One of the best things about Los Angeles is its diversity, which makes it fun to dine out. When my family of five craves a casual yet zesty meal – ethnic or American style – we turn to Facebook and Twitter to track down a gourmet food truck to follow. These trendy rolling diners put a new spin on fast food, offering authentic and exotic fusion creations like kimchi fries, falafel burritos and Korean tacos. The food is fresh, affordable and delicious! These food trucks are a great option for both locals and families visiting Los Angeles who enjoy trying various cuisines.
My daughter Christina actually got me hooked on these gourmet food trucks, which have clever names touting their menu specialty. She and her friends started following Crepe ‘n Around, which makes all sorts of crepes.
Another local favorite is The Grilled Cheese Truck. Dave Danhi, a fine dining chef for over 20 years, prides himself on using only fresh ingredients and homemade cheesy recipes.
Social media feeds the frenzy, enabling foodies to hunt down their favorite trucks and post comments. Likewise, food truck owners rely on tweets and postings to announce locations and daily specials.
Expect to pay $3 – $10 for entrees at most trucks, which will soon receive letter grades from the L.A. County Healthy Department.
If you’re not sure which truck to follow, drop by events such as Gateway to Go, where a rotating buffet of food trucks park from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. every Tuesday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in L.A., or try First Fridays in Venice.
Following are a few of our favorites. For tweets and posts, visit L.A. Food Trucks.com.
Crepe ‘n Around. Eileen DeLeoz brings her Parisian culinary skills to the streets of L.A. with sweet and savory crepes. Sweet crepes are filled with yummy fillings like strawberries and cream, and banana and Nutella. Savory crepes include roasted vegetables, chicken pesto, and ham and brie. For kids, she whips up peanut butter and jelly, cheddar cheese and butter sugar crepes. www.crepenaround.com.
Kogi Korean BBQ-To-Go fuses Mexican and Korean meats, cheeses and spices, churning out tasty torta sandwiches, short rib burritos and Korean tacos. Popular items include calamari tacos and spicy pork tacos. A pioneer in the food truck business, Kogi Chef Roy Choi uses all natural cheeses and homemade tortillas and salsas. The produce is shipped every morning and the meats are all natural with no hormones or antibiotics. Four trucks serve the L.A. and Orange Counties. www.kogibbq.com
Kabob Express. Mexican and Mediterranean flavors are blended to produce palette pleasing entrees like a Mexi-terranean burrito stuffed with hummus, basmati rice, shawarma, onions and a spicy tahini sauce. Kabobs and falafels are served with a delicious dill-cucumber salad and warm pita. http://www.letseat.at/mykabobexpress
The Grilled Cheese Truck. Yummy cheesy melts are stuffed with brie on cranberry walnut bread or roasted butternut squash and sautéed leeks. This comfort food kitchen serves up classic grilled cheese sandwiches as well as creative recipes such as Chef Dave Danhi’s house special – a cheesy mac and rib sandwich he has perfect over 15 years (it makes up 65 percent of total daily sandwich sales). www.thegrilledcheesetruck.com.
Tapa Boy. Chris Teodoro and his four partners borrowed recipes from their Filipino families to launch Tapa Boy. Their specialty is serving Filipino breakfast for dinner. The menu offers a pork longanisa bowl (longsilog), a Filipino sausage, which is shaped into patties. All the beef, chicken, pork and tofu bowls are served with garlic fried rice, an egg (itlog) and a side of papaya relish with tomato and cucumber slices. www.tapaboyla.com
Frysmith. Erik and Brook Cho smother their regular and sweet potato fries with toppings to create a meal. They don’t use sugar additives or starch coating on their sweet potatoes. For a more nutritious option, order the chili cheese or veggie chili cheese over sweet potatoes. Top sellers: kimchi fries with onions and cheddar cheese, and Rajas fries, made with poblano chiles, caramelized onions and shawarma-marinated steak with Jack cheese. The sustainable-friendly Frysmith uses free-range Jidori chicken and Kurobuta pork belly. Green efforts extend to biodegradable forks and recycled glass bottles. And, the cooking oil from the fries is reused to run the truck! www.eatfrysmith.com.