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Trucks That Suck

Ciao Bob Mar 8, 2010 09:02 AM

After several disappointing lunches, I am rapidly losing interest in the truck scene.

South Philly Experience - so-so cheese steak: poorly seasoned meat, provolone not melted, bread not fresh.
Kogi - used to be better, now the quality and quantitiy of the meat is a problem.
Fishlips - skimpy sushi, bland rice
Bar-B.'s Q: tough, tough, tough

I think Nom Nom is the only one I would go out of my way for, and that's not 'cause it is so good but because of the Banh Mi Blight on the Westside.
Dosa is not bad either.

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  1. a_and_w RE: Ciao Bob Mar 8, 2010 09:21 AM

    I think South Philly is outstanding, especially the Italian sandwiches. But I agree they don't seem to have the cheese ratio/distribution down quite right. It gets lost in the roll. My only other complaint is that the sandwiches tend to be VERY oily, as taiwanesesmalleats noted on another thread.

    I like Nom Nom a lot. Hounds sometimes turn up their noses at it because it's not some dingy deli in Little Saigon. But the roast pork is a solid Banh Mi that I believe would do just fine in a blind taste test.

    I wasn't impressed with Barbie's Q, either. Pulled pork was mushy and oily, and the sauce tasted too sweet. Potato salad was also not to my taste -- I prefer it more eggy.

    Have you tried the Fresser's pastrami truck or India Jones Indian?

    16 Replies
    1. re: a_and_w
      Ciao Bob RE: a_and_w Mar 8, 2010 09:29 AM

      I have not tried either one. I walked by India Jones on Friday at Truck Alley in Santa Monica and it smelled OK. What do you like there, a and w?

      I will say there was ALOT of meat on my South Philly Far more than I would get in Philly. It was a big, heavy, greasy torpedo. Perhaps I got over meated, and under cheesed. The lack of melting of the cheese suggests they rushed it out, and didn't give me hot enough meat.

      1. re: Ciao Bob
        t
        taiwanesesmalleats RE: Ciao Bob Mar 8, 2010 10:17 AM

        I highly enjoyed my cheesesteak despite its problems. It could definitely use more cheese and a little less on the grease. But it's probably the best food I've had from a truck so far.

        I tried the meat curry at India Jones and was disappointed. The curry/rice ratio was off and it was lacking in flavor despite being spicy. It was also on the oily side.

        Tried the red velvet pancakes from the Buttermilk truck. Flavor was ok but they were mushy rather than light and fluffy.

        Tried a piece of pizza from the Slice truck and was also disappointed.

        1. re: taiwanesesmalleats
          a_and_w RE: taiwanesesmalleats Mar 8, 2010 11:03 AM

          Yeah, I wasn't super impressed with the meat curry I tried. See my comments below to Bob for the stuff I like there. I'm SO with you on the rice-to-curry ratio. I recently started asking for just half rice for that very reason.

        2. re: Ciao Bob
          b
          buttermarblepopcorn RE: Ciao Bob Mar 8, 2010 10:37 AM

          "Trucks that suck," "over meated," and "under cheesed" -- I LOVE the way you talk, Ciao Bob! I'm being completely serious here; I love the manner in which you get straight to the point! It's not just funny, it's informative and helpful.

          1. re: Ciao Bob
            a_and_w RE: Ciao Bob Mar 8, 2010 11:01 AM

            Your cheese wasn't melted?! That's unforgivable and suggests to me something went wrong on your visit. Was there a long line? I confess I always hit them at their more lightly trafficked locations. As for India Jones, I really like the lamb frankie, cauliflower paratha, butter chicken, and vegetable korma. I also hear great things about the fish curry, but have never tried it myself.

          2. re: a_and_w
            m
            mdpilam RE: a_and_w Mar 8, 2010 10:40 PM

            Agree completely about South Philly. I love em. Best Philly cheesesteaks I've had in LA - easily. Brought my (visiting) nephew there this last weekend, and he said it was the best Philly he had had.

            1. re: mdpilam
              Mr Taster RE: mdpilam Mar 9, 2010 09:33 AM

              The cardinal sin with philly cheesesteaks is that the make too much steak and it steams in giant piles, with the flavor diluted by all the water trapped in between the meat (Pat's and Geno's). The really great places cook to order in small batches, developing flavorful browned bits of steak around the edges, allowing evaporation to intensify flavors. Is the So. Philly Experience truck representative of the former to the latter?

              Mr Taster

              1. re: Mr Taster
                Ciao Bob RE: Mr Taster Mar 9, 2010 10:14 AM

                Former for sure. At least the one I had.

                1. re: Mr Taster
                  t
                  taiwanesesmalleats RE: Mr Taster Mar 9, 2010 10:40 AM

                  The cheesesteak I had was definitely lacking a bit in the charred, browned goodness department.

                  1. re: taiwanesesmalleats
                    a_and_w RE: taiwanesesmalleats Mar 9, 2010 10:48 AM

                    I've one or two with nice crispy bits, but most could have been crispier I wonder what would happen if you asked for the steak well done? BTW, I can't recommend the chicken highly enough. Nice chunks of well seasoned meat that are particularly well suited for the Italian.

                    1. re: a_and_w
                      t
                      taiwanesesmalleats RE: a_and_w Mar 9, 2010 12:05 PM

                      You can get the Italian with chicken? Hmmm...

              2. re: a_and_w
                q
                QualityMart RE: a_and_w Mar 9, 2010 10:41 PM

                Agree 100% that South Philly is outstanding. I totally disagree with one of the above posters that it is "greasy" ... *for* a cheesesteak. The quality of the meat is excellent and to me it doesn't feel greasy at all. Goes down nice and clean and my stomach doesn't feel heavy afterward. The bun is soft and chewy in a good way, very authentic east-coast style bun. (I think they get them shipped in.)

                Also, I've had the butter chicken and one of the curry fish dishes at India Jones and both were superb. My only warning about that place is: do not get the naan as a side with your meal. It is not naan, it's basically what normally comes as a gyro wrapper at Mediterranean places.

                If anything, Nom Nom has been hit and miss for me. I like it, but have had one or two sandwiches with fatty, not so great meat that I ended up not finishing.

                1. re: a_and_w
                  j
                  Jase RE: a_and_w Mar 10, 2010 08:11 AM

                  On South Philly, I like their sandwiches too. But I can see where some people might find it greasy since it leans that way and depending on your tolerance it might be too much. I was pleasantly surprised by their chicken version. I too would prefer to see a better cheese/meat ratio and wish there was a bit more onions.

