Time is precious when you are on vacation, especially in Los Angeles when there is so much to see and do. When you’re visiting the La Brea Tar Pits or the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) – or both – you don’t want to waste your time finding a restaurant, sitting down, waiting to be waited on, etc. Dining out is an experience that should be savored by itself, not crammed into a full day of art and Ice Age skeletons. Luckily, there is a full array of the fab new food trend – food trucks – conveniently parked across the street between the two museums – ready and able to dish up everything from traditional BBQ to comfort food from the Philippines in less than half of the time it would take to eat at a traditional brick and mortar establishment.
Being only one woman with one stomach, I enlisted the help of my friend, Dianne, to assist in a taste testing of sorts to give you an idea of all that is available to you.
Dianne and I were too busy nomming our way through food trucks to visually record every nosh and thought, so here is a breakdown of what we ate and what we thought. Hold on to your hats, folks, here comes some serious eatin’ talk!
Let’s Eat: LACMA/ La Brea Tar Pits
Bool BBQ – Korean/Central-South American food (http://www.boolbbq.com/ )
Rachael’s Order: Bool Pastel, Tacos
Dianne’s Order: Apple Pastel
Verdict: My personal favorite food truck with the best cuisine combination in the history of fusion food. I could eat from Bool BBQ forever. Dianne loved her apple pastel, but wished there had been more caramel.
Barbie’s Q – Barbeque favorites (http://www.barbiesq.com)
Shared Order: Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Verdict: Creamy and cheesy, but only good as a side because of its richness.
KoManna Tacos – Korean/Mexican cuisine (http://komanna.com)
Shared Order: Beef Taco, Spicy Pork Taco
Verdict: The pork had a great spice to it, but whatever sauce was used on the beef was too sweet and we sadly could not finish it.
Manila Machine - Filipino food (http://themanilamachine.com)
Shared Order: Longansia Slider
Verdict: Dianne, my authority on Filipino food as she IS Filipino, explained that longansia is traditionally eaten at breakfast but she enjoyed the unique spin. I liked the mango salsa and fresh greens that adorned the slider, as it combated the intensely savory meat.
Topped it off with smoothies from Mambo Juice. Dianne went for a refreshing Guaguanco – guava juice, strawberry, banana, yogurt and pineapple sherbet while I dove for the Rumba Mix – pineapple, banana, coconut juice, yogurt and pineapple sherbet.
This is a mere taster – there were at least thirteen-fifteen trucks along Wilshire Boulevard during the prime lunch hours of 11-2pm. Other cuisines we just didn’t get to: French crepes, Japanese ramen, Mexican, German sausages, Mediterranean food and much, much more.
Melrose Avenue is famous for its shopping, with a variety that makes me reminisce on Choose Your Own Adventure. The same could be said of the varied food trucks that park along Melrose (between Ogden and Stanley Avenues) every first Thursday of the month on what is known as Melrose Night. Dianne and I reunited to take part in this monthly venture, once again giving you a sample of all the delicacies offered.
All of the information can be found: http://www.melrosenight.com/
Buttermilk Truck – Gourmet comfort breakfast food (http://buttermilktruck.com)
Order: Hawaiian bread French Toast sticks
Verdict: Crispy on the outside, squishy doughy goodness on the inside. The perfect cinnamon sweet treat to kick the night off with.
Komodo Truck – Tacos with a Southeast Asian twist (http://komodofood.com)
Order: Blazin’ shrimp taco – Spicy Singaporean style shrimp with sour cream salad and cilantro
Verdict: A nice, slow burn that seeps into your system and just when you think you can’t take the burn, the sour cream cools ya off.
Frysmith – Gourmet French Fries (http://www.eatfrysmith.com)
Order: Kimchi French Fries – Fries topped with cheddar cheese, pork belly and kimchi
Verdict: It was a little too over the top for me, with the kimchi being dragged down by the cheese and pork. Has potential, but needs adjustments.
Grindhaus – Sausages (http://grindhausla.com/truck.html)
Order: The Jawn
Verdict: Not for the faint of heart (or stomach). Grilled onions are a must.
White Rabbit – Fusion Filipino food (http://www.whiterabbittruck.com)
Shared Order: Pork sisig taco (deep fried pork belly, chopped and pan fried with onions & jalapenos)
Our Thoughts: Deliciously spicy and Dianne’s favorite for a taste of the homeland.
BONUS: Go for their taro flavored macaroons, the macaroon that made me a fan of the fancy French dessert!
Pyongyang truck – North Korean tacos
Dianne Ordered: Korean beef tacos
Dianne’s Verdict So good! Good spicy taste-- but it looked like they mixed some sort of sweet sauce with it too. I haven't had much experience when it comes to N. Korea food, but their taco is probably one of the best from all the trucks. For a $1!
Coolhaus – Gourmet ice cream & ice cream sandwiches (http://eatcoolhaus.com)
My Order: Dirty mint chip ice cream between two double chocolate fudge cookies
My Thoughts: The mint is not only visible, it is so fresh I imagine it being picked from the garden that same day. It is my favorite ice cream flavor anywhere, and I am so attached to it I fear I will never try another flavor!
Dianne’s Order: Pistachio with Black Truffle
Dianne’s Thoughts: The pistachio ice cream itself isn't sweetened much and the pistachio flavor is quite strong. I think the black truffle was meant to act as the sweet taste, but for me, the flavors didn't really mix together... more like they were fighting each other. I couldn't decide which to taste! But I think pistachio ice cream fans would find this one a good treat overall.
So there you have it, a double dose of food truck feasts for your consideration during your stay here in Los Angeles. Dozens of food trucks are at your curbside, with enough variety to please the most particular of palates. Happy eating!