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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

burp!

oh. my. god.

back in december, i posted my third installment about the booming food truck scene here in LA. in it, i listed a whopping 34 trucks of all shapes, sizes, and food varieties.

and now, barely three months later, the number of food trucks i've been to has practically doubled. and i'm not exaggerating; i just stopped at my 65th truck today!! talk about a food truck explosion... as well as my need to invest in some pepto-bismol!... ok, not really. at least not yet.

these are the food truck guides i've posted so far. note that they all have a pescetarian slant (because, after all, that's what i am, or purport to be):

~ a pescetarian's guide to the LA food truck scene, part 1
~ veg-head LA food truck guide, part 2
~ a pesky eater's guide to LA food trucks, part 3

so here are all 65 of those food trucks i've been able to check out so far. and just so i don't have to repeat myself, i've included the links to the posts that have my comments on the previously-mentioned trucks. and if you want to know what the trucks look like, click here for my food truck frenzy! photo album to check out the photos i've taken of each truck.

please note that if you're pescetarian or ovo-lacto vegetarian, you have a good chance of finding something to eat on these trucks. but if you're vegan and have sworn off all eggs and dairy, the pickings will be slim, though not impossible. with that in mind, bon appetit!

fusion cuisine trucks:

kogi (kogibbq.com @kogibbq) - korean-mexican (part 1)
calbi (calbibbq.com @calbiBBQ) - korean-mexican (part 1)
bool (boolbbq.com @boolBBQ) - korean-mexican (part 1)
bull kogi (kimchibulkogi.com @bullkogi) - korean-mexican (part 1)
don chow tacos (donchowtacos.com @donchowtacos) - chinese-mexican (part 1)
LA fuxion (lafuxion.com @LA_FuXion) - asian-latin (part 1)
lomo arigato (lomoarigato.com @lomoarigato) - japanese-peruvian (part 2)

ikimchi 21 (ikimchi21.com will supposedly be online by april) - korean-mexican; similar to calbi in that it offers tofu and shrimp in their tacos and burritos, but with the added option of having it in a bowl over rice.

seoul bulgogi (no website @seoulbbqtruck) - korean-mexican; the only item without meat on the menu is the plain quesadilla -- just a tortilla with kimchi and "mozallera cheese" :)

komodo (komodofood.com @komodofood) - asian-mexican; the fusion menu was created by a chef trained at a prestigious culinary school, so the food is a blend of french/asian/mexican cuisine. i've had both the blazin' shrimp and fish n' grapes tacos; both were very intriguing to my taste buds. their truffle fries and guac rolls are on my list of things to try the next time i drop by the truck.

kabob express (no website @KabobTruck) - mediterreanean-mexican; i had the hummus with pita bread when i stopped by at the t-lofts haiti fundraiser back in january. since the truck is supposedly parked by the DWP building in downtown LA on weekday evenings, i'll have to remember to show up early and get dinner from it the next time i attend a performance at the disney concert hall.

asian soul kitchen (asiansoulkitchen.com @ItsBentoBaby) - japanese-soul food; the first time i stopped at the truck was when it was parked by FIDM in downtown LA. i had just come from a nearby yoga class that had run late, so by the time i reached them, richard and akiko had just closed their doors and were getting ready to drive off. luckily, they saw me madly pedalling my bike in their direction, so they were nice enough to stop and take my order. "i'll take whatever you have without meat that's easy to make" was basically what i said. so they handed me a steaming container of veggie yakisoba, which i later ate with great relish at the nearby starbucks. since then, i've tried the tonkatsu-drizzled salmon korokke and the lettuce-wrapped shrimp "taco". warning: when they say something's spicy, they mean it!


ethnic street food trucks:

fishlips sushi (fishlips-sushi.com @fishlips_sushi) - japanese sushi (part 1)
india jones chow truck (indiajoneschowtruck.com @indiajonesct) - indian frankies and curries (part 1)
dosa truck (dosatruck.com @dosatruck) - indian dosas (part 1)
nom nom truck (nomnomtruck.com @nomnomtruck) - vietnamese banh mi (part 1)
border grill taco (bordergrill.com/bg_t/bg_twel.htm @BorderGrill) - gourmet mexican (part 1)
flying pig truck (flyingpigtruck.com @FlyingPigTruck) - asian and pacific rim (part 3)

salmon house (no website) - japanese; it's a good thing i'm pescetarian and eat seafood because everything on the menu contains either salmon or eel -- handrolls, rice bowls, tacos, burritos. i ordered a salmon handroll on a day when i was grazing my way through a row of trucks on the miracle mile; i'm still waiting for them to come up with a website and/or a twitter account so i can track them down and try some of the other items they have to offer.