                  1. re: Jase
                    a_and_w RE: Jase Mar 15, 2010 11:56 AM

                    Jase, have you tried the chicken Italian?

                    1. re: a_and_w
                      j
                      Jase RE: a_and_w Mar 16, 2010 08:51 AM

                      I have not. Was not in the office last week when they pulled up. They only come around the Teleflora area every 2-3 weeks. Probably better for my waistline that way. Assuming they keep up the quality control and don't have sad looking ones like what Bandini had. Gotta say if that was my first experience with them, I'd be hard pressed to try them again.

                  2. re: a_and_w
                    m
                    MeatnEat RE: a_and_w Apr 10, 2010 04:37 PM

                    My experiences with Fresser's have all been painfully disappointing. To top it off, they ripped me off last time. Don't know what the deal is, cause I love deli food.

                  3. e
                    Ernie RE: Ciao Bob Mar 8, 2010 09:38 AM

                    Mattie's Southern Kitchen truck is awful. I tried their pulled pork recently and it tasted old and reheated. It was inedible. The accompanying biscuits were flat and unremarkable too.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Ernie
                      a_and_w RE: Ernie Mar 8, 2010 10:54 AM

                      Yeah, I've been pretty disappointed by Mattie's Southern Kitchen myself, especially the fried chicken.

                      1. re: a_and_w
                        c
                        Clyde RE: a_and_w Mar 8, 2010 10:57 AM

                        don't like mattie's much either. just nothing special in my book. we have yum yum bowl truck thing here almost everyday and i've eaten there twice- way too oily, and not the good kind.

                      2. re: Ernie
                        j
                        Jase RE: Ernie Mar 10, 2010 08:09 AM

                        I've had mixed results with Matties. I actually liked their fried chicken plate. The crust was crispy, meat juicy, it was a touch dark on the crust almost getting to burnt. The sides were average. I had also gotten the biscuit with the gumbo another time and wasn't impressed.

                      3. o
                        Ogawak RE: Ciao Bob Mar 8, 2010 09:46 AM

                        I also found Nom Nom okay considering being a Westsider. The truck I thought pretty good was the "Get Shaved" shave ice truck. The quality of the ice was better than that found on the North Shore of Oahu. Not as good as the best in Honolulu, but a really nice shave ice. Just a tad more expensive however.

                        1. WildSwede RE: Ciao Bob Mar 8, 2010 11:11 AM

                          Q'Zilla (the hot pink truck I asked about a couple of weeks ago) - Horrible. We went the next day and wanted the hot link (they were out of hot, so settled for mild), 1 side - mac n cheese and texas toast. The BBQ sauce was like a balsamic vinaigrette with a touch of BBQ sauce in it - nasty, nasty. My friend said it tasted like straight vinegar. The link (if you can call it that) was anemic (thin like a weiner) but the flavor was ok. Could not detect any grillmarks, tho. Mac N Cheese may have been good when it came out of the oven, but by the time we got there, it was a cold congealed mess. I was able to eat it by putting it into the texas toast (not toast, more like Texas bread) and add some mustard. That was how I ate my Q on that day.
                          Also, I passed the Kogi truck last night on Melrose and thought I had to stop. There were 2 people eating and one ahead of me ordering while I was there. Not sure if this is the one people are writing about, but I saw "Kogi" and took the bait. I ordered 2 tacos - 1 beef and 1 spicy pork. They are in my fridge waiting for me to decide to eat them. I am not overly-excited about eating them, obviously, since they are still around!
                          I saw the Grilled Cheese truck pass by when I was eating at Merkato a couple of weeks ago but was unsure where they were on their way to. However, i think they are going to be somewhere in Pasadena this week, so I will give that one a try at that time.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: WildSwede
                            a_and_w RE: WildSwede Mar 8, 2010 04:12 PM

                            Interesting... I'm actually kind of intrigued by the super vinegary sauce, though less so by your description of balsalmic vinegar. Does Q'Zilla advertise itself as specializing in q from a particular geographic region? Also, is it possible the link was smoked? If so, you wouldn't necessarily see grill marks, though there should be a smoke ring.

                            1. re: a_and_w
                              WildSwede RE: a_and_w Mar 9, 2010 09:29 AM

                              Hi A,
                              You are right - I just checked their site and for some reason I remember seeing the word "grill" somewhere but can't see it now (at least not in any of the pics there". Maybe the link was smoked, but I could not detect anything from it. They are from St Louis according to their site.
                              I was so enthralled with the nastiness of their sauce that I kept tasting it as I could not believe it could be as bad as my tastebuds were telling me... but, yes, it was that bad.
                              Try it - maybe you will like it. But, my two friends who also ate it that day (they KNOW BBQ, whereas I only know what I like) hated it and quickly tossed the menu from their files.
                              http://www.qzillabbq.com/

                              1. re: WildSwede
                                a_and_w RE: WildSwede Mar 9, 2010 10:50 AM

                                Well, no mention of Carolina, which might have indicated that the vinegar sauce was intended. So I'm inclined to take your word that it was just nasty and to be avoided.

                            2. re: WildSwede
                              BeenThereAteThat RE: WildSwede Apr 10, 2010 06:41 PM

                              I had a great experience at Qzilla. My wife and I had the Mile High on Texas toast. It was what you want--moist, flavorful, meaty and plentiful.

                              When we were there, they truck was deserted. Reading all these comments, it seems like the busier the truck, the worse it is.

                              -----
                              Mile High Cafe
                              7070 Summit Valley Rd, Hesperia, CA 92345

                            3. b
                              Bjartmarr RE: Ciao Bob Mar 8, 2010 12:16 PM

                              Oh, man. I have been wanting to post this thread for weeks, but haven't because I fear sounding like a crank. Thanks for breaking the ice, Bob.

                              The concept of mobile kitchens is exciting, but the combination of price, quality, and ambiance that the trucks deliver just doesn't do it for me. If I were eating out every day, I might patronize the trucks more, but since my budget is limited and I don't eat out every day I'd rather wait a few days until I'm passing by some better/cheaper chow, rather than settle for mediocre/expensive.

                              Kogi isn't worth the wait anymore. Kogi was barely worth the wait the first time. Calbi I can handle on occasion.
                              Fishlips: The sushi looks like Ralphs sushi. If I wanted Ralphs sushi at Ralphs prices, I'd go to Ralphs. I can make better for far cheaper at home.
                              The Pastrami truck: Nine bucks for a sandwich? I can get two meals out of a large Godmother for less than nine bucks. And at Bay Cities, they have tables. If their pastrami were better than Langers, it'd be worth it, but Langers isn't that far away.
                              I'm near a good banh mi shop once or twice a week. Nom nom may be good, but why should I pay a premium to eat standing on the sidewalk?
                              I tried a pulled pork sandwich from one of the BBQ trucks, which was okay, but I'm used to Dickeys in Dallas (from back when Dickeys used to be good). I want either cheap or fantastic, and this was neither. Pass.
                              India Jones is going to get a try because of the cool name, but I know going in that Jasmine or Mayura probably serve more, better food cheaper.

