (Pennsylvania Ave at 26th St).
“Delicious hot dogs and sausages. Animals raised on pasture, living the lives they were meant to. Working with local producers and artisans. Food free from hormones, antibiotics, nitrates, and nitrites. Everyone involved in its production, from field to frank, treated fairly. A serious commitment to having fun.” Let’s Be Frank
They say: “…devout dog fans are lined up at the cheery red and yellow cart on the pedestrian-only stretch of Helms Avenue. The draw? Grilled-to-order ‘grass-fed dogs’ served up with heaps of caramelized onions on soft, buttery buns…” LA Times
Signature dishes ‘n drinks: authentic franks, snappy, juicy, and bursting with flavor.
Who: Sue Moore, formerly the meat forager for Chez Panisse in San Francisco and Larry Bain, longtime restaurant professional
Find The Truck: 11:30-3:30 Wed thru weekend at the Helms Bakery Complex on Helms Ave between Washington and Venice; most Thursday nights outside Silverlake Wine, Silverlake.
You can explore Ventura or Ojai on the go with the help of a Scratch burger or quinoa bowl. Caterers, pop up meal chefs and makers of a beautiful bottle of ketchup, Scratch launched with the help of a Kickstarter campaign with a great logline: ‘From Roots to Wheels’. They make comfort foods with the best local and seasonal ingredients.
They say: “blazing a farm-to-fork trail in California,” stitchesanddishes.com
Signature dishes ‘n drinks: Smoked PB + J (smoked pork, chipotle peanut butter, strawberry jam and white cheddar), hand-cut fries and street corn.
Who: Tim Kilcoyne, former Chef at Sidecar, the fabled Ventura restaurant (before that Louise’s Trattoria in Los Angeles, Cafe Melisse in Valencia, and he was even a cook at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion).
Find The Truck: in Ventura and sometimes in Ojai, here’s the schedule of events
“This popular L.A. food truck is responsible for the greatest marriage of our time: waffle fries and nachos. Try the Green Dragon wachoes, which comes with an eponymous sauce, guacamole, scallions and ranch, or the Buffalo wachos, which come tossed in diablo or angel sauce with bleu cheese, bacon, scallions and ranch.” Buzzfeed.com
American comfort food with a conscience: humanely treated meats and organic whenever possible; minimal plastic and recyclable materials.
They say: LA’s #1 food truck on the LA Hot List (19,000 voters can’t be wrong, right?)
Signature dishes ‘n drinks: Criss-cut waffle fries and nachos called Wachos & Wings; the Diablo or Kobe Chinook Burgers with Kobe beef patties; specialty sodas
Who: Jasmine Wolf (Lobos was her dad’s nickname) used to work at Wurstkuche (the exotic grilled sausage restaurant downtown)
Find The Truck: at Artist and Fleas (647 Mateo St, Los Angeles) 10:00AM-05:00PM, Sun, Mar 22 and then here
Homeboy Industries is the largest and most successful gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world and it’s a non-profit. “What if we were to invest in this population rather than just endlessly incarcerate?” is the question Father Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries asked, and that simple question launched Homegirl Cafe in Chinatown and it’s now launched a gourmet Mexican food truck! All proceeds go to help fund Homeboy progams…
They say: “Hope, love, and chilaquiles,” LA Mag; “If you’re hungry and looking for awesome food that also backs a great cause, find the Homeboy Food Truck…” roaminghunger.com
Signature dishes ‘n drinks: Chilaquiles! (fresh, crispy corn tortillas and salsa). Along with the Homegirl Cafe original morita and tomatillos salsa version, the truck offers six new chilaquiles, including Tingaquiles with shredded skirt steak slow cooked in chipotle chile, Molequiles with red mole chicken and habeñero pickled onions, and for the vegetarians, the no-meat Veggiequiles – Yum!
Who: Head Chef Stephen Barkulis with his three graduates of the 18-month Homegirl Cafe program
Find The Truck: from April 17th on Abbot Kinney (1111 Abott Kinney, Venice) 4-10pm; follow @homeboytruck to keep track or find out where else here
Keep on truckin’ folks!