dim sum truck (thedimsumtruck.com @dimsumtruck) - chinese dim sum; i always look forward to the times when i travel out to san gabriel with friends for dim sum, those times when we pick out our favorite dumplings from the neverending array of steamer baskets that are pushed around in carts. unfortunately, san gabriel is almost an hour away from the westside (and definitely over an hour with traffic), so it's nice to know that there'll now be times when the dim sum might actually come to me! the offerings on the truck aren't as varied, but as long as alex keeps supplying me with some tasty shrimp har gow, egg tarts, and sesame balls, i'm happy...

yum yum bowls (yumyumbowls.com @yumyumbowls) - thai curries; the great thing about this truck is that almost anything on the menu can be made vegetarian. you can have tofu spring rolls, tofu satay, fried tofu, tofu tom yum soup, and tofu curry -- red, green, or yellow. tommy's food is just as good as what would get at your favorite thai cafe, and it's all nicely priced.

phamish (eatphamish.com @eatphamish) - vietnamese bahn mi, spring rolls, and pho; the first time i stopped at the truck, i asked for a tofu bahn mi; unfortunately, they didn't have any tofu at the time, so i ended up getting a veggie spring roll. i later found out that "mom" was very particular about the tofu she wanted to use, and until she found what she considered to be the perfect tofu, she wouldn't serve any. thankfully, her search has come to an end; i can now get my fill of tofu bahn mi and tofu spring rolls. and it's clear to me that the wait was definitely worth it.

mandoline grill (mandolinegrill.com @MandolineGrill) - vietnamese banh mi and bun; i've only been to this truck once, and it was to its launch party last month at a bar all the way out in eagle rock. my friend and i split the vegan-friendly tofu banh mi and the tofu spring rolls. i wasn't particularly impressed with the speed of service nor the quality of the food (especially since i'm already a die-hard fan of the other two vietnamese trucks), but then again, i figured they were still working out the kinks. i'm waiting for them to come closer to me this time
so i can give it another shot.

kabob n' roll (kabobnroll.com @KabobNRoll) - mediterreanean kabobs; walking up to this truck is like walking into a middle eastern bazaar! wael and chrissy have all kinds of kabobs served on rice pilaf, including veggie and shrimp. there's even a fruit kabob drizzled with chocolate! they also have falafel wraps, stuffed grape leaves, baba ganoush, hummus, and fried cheese rolls. there's also baklava and a variety of cookies and sweets. it seems like each time i stop by the truck, there's something new on the menu. so if you can't find anything on the truck that interests you, i'm sorry; you definitely have a problem!

the tastymeat (tastymeat.org @tastymeat) - turkish-inspired meats; despite the name, there IS something on the menu that doesn't contain meat: their falafel wrap, complete with special sauce. and true to their name, it WAS pretty tasty! and if you want feta fries to go with your food, max can set you up with that, too.

louks (loukstogo.com @LouksToGo) - greek gyros; they'll be the first to admit that they cater to carnivores. so the veghead options are the veggie gyros (where you sub lettuce, cucumbers, and feta cheese for the meat), the greek salad, the fries, and the louks (or loukomades, mini greek donut balls). i've had the gyros, the feta fries, and the louks. they were all good, but the nutella-topped louks alone will keep me coming back :)

vesuvio (vesuviola.com @VesuvioLA) - italian sandwiches; when i first stopped at this food truck at the haiti fundraiser at the t-lofts complex in west LA, the only thing they served that was somewhat vegetarian was their arancini, or rice balls. while there were slivers of salami in them, i chose to order them anyway just to see how they tasted. and they did taste pretty good. since then, i've had their eggplant parmesan sandwich and their new vegetarian arancini (with sundried tomatoes and pesto replacing the salami)... and i can't wait for my next visit so i can have more of the food inspired by what their mother used to make...

piaggio (piaggioonwheels.com @piaggioonwheels) - argentinian empanadas and sandwiches; as luck would have it, there was a very short line at this OC-based truck when i walked past it at the LA food festival (what a surprise!). since my belly was pretty much full with everything else i'd eaten at the event, i ordered their churros con dulce de leche. oh my. if the rest of their veggie items -- tofu bravo taco/quesadilla, caprese empanada, and alfajores -- are just as good, i might actually find myself driving to the other side of the orange curtain on a regular basis...

