Taste & Travel
A Sampling Of LA's Most Popular MEALS ON WHEELS
Getting in Gear: The truck that started it all hit the road in 2008 with a humble little Korean short rib taco that sparked a Twitter explosion in front of a nightclub in Hollywood full of hungry revellers. The unique fusion of Korean and Mexican ingredients and flavours, in turn, ignited the imaginations and taste buds, leading to long lines across Los Angeles through the magic of social media. More than ten years later, Kogi has the distinction of having covered streets from the South Bay to the San Fernando Valley, Inland Empire, Ventura and Santa Barbara.
Signature Bites: World Famous Short Rib Taco, Kogi Dog, Kogi Kimchi Quesadilla, Pacman Burger, Sweet Chili Chicken Quesadilla. www.kogibbq.com
Getting in Gear: Billed as the #1 Gourmet Food Truck for barbecue, it truly is the food truck of the stars. High profile clients include “Bob's Burgers” TV Show, Investors Business Daily, Paramount Studios, The Annenberg Foundation, Nike and Nickelodeon. They also appear at the DTLA Art Walk, “Eat, See, Hear” movie screenings and other prime food truck destination events.
Signature Bites: USDA Certified Black Angus Beef Brisket, pepper crusted and wood-smoked for over 15 hours; Pulled pork made from Yorkshire Pork Shoulder with signature dry rub that's slow smoked overnight; Barbecue chicken breast marinated, grilled and braised, and served with its signature sauce; Hot link craft pork sausage with a Cajun kick and a smoky finish; Sides, including cornbread, classic mac-and-cheese and Cowboy Beans, spicy and sweet BBQ style pinto beans cooked with the Signature Beef Brisket for a rich smoky flavour. www.wisebarbecue.com
Getting in Gear: Chris and Matt Urakami developed an appreciation for poutine during the years they toured around Canada playing club hockey. After serving up a test run among friends and knew they had to put their corporate marketing and accounting jobs into park to launch the food truck.
Signature Bites: Popular SoCal twists on Canada's favourite comfort food (double-fried french fries with cheese curds and brown gravy) include a succulent beef short rib poutine, a spicy Indian variation with tikka masala chicken and updated Canadian smoked pork poutine. Vegan offerings (a must in L.A.) include a “Parmesan”-roasted cauliflower poutine topped with vegan gravy. Squeaky white cheddar cheese curds brought in from a dairy in Ellsworth, Wisconsin are prominently featured in all versions except the vegan offering. www.poutinebrothers.com
Getting in Gear: As an offshoot of a nearly century-old family-owned Italian restaurant and pasta shop in Culver City, Pasta Sisters started out bringing authentic fresh pasta to local businesses for office lunches. However, since March, the food truck has worked with a frequently updated weekly schedule, targeting apartment complexes and residential areas, from Los Feliz and Koreatown to the east to the beach cities and the San Fernando Valley. Guests can choose to either order and purchase their italian favourites at the truck or through the Best Food Truck ordering platform for pickup.
Signature Bites: Handcrafted spaghetti, papardelle, tagliatelle and gnocchi with a choice of sauces (bolognese, tomato and basil, spicy arrabbiata, pesto alla Genovese, and black truffle butter); spezzatino con polenta (beef stew); meat lasagne; roasted organic salmon. www.pastasisters.com
Getting in Gear: India Jones' trucks launched in August 2009, earning followers throughout greater Los Angeles. Chef Sumant, who comes from a restauranteur family, applies 42 years of experience and ownership of 12 different Indian restaurants (including the popular Tiger Lily and Tufaan) to create one-of-a-kind creations that reflect L.A.'s diversity while insisting on fresh, authentically Indian ingredients and seasoning. Signature Bites: Roti Wraps (“the Indian version of the burrito”); Butter Chicken; Indian-style Soft Tacos with cilantro, tamarind and chutneys and topped with chickpea vermicelli; Taco Chaat, blue corn tortillas stuffed with sweet chili slaw, tangy and spicy chutneys, chopped onions and cilantro, topped with vermicelli. www.indiajonesla.com
Getting in Gear: Based on a strong Sunday following, Belly Bombz transitioned from a tent at a Long Beach-area farmers' market to its first gourmet food truck in September 2012. That first truck parked in the heart of the Cerritos area and spread its (famous, Korean-influenced) wings (as well as burgers, bowls and other comfort foods) to hungry patrons throughout L.A. and Orange County.
Signature Bites: Chicken wings offered in such preparations as Firecracker (sweet and hot Korean style), Spicy Garlic Parmesan, Bomb Dust (Memphis dry rub), Sriracha Lime and Soy Caramel (soy sauce and burnt sugar); Spicy KBBQ Pork Rice Bowl and Loaded Fries; KBBQ Short Rib Rice Bowl. www.bellybombz.com/artesia