                              The only truck I've been to in the past month is El Pique, which is (of course) a different breed.

                              I can see how those who don't get around as much, or who have more money, or who have smaller waistlines, could enjoy the trucks. But for me, unless something truly special comes along, I'm more or less done with them.

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: Bjartmarr
                                TonyC RE: Bjartmarr Mar 8, 2010 02:35 PM

                                thanks for the thoughts on Fresser (Pastrami truck). $9 for a pastrami sandwich that's not Langer's seems a bit ridiculous... It's about the only one that piques my interest right now.

                                1. re: Bjartmarr
                                  j
                                  Jase RE: Bjartmarr Mar 10, 2010 08:13 AM

                                  Regarding Fressers, comparing a Godmother to a pastrami sandwich isn't fair I think. Good pastrami sandwiches usually will run $8-9 anyway. I think the meat from Fressers is very good without even any qualifiers such as a truck. If it was a storefront, it would hold up well against most. It is a bit on the thin side though.

                                  1. re: Jase
                                    Mr Taster RE: Jase Mar 10, 2010 08:58 AM

                                    Clarification is in order.... the good "bad" pastrami (thinly sliced, chewy, "SoCal pastrami" like The Hat, Johnnies, etc.) costs about $8-9.

                                    The good "excellent" pastrami (thick sliced, butter tender, New York Katz's Jewish deli style) never costs less than $10 and often costs significantly more.

                                    By that measure, Fresser's is actually not a bad deal, though still pricey for a sandwich.

                                    Mr Taster

                                    1. re: Mr Taster
                                      j
                                      Jase RE: Mr Taster Mar 10, 2010 09:47 AM

                                      yes, thanks, that is a good clarification. Also before someone points it out, I understand Johnnies, Hat is the huge overstuffed style. I like The Hat, grew up on it and was a lunch time staple in high school but I think it's not a good comparison for Fresser's when it comes to size of the sandwich.

                                      I was saying that Fresser's size is on the small size compared to Katz, etc. But the price is also less than that. In fact I was just at Junior's the other day and my wife got the pastrami sandwich there. It was maybe 50% thicker but it was also $15. So price to filling ratio of Fresser's seem to be equal.

                                      1. re: Mr Taster
                                        c
                                        cdub RE: Mr Taster Mar 10, 2010 09:50 AM

                                        i was just at katz last week and it was $15 for a pastrami before tax and the obligatory $1 to the counter guy.

                                    2. re: Bjartmarr
                                      BeenThereAteThat RE: Bjartmarr Apr 10, 2010 06:49 PM

                                      Dude, if you think a pastrami truck is going to be better than Langer's, I'm not sure how you're going to be satisfied.

                                      Having said that, I think the way to go with trucks is to just hit up whatever you happen to see. Chasing trendy trucks around is a recipe for disappointment.

                                    3. soniabegonia RE: Ciao Bob Mar 8, 2010 12:24 PM

                                      I still haven't found a "gourmet" truck I find particularly appealing.
                                      Nom Nom is ok but really chintzy with the meat.
                                      Marked 5 is plain bad and overpriced
                                      India Jones is not good - curries are too watery, too much rice, lack of depth
                                      Agree that fishlips is skimpy and the fish is always a tad too warm for my taste... should be just under room temp but always feels right at room temp. I think the fish portion has steadily decreased over the past few months...
                                      Just tried Kogi for the first time last week and have to say I prefer regular tacos. Perhaps not a fair comparison but it just seems a little off to me.

                                      Out of these, I think Marked 5 is the only one that truly sucks; the others are just ho-hum. I'd have dollar tacos over these any day.

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: soniabegonia
                                        Ciao Bob RE: soniabegonia Mar 8, 2010 01:26 PM

                                        Spot on about Fishlips fish temperature, soniabegonia. I felt like I should have remembered to have ordered the sushi rare!

                                        1. re: soniabegonia
                                          Mr Taster RE: soniabegonia Mar 8, 2010 02:42 PM

                                          Agreed about Marked5.... I've had these types of "rice burgers" in Taiwan and the ones Marked5 made were just awful. Swimming in overly sweet sauce... blech.

                                          Looks like we're not the only ones who believed that.... the Marked5 truck is no more.

                                          http://www.marked5.com/

                                          Mr Taster

                                          1. re: soniabegonia
                                            soniabegonia RE: soniabegonia Apr 11, 2010 06:41 PM

                                            Oh man, hadn't been to fishlips for a couple of months and succumbed to the sushi craving last week. WTF? The portions are now laughable. The temari balls were diminutive. I think they were a smidgen larger than Milk Duds. And still too warm. Blech! Never again!

                                            1. re: soniabegonia
                                              Ciao Bob RE: soniabegonia Apr 12, 2010 09:32 AM

                                              I get the shivers every time I walk past fishlips.

                                              1. re: Ciao Bob
                                                WildSwede RE: Ciao Bob Apr 12, 2010 02:48 PM

                                                The name gives me shivers.

                                                1. re: WildSwede
                                                  r
                                                  radman123 RE: WildSwede Apr 24, 2010 07:55 PM

                                                  I agree - ate at Fishlips once and never again. I was actually mad at myself for followng them on Twitter. Not even good supermarket sushi.

                                          2. m
                                            mdpilam RE: Ciao Bob Mar 8, 2010 10:44 PM

                                            The only ones that I thought sucked were Nom Nom and Phamish, and that is because apparently, I don't like Vietnamese food. I don't eat fish/seafood and Nom Nom's Banh Mi was fish saucy, and I thought I'd give Pho another shot (I'd tried a couple other times in Bay Area), and I am just not a fan. I don't like "soup" as a meal.

                                            I was disappointed with The Flying Pig truck though... it was decent, but I had high hopes (I love pork!).

                                            16 Replies
                                            1. re: mdpilam
                                              Will Owen RE: mdpilam Mar 9, 2010 04:18 PM

                                              The duck taco is I think the one good reason to visit the Flying Pig. Perhaps it was just that they were handing out dozens for free (this was at an event) but what I got for a Pork Bun was a big, rather old steamed bun (anything over twenty minutes is old with these) wrapped around a few shreds of porkish stuff. I almost wish it hadn't been free so I could demand my money back. The duck taco, however, was worth the wait.

