1) What is Japanese-style Peruvian food? Did you create this, or is this something that exists amongst the Japanese people of Peru? Are you Japanese-Peruvian? Do you speak both Spanish and Japanese? What’s your background?
My name is Eric Nakata, born in the South Bay, raised in West L.A., and a life-long Angelino. I am fully Japanese-American with family from Japan to Peru. I speak both English and Japanese fluently.
2) What gave you the idea of creating this? Does such a thing exist in Peru? How big of an influence were existing taco trucks, and/or Kogi? How do you feel about this sudden trendy-ness of LA mobile food vendors?
Peruvian cuisine is known for the fusion of its many immigrating cultures. Japanese and Chinese have major influence on some of the most well-known Peruvian dishes. Actually, I’ve had this idea for some time, since my last trip to Japan in early 2008. On almost every corner, the Japanese street food vendors dished out their own unique creations that attracted happy crowds. L.A. has the happy crowds, and night life, but are thirsty for more.
The L.A. mobile food movement has not only spawned great creativity in the food it offers, but has also provided a window of networking among our tech-obsessed culture.
As for Peru, their street food vendors are as common as they are in Japan.
3) What customizations have you had to make on the truck? How much has it cost you in order to get it up and running? When/where will you be launching?
Unlike other traditional trucks, we installed large glass windows, and moved the kitchen to the street side, fusing the open-kitchen concept to this truck. This will allow customers and passersby to see the action. Like any starting business, it costs a pretty penny.
My routes will run from Downtown to the West side, and will definitely make a few South Bay stops. Check out lomoarigato.com for weekly stops. If everything goes as scheduled, we are looking towards mid-August for the grand opening!
4) What does Lomo Arigato mean?
Lomo Saltado is our signature dish which is sauteed strips of tri-tip seasoned and tossed with onions, tomatoes, cilantro, french fries, red wine, and soy sauce.
Domo Arigato is Japanese for “Thank you very much!”
5) How insanely spicy is the insanely spicy green sauce? What best does it go with?
5. Currently, I am working on two types of green sauce: “weak sauce” for the norm, and “kichigai” for the strong. (kichigai = insane >_< )
Both sauces compliment any and every dish!