reggae chicken (no website @REGGAEJERKCHICK) - jamaican jerk chicken and pork; since the focus is on the jerk chicken and the jerk pork, the only veggie item of interest to me was the side of fried plantains. and i loved their plaintains... as well as the bottle of ting, a jamaican grapefruit soda. thumbs-up to regine and her husband from me!!


good-old american grub trucks:

green truck (greentruckonthego.com @Green_Truck) - organic dishes (part 1)
let's be frank (letsbefrankdogs.com @letsbefrank) - hotdogs (part 1)
south philly experience (southphillyexperience.com @SouthPhillyExp) - philly cheesesteaks (part 1)
barbie's Q (barbiesq.com @BarbiesQ) - BBQ (part 1)
spring street smoke house (labbqguy.com @labbqguy) - BBQ (part 1)
chef on wheels BBQ (chefonwheelscatering.com @chefonwheelsBBQ) - hawaiian-influenced (part 1)
baby's badass burgers (babysbadassburgers.com @babysbbs) - burgers (part 2)
the gastrobus (thegastrobus.com @thegastrobus) - soups and sandwiches (part 2)
the grilled cheese truck (thegrilledcheesetruck.com @grlldcheesetruk) - grilled cheese sandwiches (part 2)
dogtown dogs (dogtowndog.com @dogtowndog) - hotdogs (part 3)
mattie's southern kitchen (mattiessouthernkitchen.blogspot.com @mattieskitchen - southern cooking (part 3)
frysmith (eatfrysmith.com @frysmith) - french fries (part 3)

buttermilk (buttermilktruck.com @ButtermilkTruck) - breakfast; almost everything on this truck is made from a buttermilk batter -- pancakes, waffles, and biscuits. they also serve oatmeal, yogurt, and veggie omelets if you prefer something less carb-heavy. by the way, gigi, who owns the truck, is filipino, so don't be surprised if you find some "exotic" items featured in the daily special :)

grill 'em all (grillemalltruck.com @GrillEmAllTruck) - burgers; matt and ryan, the guys who run this gourmet burger truck, intend to shock you with what they put on their burgers: beer-soaked onions, marinated green chiles, cranberry gastrique, crushed potato chips. luckily for vegheads, they have a veggie burger with guac, salsa, and frizzled onions (it's called the carcass, which is supposedly a heavy metal band with vegetarian musicians. um, yeah). or you can sub a veggie patty on the other hamburger options for a couple of bucks more.

patty wagon burgers (pattywagonburgers.com @pattywagonLA) - burgers; the slider-sized burgers are from grain-fed cows and the veggies -- lettuce, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and mushrooms -- are from organic farms. yes, it's healthy, but no, it's not really veghead-friendly. the only non-meat option is a grilled cheese/pepper/onion concoction on a ciabatta roll. but they're new; given some time, matt and stef will probably come up with something more substantial. their fries are hand-cut, fried, then sprinkled with either sea salt or rosemary-garlic. yum.

qzilla BBQ (qzillabbq.com @Qzillabbq) - BBQ; i came across this pasadena-based truck at the LA food festival last month. since it specializes in ribs and brisket, the only options for vegetarians are the potato salad and the mac and cheese. i ordered the potato salad because it was the only thing they had left; i somehow kept thinking that i would've done better if i'd had the mac and cheese instead.

slice truck (slicetruck.com @SliceTruck) - pizza; if you want pizza that's affordable and tasty, too, hunt down this truck. i spent $3 on a large slice of cheese pizza that was sprinkled with parmesan cheese and fresh basil. and i would've had more if i could because it was that good.

willoughby road (willoughbyroad.com @WilloughbyRoad) - southern cooking; again, another of my stops during the t-lofts haiti fundraiser event. i ended up getting the shrimp with grits. it was pretty filling and very satisfying. hmmm... makes me want to hunt them down and try something else on their menu...

uncle lau's island BBQ (unclelausbbq.com @unclelausbbq) - hawaiian-inspired; this is actually chef on wheels' new and improved look. the truck has been re-wrapped and the food has been tweaked to emphasize the hawaiian dishes. but since i can't eat the loco moco nor the 808 burger (beef patty topped with pineapple/teriyaki sauce), i'll have to stick to eating chef stephen's shrimp scampi tacos and bowls instead.