                                              1. re: Will Owen
                                                c
                                                cdub RE: Will Owen Mar 10, 2010 07:50 AM

                                                the pork belly bun from the flying pig is terrible. $3 for the smallest, driest piece of pork belly. i was really excited to try it and hated myself for paying for it afterwards.

                                                nom nom was bad the one time i tried it. stale bread. dry sandwich. no pate. just disappointing all the way around.

                                                1. re: cdub
                                                  b
                                                  bsquared2 RE: cdub Mar 10, 2010 09:47 PM

                                                  Flying PIg was awful. I couldn't eat it.

                                                  Nom Nom wasn't awful, but it wasn't that great either. Really slow service and I thought the ingredients weren't very good. If you don't start with a good baguette, you are pretty much screwed when it comes to a Banh Mi.

                                                  1. re: bsquared2
                                                    Das Ubergeek RE: bsquared2 Mar 11, 2010 07:52 AM

                                                    Nom Nom came down to Anaheim last night. I didn't go, since I was still full from a taco acorazado, but they were at California Girls on Brookhurst. Why would you pay $6 for a banh mi on Brookhurst when two minutes down the road you can have your pick from Little Saigon for $2.50?

                                                    I haven't tried their banh mi. I have no idea if it's any good. I think their idea of crawling the Westside is pretty genius since you would spend more than $3 in gas driving to a place with better banh mi, but bringing Nom Nom to Brookhurst seems weird to me.

                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                      b
                                                      bsquared2 RE: Das Ubergeek Mar 11, 2010 06:22 PM

                                                      Not just weird, but absurd. I can think of 10 amazing Banh Mi shops probably within walking distance of where they parked. Plus, even at a place like Ba Le, they at least have 2 tables so it is possible to sit and eat.

                                                      The baguettes didn't taste fresh. When they were out of the oven, they might have been the best baguettes in the world, but they weren't very fresh when I went.

                                                      1. re: bsquared2
                                                        Das Ubergeek RE: bsquared2 Mar 12, 2010 07:24 AM

                                                        Well, where they were is not exactly banh mi central, but it's not far. (California Girls is near Brookhurst and Orange, in Little Gaza.) Seriously, two minutes away is Little Saigon.

                                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                          Dommy RE: Das Ubergeek Mar 12, 2010 08:02 AM

                                                          Two miles and entering a new restaurant with a sign mostly in another language is still VERY intimidating for a lot of people... I think of these trucks in a way as a gate way.... much like street food is (Why was breed street the most cutting edge in terms of regional mexican food? Because it was more of a risk and heart breaking for a restauranteur to put that stuff on their menu and it never be ordered in favor for thecombo plate standards.) What I hope is that people go to these trucks and think, this good.... where can I get better...

                                                          --Dommy!

                                                    2. re: bsquared2
                                                      a_and_w RE: bsquared2 Mar 11, 2010 08:03 AM

                                                      I could be wrong, but I think they're using actual Vietnamese baguettes with some rice flour.

                                                      1. re: a_and_w
                                                        Das Ubergeek RE: a_and_w Mar 11, 2010 08:29 AM

                                                        Like I said, I don't have any data points for comparison since I didn't go last night and, to my knowledge, it's the only time they've breached the Orange Curtain. Just looking at price, though, it's more than twice the price of any banh mi in Little Saigon.

                                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                          a_and_w RE: Das Ubergeek Mar 11, 2010 08:44 AM

                                                          ?? My comment was a reply to bsquared's criticism of the baguette.

                                                          1. re: a_and_w
                                                            Das Ubergeek RE: a_and_w Mar 11, 2010 08:51 AM

                                                            Sorry, I misread. MOAR CAFFEINE PLZ

                                                        2. re: a_and_w
                                                          c
                                                          cdub RE: a_and_w Mar 11, 2010 10:32 AM

                                                          they could be starting with a good baguette but it's not freshly baked. a huge plus for most of the bahn me places in westminster or sgv. i think that's where they lose it. if the baguettes they use start to get old, it's just not going to be good.

                                                          i was, however, in ny and had a bahn mi out of a truck a week ago and thought it was a million times better than the nom nom truck so the truck thing shouldn't be the issue.

                                                    3. re: Will Owen
                                                      j
                                                      Jase RE: Will Owen Mar 10, 2010 08:07 AM

                                                      I got the pork belly rice bun, the duck taco and the kalbi taco. I wasn't thrilled. The duck was dry. The bun elements didn't meld together for the pork. The kalbi was grilled decently but they included cilantro in it even after I made it a point to tell them twice not to put it on after clarifiying it usually comes with it. It wasn't crowded either.

                                                    4. re: mdpilam
                                                      a_and_w RE: mdpilam Mar 10, 2010 08:19 AM

                                                      mdpilam, I think the fish sauce is probably in the mayo. I'm sensitive to fishy flavors myself and have never tasted fish sauce on the grilled pork minus mayo.

                                                      PS: Come to think of it, I have a hazy recollection of a mildly fishy taste to the lemongrass chicken.

                                                      1. re: a_and_w
                                                        a
                                                        AdamMiller RE: a_and_w Mar 10, 2010 01:35 PM

                                                        Bool is pretty mediocre, too bad because they are very friendly. I had a chicken burrito and it was super sweet and just kind of gross.

                                                        1. re: AdamMiller
                                                          Mr Taster RE: AdamMiller Mar 10, 2010 02:27 PM

                                                          The only item I feel is really worth eating at Bool is the char grilled beef taco. The beef has a really nice smokiness to it. The chicken and pork are rather dull.

                                                          Mr Taster

                                                    5. b
                                                      bsquared2 RE: Ciao Bob Mar 10, 2010 09:44 PM

                                                      I think the whole truck thing jumped the shark a long time ago. It was more about a funny concept (burmese food...in a TACO!) or silly pun name (India Jones?). I've been to many of them and have found them usually way overpriced, always out of signature items and items that sound good, but are executed poorly.

                                                      I'm still waiting for a truck that blows me away. The Grilled Cheese Truck sounds good. I will say I did enjoy Cool Haus. Good, but not amazing Ice Cream sandwiches. Kogi was good, but I am not going to wait an hour for a taco truck. Nom Nom wasn't very exciting because they had a good idea (Banh Mi in a truck), but the ingredients weren't that good. The Dosa truck was not bad, but $7 for a Dosa the size of a taquito? No thanks.

