Archive for March, 2010

Santa Monica’s Food Trucks: A Four-Day Odyssey

Posted by Cyrus Farivar on March 5, 2010

This week I’ve been visiting family in my hometown, Santa Monica. While I knew that LA’s new food trucks have exploded in the last several months, honestly I haven’t had any except Kogi BBQ and Don Chow Tacos once a few months back.

On this trip, I finally got the chance to try many of them.

MONDAY:

My brother Alex and I arrived on Sunday and on Monday morning I knew that I wanted to hit one of these new trucks. I’d recently stumbled upon the new Cluster Truck map, an awesome new map of LA’s food truck scene.

I spotted Bool BBQ on the map on 26th St. and Pennsylvania St.

This is just about six blocks from the house I grew up in! Alex and I hopped in the car and when we arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to find two other trucks joining the party as well: Yum Yum Bowls and Uncle Lau’s Island BBQ.

I ordered some delicious bibimbap from Bool (thanks for the free sample!), and a Korean taco from Uncle Lau’s.

TUESDAY:

The next day, I returned to this same spot for some delectable breakfast with my good friend Dallas Bluth at the Buttermilk Truck. (Astute readers will remember that I interviewed owner Gigi Pascual back in September.)

After breakfast, we noticed that the new Louks To Go truck was setting up.

WEDNESDAY:

My good buddy David P. Jacob met me for lunch at the famous Kogi BBQ truck, where he was kind enough to drop nearly a pair of Jacksons for a Korean feast, including four short rib tacos, four sliders, and a blackjack quesadillas (so amazing!), and a pair of awesome Korean sodas.

THURSDAY:

Rachel Rosmarin and I hit up the Culver City location of Let’s Be Frank, where I dropped a little over a Hamilton on both a brat and a hot, with some of that killer devil sauce.

FRIDAY:

Who’s going to be out on the Westside tonight? :-)

Mobile vs Fixed-Location Eateries in San Francisco

Posted by Alan Wiig on March 2, 2010

The New York Times published an article last week titled “Coming to Terms with a Street Food Boom” that looked at the significant increase in mobile eateries in the Bay Area, and the attendant backlash from fixed-location eateries, also known as restaurants and cafes. The fixed-location eateries complain that by not having to pay rent, the street food vendors are able to charge lower prices for complementary items. San Francisco’s health department is concerned that mobile vendors may be operating without proper health permits, and since they are not tied to a sedentary location, it is harder to regulate these vendors.

What is interesting is how street food eateries are perceived by restaurants and cafes with fixed locations as threats. Tangentially, this could be seen as an instance of the city-dweller facing off against the nomad, angry over their mobility. In a down economy, the mobility allows the vendor both to go to their customer, and to move throughout the day and week. The restaurant or cafe does not have this luxury.  Of course, a city without sit-down places to grab food, coffee, or a beer would be a city without places to socialize.  But to add a twist to this free-flowing thought, what if street-drinking was allowed, so you could have an Anchor Steam while sitting on the curb, eating your street taco? Then the street itself becomes the social space completely.