fresser's hot pastrami (fressers.com @Fressers) - pastrami; i know, i don't eat meat, but after finding myself irresistibly-drawn to the aroma of hot pastrami wafting from scott and jessica's truck vents, i broke down and ordered a pastrami sandwich. yes, i broke my dietary rule but at least it was worth it! i got the caprese sandwich the next time i stopped by and fell equally in love with its mozzarella/basil goodness. yay for a good veggie option!

lee's philly (no website @LeesPhilly) - philly cheesesteaks; don't ask me why anyone would order a tuna sandwich from a philly cheesesteak truck, but when that's the only veggie option besides an egg sandwich (or at least i think that was my other option), it's what i ended up getting. i should've had them go easy on the mayo (having it in the tuna salad and again on the bread was a bit much). i'm going to have to track down john's truck once more to find out what that other option was, won't i?


and lastly, my personal favorite, the dessert trucks (which are totally vegetarian!):

get shaved (getshavedice.com @getshaved) - shaved ice (part 1)
coolhaus (eatcoolhaus.com @COOLHAUS) - ice cream sandwiches (part 1)
king kone (kingkone.net @kingkonela) - soft serve cones, sundaes, floats, and shakes (part 1)
sprinkles (sprinkles.com @sprinklesmobile) - cupcakes (part 3)
dainty cakes (daintycakesla.com @daintycakesla) - cupcakes (part 3)
sweets truck (thesweetstruck.com @thesweetstruck) - pastries and coffee (part 3)

del's (DelsLA.com @DelsLA) - frozen lemonade; they serve the famous frozen lemonade from del's out in rhode island. it comes in different flavors: original, peach/mango, cherry, and more. the flavors available on the truck vary from day to day, so be willing to be somewhat adventurous when you stop by!

nana queen's pudding and wings (nanaqueens.com @NanaQueens) - banana pudding, chicken wings; who knew you could do so many things with banana pudding and nilla wafers? janel will top your pudding order with crushed oreos, nutter butters, chessmen, and ginger snaps. or caramel or butterscotch. or... you get the idea. i asked for the fresh strawberry topping because it sounded healthier. i mean, how can it not be? :)


no longer on the road:

marked5 (marked5.com @Marked5) - japanese burgers (part 1)
skewers on wheels (skewersonwheels.com @SKEWERSONWHEELS) - skewered meat (part 1)
panini on wheels (paninionwheels.com @paninionwheels) - italian paninis (part 2)

jobels (no website @30sphillycheese) - philly cheesesteaks; bella, the guy who ran the truck, claimed that he made his cheesesteaks just like they do at tony luke's in philly, which, by the way, beat bobby flay's version at a throwdown on the food network. he and his wife were really sweet; i'd stopped by a few times to try different items. and each time i'd give them my opinion, they'd listen intently and thank me for my suggestions.

derbs gourmet treats (derbsla.com @derbsgourmet) - pacific rim; late last year, they had a launch event outside a bar in culver city. i fell in love with the veggie derb-a-dilla, which was tamale-sized deep-fried masa dough oozing with cheese and veggies. their last tweet dated january 1st said "A truly gourmet truck about to hit the streets of L.A. Follow us – we’ll keep you posted on launch date." unfortunately, i never heard from nor about them again after that.

little spoon desserts (littlespoondesserts.com @weliketospoon) - pastries; i managed to find them by accident at the brig while i was noshing on a harvest melt sandwich from the grilled cheese truck. i ordered one of their decadent chocolate concoctions (when in doubt, you can't go wrong with chocolate!). before i found them again to try something else, melissa tweeted that she was retiring the truck and was going to provide desserts to various food trucks instead. all of that's still in the works, so i'll have to wait to see how that goes.

umami burger (umamiburger.com @umamiburger) - burgers; if you're a burger lover in LA, you've probably already been to their restaurant on either la brea or hollywood (or both) to have your fill of its much-blogged about wondrousness. for some reason, though, i'd never had one, not even the veggie version, so when i found out they had a truck parked outside their soon-to-be location at the fred segal in santa monica, i made a beeline for it. however, on the day i showed up, the veggie wasn't available. oh darn. so that meant i had to try their famous beef version... and yes, it was everything they said it would be :)


believe it or not, there are many more food trucks scheduled to open within the next few months. so in the meantime, i'll keep eating... and keep you posted!

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