                                                      11 Replies
                                                      1. re: bsquared2
                                                        m
                                                        mopeyboy RE: bsquared2 Mar 10, 2010 10:09 PM

                                                        I go to Langer's often. I was going to Fresser's often. Missed the last 3 weeks and now I see they haven't updated their feed since March 3 or 4. Could they be "out" already? Anyway, I think their pastrami is excellent. And so is the pot roast sandwich. I do love Langer's and Katz's, both being more expensive than Fresser's, but I think Fresser's has a slight edge - it's more spicy and I like that. But where are they?

                                                        1. re: mopeyboy
                                                          b
                                                          bulavinaka RE: mopeyboy Mar 11, 2010 06:42 PM

                                                          I've noticed a serious fall-off in food trucks along Abbot Kinney, and Fresser's started hanging out on the street when the fall-off started. The merchants along this street are seriously pissed that the trucks take up parking in an area where it is already pretty bad. The merchants will chase off the trucks, threatening to call the police if the trucks can't show written permission from a place close by that will allow eaters to use restroom facilities. I was literally walking up to Fresser's to give them a try when an angry merchant went ape-sh*t on the gentleman just after he parked the truck. Looks like the food trucks' days are pretty much done for now around Abbot Kinney...

                                                          1. re: bulavinaka
                                                            m
                                                            mdpilam RE: bulavinaka Mar 11, 2010 10:33 PM

                                                            Is that part of the trucks permit requirement? Having a local shop/restaurant allow patrons to use their restroom?

                                                            Are these merchants upset that they are taking parking away from potential customers (if so, parking always sucks around AK) - or are these restaurants that are trying to chase them away b/c they are taking their customers? Because, the only restaurant that I can think of (that is "cheap" and would be vying for customers) would be AK Pizza, right? (I'm assuming we're talking about the evening)

                                                            1. re: mdpilam
                                                              Dommy RE: mdpilam Mar 12, 2010 08:09 AM

                                                              Haven't been to a first friday is a few months.... I hope it hasn't changed much.... we always had so much fun because it got strangers on the street talking... "Ohh! Which truck did you get that from" and we could duck into any number of bars to get drinks in between truck courses... oh, and all the FF we went to, AK Pizza was NOT suffering customers...

                                                              --Dommy!

                                                              1. re: mdpilam
                                                                b
                                                                bulavinaka RE: mdpilam Mar 12, 2010 10:13 PM

                                                                >>Is that part of the trucks permit requirement? Having a local shop/restaurant allow patrons to use their restroom?<<

                                                                The hostile merchant practically recited the requirement as if it were some ordinance. The gentleman in the Fresser's truck called someone to verify and seemed to hear what he didn't want to hear. He promptly moved his truck out of the parking spot.

                                                                >>Are these merchants upset that they are taking parking away from potential customers (if so, parking always sucks around AK) - or are these restaurants that are trying to chase them away b/c they are taking their customers?<<

                                                                I've seen two confrontations so far. One that I referred to above - a shop merchant - not an eatery; and the owner of the building where The Brig is with the "Calbi" truck. Seems the truck decided to park in the owner's lot without permission and they caught a serious earful. That lot was often the site of three or four food trucks on some evenings and weekends. I don't know what the status is anymore. Other than the Calbi truck and the Dogtown truck, It's been a while since I've seen any truck regularly visit the street, and even those two that I've mentioned haven't been around now for at least a few days. That's a long while considering four or five trucks could be found on the street at any given time in the past.

                                                          2. re: bsquared2
                                                            m
                                                            mdpilam RE: bsquared2 Mar 10, 2010 10:48 PM

                                                            I agree on the jumping the shark, but I do think they are a great replacement for late-night (after bar) eats (better than Carl Jrs, Norms, IHOP, etc...). Especially when they are parked right outside the bar.

                                                            There are still some that I would go out of my way for (namely the South Philly Experience) though. Lastly, I think it gives the Westside some solid "street food" alternatives, since there aren't many taco trucks around here and the ones that are aren't great.

                                                            1. re: bsquared2
                                                              a_and_w RE: bsquared2 Mar 11, 2010 08:01 AM

                                                              Note to self: bsquared HATES names with puns.

                                                              1. re: a_and_w
                                                                b
                                                                bsquared2 RE: a_and_w Mar 11, 2010 06:30 PM

                                                                I do. My standing rule is Bad Pun = Bad Pho. It could apply to other types of food too. I would also not get my hair cut from a barber/salon that uses a bad hair pun in their name.

                                                              2. re: bsquared2
                                                                Mr Taster RE: bsquared2 Mar 11, 2010 09:11 AM

                                                                I tend to agree... what started as a passion project had degraded into a me-too bandwagon of (sometimes, not always) sub-par/expensive eats. It seems like the $5 barrier was broken a few months ago, and now many of the trucks (particularly the newer ones) are regularly charging upwards of $8+ for their products, which can range from awful (Marked5) to very good (Baby's Badass Burgers).

                                                                The real taco truck trifecta is tasty-cheap-fast.. The FancyTrucks™ were never exactly fast, but tasty-cheap is a pretty compelling duo. Well, now in many cases cheap has dropped off the screen, and sometimes even tasty has vansihed too. Once you've lost those three key elements, what's the point of eating at the trucks? All you're left with is a stylishly wrapped truck blaring too-loud music and a bunch of bandwagoners who read some good things about it on Yelp.

                                                                I'll certainly continue to seek out that holy trinity, but I have lost some of my faith since many of the truck operators seem to have lost the love.

                                                                Mr Taster

                                                                1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                  1newyorkguy RE: Mr Taster Mar 11, 2010 12:34 PM

                                                                  I've enjoyed Marked's tofu sandwich. The grilled rice had a nice smokey flavor that matched with a sweet-ish sauce.

                                                                2. re: bsquared2
                                                                  BeenThereAteThat RE: bsquared2 Apr 10, 2010 06:45 PM

                                                                  "The Grilled Cheese Truck sounds good."

                                                                  Reference: "items that sound good, but are executed poorly."

                                                                3. Will Owen RE: Ciao Bob Mar 10, 2010 10:34 PM

                                                                  Mrs. O got word that a Kogi truck was gonna be at the Coffee Gallery in Altadena again tonight, so once more we stopped by on our way home after her class. She got the Blackjack quesadilla; had no clear idea what was on it, except for some good if somewhat gristly meat and sharp cheddar, but it made her a good supper. I'd eaten earlier, but I got a short rib taco for dessert. I would have preferred it less salty and less sweet, but the meat was spot on and the flavor was great. I handful of very fresh, crisp radish slices made the perfect garnish. Was it worth two bucks? I'll say yes, just not every day.

                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Will Owen
                                                                    Das Ubergeek RE: Will Owen Mar 11, 2010 07:56 AM

                                                                    Blackjack is black pork belly and jack cheese. I've been burned by it lately and by the Naranja truck of Kogi in general, so have stopped going (I won't stop when it's parked at the Bruery, for example).

                                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                                      Mr Taster RE: Das Ubergeek Mar 11, 2010 09:15 AM

                                                                      My one and only time eating Kogi was on Miracle Mile about 2 months ago. Had the blackjack. It was truly awful... greasy, salty, sour.

                                                                      I'm a little sad that I missed the Golden Age of Kogi, but I'll survive.

                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                        c
                                                                        Clyde RE: Mr Taster Mar 11, 2010 01:04 PM

                                                                        just went to the kogi on miracle mile today. had two tofu tacos, was bummed i didn't get a third. thought it was pretty darn good. co-worker went to the tastymeat truck and got a falafel. they were out of tahini!!! he hated his lunch there.

                                                                        1. re: Clyde
                                                                          Mr Taster RE: Clyde Mar 11, 2010 01:14 PM

                                                                          I've been to the Tastymeat truck 3 times. First time got the Bamwich (lamb/beef gyro/meatloaf style) ordered spicy. Surprisingly tasty, with little bits of crispy burnt ends on some of the meat which offered a really nice textural and flavor contrast. Next time got the chicken... bland bland bland and no crisped ends at all. Third time I'm back to my original order.

                                                                          It seems that the real focus on these trucks is one specialty item, and then they offer less tasty variations on a theme in order to appease the masses. The more I try these trucks, the more I realize that the good ones are really one hit wonders.

                                                                          I find it a bit odd to order felafel from a truck whose actual name contains the word meat. Stick with whatever that truck's signature item is. If the truck says "best hot dogs", don't dismiss them because you didn't like the tofu dog.

                                                                          Mr Taster

                                                                        2. re: Mr Taster
                                                                          n
                                                                          ns1 RE: Mr Taster Apr 27, 2010 07:50 PM

                                                                          Comparatively speaking, I've NEVER been disappointed at the taco zone truck, and I've never spent more than $7 for myself

                                                                          1. re: ns1
                                                                            m
                                                                            mdpilam RE: ns1 Apr 27, 2010 09:12 PM

                                                                            I think this post is referring to "Gourmet" Food trucks. Not taco trucks.

                                                                        3. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                                          Will Owen RE: Das Ubergeek Mar 11, 2010 12:21 PM

                                                                          I don't know which truck this was in Altadena - if you insist on ID I'll just say it's white. The green truck is supposed to be there on Saturday.

                                                                          Mr. Taster might have found this blackjack more of the same as the one he's complaining about, but it suited Mrs. O just fine. She did wake up powerfully thirsty this morning though - she has a high tolerance for the taste of salt and can't always tell when she's getting too much. I thought the bite of hers I had was a bit salty, but my taco was much too salty. A burrito would have been unpleasant. Too bad.

                                                                      2. p
                                                                        pointone RE: Ciao Bob Mar 11, 2010 01:24 PM

                                                                        I nominate the Slice Truck.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: pointone
                                                                          Mr Taster RE: pointone Mar 11, 2010 01:38 PM

                                                                          Seconded

                                                                          Mr Taster

                                                                          1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                            t
                                                                            taiwanesesmalleats RE: Mr Taster Mar 11, 2010 01:39 PM

                                                                            Third. Disappointing piece of pizza.

                                                                        2. b
                                                                          Bandini RE: Ciao Bob Mar 14, 2010 03:27 AM

                                                                          my cheese steak at south philly was terrible . I got provolone and it wasn't melted. The sandwich was very dry.

                                                                          look at this sad thing....and like 8 bucks.

                                                                          http://www.flickr.com/photos/dailytac...

                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Bandini
                                                                            a_and_w RE: Bandini Mar 14, 2010 09:27 AM

                                                                            That's...just...criminal. You should really email them or leave a comment on their blog with a link to that pic. These guys really do care about their product, and that's way below their usual standard.

                                                                            1. re: Bandini
                                                                              t
                                                                              taiwanesesmalleats RE: Bandini Mar 14, 2010 06:29 PM

                                                                              Whoa, that looks terrible. When I got my Italian a few weeks back, the meat was definitely hot enough to melt the provolone and was plenty juicy, almost too much so. Give it another try would be my suggestion.

                                                                              1. re: Bandini
                                                                                e
                                                                                exilekiss RE: Bandini Mar 15, 2010 11:04 AM

                                                                                Hi Bandini,

                                                                                That's so weird. My cheese steak from South Philly looked just like that as well. I've been meaning to go back, thinking it was a fluke. I'm curious if it's due to a certain location / time-of-day where they weren't ready yet? Which location did you go to for that, and if I may ask, roughly what time-of-day? I tried them when they were near the Water Garden around Noon IIRC, just when they were opening up.

                                                                                1. re: exilekiss
                                                                                  b
                                                                                  Bandini RE: exilekiss Mar 16, 2010 01:03 AM

                                                                                  that pic was taken at the food trucks for haiti event. I think it was around noon.

                                                                                  my friend went for the grilled cheese truck i decided on the philly steak. d'oh

                                                                                  maybe ill give them another chance

                                                                                  1. re: Bandini
                                                                                    j
                                                                                    Jase RE: Bandini Mar 16, 2010 08:54 AM

                                                                                    If it's any consolation, most of my co-workers and I have had the reverse first impression. Unhappy with the grilled cheese truck, cheese not melted properly into bread, bland uninteresting flavors.

                                                                                    While the cheesesteaks were prepared properly with the meat and cheese melted and mixed through. Good meaty, cheesy taste.

                                                                                2. re: Bandini
                                                                                  Ciao Bob RE: Bandini Mar 15, 2010 11:31 AM

                                                                                  Right on, Bandini!

                                                                                  Thanks for the photo-documentation of what was my exact -- and exactly terrible - South Philly Experience that started this thread.

                                                                                  Exilekiss, I went at 12:45. Waited on line for 5 mins and about 8 mins for my sandwich. Then I walked across Pennsylvania Ave and sat under a tree. I uwrapped it about 1.5 minutes after reveiving it.....and it looked eaxctly like Bandini's but with quite bit more meat. [Frankly , too much more meat for a true Philly Steak but I didn't deduct for that, I like more meat than is tradiational.]

                                                                                  1. re: Ciao Bob
                                                                                    a_and_w RE: Ciao Bob Mar 15, 2010 11:47 AM

                                                                                    I thought you said your South Philly Experience was "so so," not "terrible." Can we dial back the negativity just a bit? Incidentally, I saw them when they were at the Water Garden, and they looked slammed to me. In fact, I skipped them because I was worried it would take too long. Looks like they were cutting corners, which is admittedly inexcusable. Still, I know based on several visits (Wilshire/Granville and Nebraska/Stewart) that they are capable of better.

                                                                                    1. re: a_and_w
                                                                                      Ciao Bob RE: a_and_w Mar 15, 2010 11:52 AM

                                                                                      I hear you, a and w. The memory has indeed soured with time but not that much. Terrible is an overstatement. Thanks for reminding me.

                                                                                      1. re: a_and_w
                                                                                        e
                                                                                        exilekiss RE: a_and_w Mar 15, 2010 03:32 PM

                                                                                        Hi a_and_w,

                                                                                        Do you know if they have more than 1 cook helping out? I want to go back and try them at one of the locations you enjoyed. Thanks.

                                                                                        1. re: exilekiss
                                                                                          a_and_w RE: exilekiss Mar 16, 2010 08:13 AM

                                                                                          Bob: Thanks, dude. I'm certainly no stranger to overstatement myself lol!

                                                                                          exilekiss: I usually see them with 2 cooks and one guy taking money, but not always.

                                                                                          Bandini: I hope you don't mind, but I emailed the South Philly folks with a description of the problem and link to your pic.

                                                                                          PS: For all you Water Garden folks, there are a bunch of picnic tables toward the Stewart side of Pennsylvania. It's a really, really pleasant place to eat lunch.

                                                                                          1. re: a_and_w
                                                                                            a_and_w RE: a_and_w Mar 17, 2010 08:30 AM

                                                                                            Just to follow up on South Philly, they emailed me back regarding the unmelted provolone:

                                                                                            " Thanks, it happens sometimes with the provo due to that it doesn't melt well. the heat of the meat is supposed to melt the cheese once wrapped, but sometimes it doesn't happen. If we had a larger griddle on the truck we would melt the cheese on each sandwich, because we love it that way. It's just to small and would take way to long, people would be mad about wait times than. Can't win and can't please everyone, but we are trying. Thanks again for the look out."

                                                                                            Not the most satisfying reply, but it sounds like there's not much they can do because of the time and space constraints.

                                                                                    2. re: Bandini
                                                                                      Dommy RE: Bandini Apr 10, 2010 08:03 PM

                                                                                      I sadly was also hit by South Phily carelessness.... I admit, it was at a place that was busier than last time (the new LAX Food lot) and they TOTALLY forgot my Wiz. For me, the sandwich is ALL about the Wiz... so I dunno how they could have forgot... but they did...

                                                                                      Otherwise, still VERY tasty tho'...

                                                                                      --Dommy!

                                                                                    3. v
                                                                                      VDOVault RE: Ciao Bob Mar 19, 2010 03:57 PM

                                                                                      I just saw 2 worrying tweets from @lafoodtruck
                                                                                      1) pardon my general absence on this account of late. some developments in my employment status has forced me to rethink my time expenditures.
                                                                                      and
                                                                                      2)I will update you on the status of this account, its future, and any details that arise shortly as i become aware of them

                                                                                      Not having that account would suck...

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: VDOVault
                                                                                        n
                                                                                        nhb2009 RE: VDOVault Apr 11, 2010 07:32 PM

                                                                                        I've tried a dozen trucks that I think suck - including Kogi. The Border Grill truck and Gastrobus stand apart as pretty darn good.

                                                                                        -----
                                                                                        Border Grill
                                                                                        1445 4th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401

                                                                                        Kogi
                                                                                        Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles, CA

                                                                                      2. c
                                                                                        Clyde RE: Ciao Bob Apr 12, 2010 02:28 PM

                                                                                        my newest truck that sucks experience is the LA FUXION truck. greesy, and not to mention they wrap it very poorly and it leaks through the bag and gets all over the place. the tofu taco was not good. i did enjoy the tuna tostada though, but i've had that before a few times. i tried something new and it was a huge failure.

                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Clyde
                                                                                          b
                                                                                          buttermarblepopcorn RE: Clyde Apr 12, 2010 07:37 PM

                                                                                          That is a rather unfortunate spelling (their name). At least, when I first read it, I heard "lah fuk-shun" in my head. Just as well, eh? :P

                                                                                          1. re: Clyde
                                                                                            b
                                                                                            Bandini RE: Clyde Apr 13, 2010 01:45 AM

                                                                                            trucks that charge $2 for a can of regular soda (sprite, coke etc ) . Most of the gourmet trucks sell these cans for $1.50 but I've seen some charge $2.

                                                                                            border grill when they first opened sold jarritos for $2.50 a bottle. Fine. But they put a sign up that read - Jarritos only $2.50!

                                                                                            1. re: Bandini
                                                                                              b
                                                                                              Bandini RE: Bandini Apr 15, 2010 12:49 AM

                                                                                              update:

                                                                                              border grill truck selling cans of soda for $2.50!? FFS!

                                                                                              1. re: Bandini
                                                                                                Ciao Bob RE: Bandini Apr 15, 2010 08:06 AM

                                                                                                FFS?

                                                                                                1. re: Ciao Bob
                                                                                                  a_and_w RE: Ciao Bob Apr 15, 2010 08:41 AM

                                                                                                  FFS = for &%$#! sake. I'm personally underwhelmed by the Border truck. I like the spicy pork taco, but that's about it.

                                                                                          2. SouthBayRantsnRaves RE: Ciao Bob Apr 15, 2010 07:27 PM

                                                                                            Just wanted to say thanks for starting this topic. As someone who lives far from the trucks, I have an idea who I shouldn't patron & save gas money too!

                                                                                            1. j
                                                                                              jerseygirldawn RE: Ciao Bob Apr 23, 2010 07:21 PM

                                                                                              has anyone tried the banana pudding truck?
                                                                                              also if you HAVE LIKED anything from the trucks, please share.
                                                                                              Thx

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: jerseygirldawn
                                                                                                a
                                                                                                ayogist RE: jerseygirldawn Apr 26, 2010 10:23 PM

                                                                                                i've tried the banana pudding on the @nanaqueens truck. while it's definitely tasty, i don't think the serving was worth the $5 i paid for it.

                                                                                                1. re: jerseygirldawn
                                                                                                  a
                                                                                                  ApprenticeGourmet RE: jerseygirldawn Jul 1, 2010 01:39 PM

                                                                                                  I got nanaqueens at a farmers market...artificial banana flavor reminiscent of jello pudding and Nilla wafers. I could make a massive batch of the stuff for the price I paid for a tiny little container.

                                                                                                2. j
                                                                                                  jerseygirldawn RE: Ciao Bob Apr 23, 2010 07:28 PM

                                                                                                  btw: I tried the fry smith truck today. It was my favorite truck so far. Its like $6-$7 for a 3 pound dish of fries, cheese & meat.
                                                                                                  I tasted both the fries with steak and peppers and the sweet potato fries with chicken. They were both really good. I would drive out of my way for this truck.

                                                                                                  Still wanting to try the Philly & grilled cheese trucks.

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: jerseygirldawn
                                                                                                    h
                                                                                                    hboy RE: jerseygirldawn Jul 28, 2010 10:10 PM

                                                                                                    i like the frysmith truck too - i had their poutine on Canada Day a while back: though I am not Canadian and I don't have a true reference point, it was pretty great

                                                                                                    Agree with the general tone of this thread - I feel like I am desperate for street food so I keep trying these trucks but am underwhelmed over and over again...

                                                                                                    however, not a truck but well-loved at the LA street food fest this past weekend: tried Starry Kitchen the other day and it was well worth the hike over to downtown

                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                    Starry Kitchen
                                                                                                    350 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                                                                                                    1. re: hboy
                                                                                                      l
                                                                                                      Liquid Sky RE: hboy Jul 29, 2010 10:29 AM

                                                                                                      HBOY: What do you recommend at Starry Kitchen? I've heard some good reviews.

                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                      Starry Kitchen
                                                                                                      350 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                                                                                                      1. re: Liquid Sky
                                                                                                        h
                                                                                                        hboy RE: Liquid Sky Aug 6, 2010 12:06 PM

                                                                                                        it's tricky b/c their menu changes weekly i think...when i was there i tried the famed crispy tofu balls which got them a lot of attention at the LA street food fest, but they took those off the menu already...most things people were eating there looked good, not sure if i'd go out of my way to get there, but if you're near moca it's worth a shot

                                                                                                  2. s
                                                                                                    sel RE: Ciao Bob Apr 24, 2010 11:48 AM

                                                                                                    Anyone tried The Dim Dum Truck, haven't caught it yet but I so want it to be good!

                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: sel
                                                                                                      Discokill RE: sel Apr 24, 2010 03:49 PM

                                                                                                      Sorry, loved the idea of a Dim Sum truck and was willing to put up with it being only marginally ok if it meant I could grab Dim Sum by my office at work but it didn't even reach that level. I have a rule that I'll try most any places twice before forming a real opinion but the Dim Sum truck isn't going to get a second showing from me.

                                                                                                      1. re: sel
                                                                                                        a
                                                                                                        ayogist RE: sel Apr 26, 2010 10:26 PM

                                                                                                        the dimsum on the @dimsumtruck is pretty much like what you would find at a dimsum place in chinatown or san gabriel, but it's more expensive. but then again, if you live on the westside and have to spend time and gas to get to the eastside, plus wait in line just to get a seat, paying the extra $ on decent dimsum is worth it, at least for me.

                                                                                                        1. re: sel
                                                                                                          j
                                                                                                          Johnny L RE: sel Apr 27, 2010 06:55 AM

                                                                                                          Its pretty underwhelming. Basically they buy their dimsum from some restaurant or something most likely because it taste like every other dimsum you can get in the San Gabriel Valley but if you are on the West Side you will probably have no choice if you are craving dimsum.

                                                                                                          1. re: Johnny L
                                                                                                            Das Ubergeek RE: Johnny L Apr 27, 2010 07:14 AM

                                                                                                            Do you have proof of what you're saying?

                                                                                                            1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                              Johnny L RE: Das Ubergeek Apr 27, 2010 02:49 PM

                                                                                                              yes, I've eaten there and had basically every item they've offered. I've talked to the owner and he just told me that they get their food from a kitchen, but the way he said seemed like he wanted to brush off the question quickly as if he did not want to talk about it.

                                                                                                              I'm not willing to say much more to prove my point but does it really matter? He is providing food that you cannot get in the West Side. It may be pricier than the San Gabriel equivalent but its still edible and I don't fault him for trying to spread food that is specific to one area. I'm just saying his dim sum when compared to restaurant stuff is very typical and does little to differentiate itself.

                                                                                                              For sure I know that his duck taco and tofu molito are the only things he makes himself but even then the duck taco uses Chinese take-out bought roast ducks which he shreads himself.

                                                                                                          2. re: sel
                                                                                                            l
                                                                                                            Liquid Sky RE: sel Jul 27, 2010 04:57 PM

                                                                                                            I personally love the DimSum Truck. For those of us who don't have time to drive out to SGV, I think it's a great option! I just wish their duck tacos were a little cheaper... so I could eat more of them!!

                                                                                                          3. y
                                                                                                            youshouldquit RE: Ciao Bob Apr 28, 2010 12:16 PM

                                                                                                            A cheesesteak expert from Philly weighs in on South Philly Experience here: http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/ch...

                                                                                                            (The skinny: She found their cheesesteak pretty tasty, with lots of meat and decent roll, but overall not greasy enough. Her favorite cheesesteak in L.A., for those interested, was The Shack in Santa Monica.)

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: youshouldquit
                                                                                                              t
                                                                                                              taiwanesesmalleats RE: youshouldquit May 7, 2010 03:16 PM

                                                                                                              Not greasy enough? As much I liked the South Philly truck, if real cheesesteaks are any greasier, I'd be scared to try one.

                                                                                                              1. re: taiwanesesmalleats
                                                                                                                a_and_w RE: taiwanesesmalleats May 7, 2010 05:08 PM

                                                                                                                I've actually observed some really wide variation in greasiness. Much of the time, they're really greasy, but sometimes they're really dry. It's weird...

                                                                                                            2. c
                                                                                                              chowchow12345678 RE: Ciao Bob May 7, 2010 01:49 PM

                                                                                                              I want to add this to Trucks That Suck: anyone ever tried Dumpling Station? DON'T! Not only did they take a SUPER LONG time to finish our one simple order of steamed dumplings, it turned out to be Trader Joe's dumplings (I've eaten enough Trader Joe's dumplings to know the size and shape), AND THAT'S NOT ALL, IT WAS SEMI-COLD!!!!!!!!!!! Total crime.

                                                                                                              1. hyacinthgirl RE: Ciao Bob May 10, 2010 12:43 PM

                                                                                                                I was excited to finally try the South Phily Experience truce, and I have to say, I wasn't very disapointed.
                                                                                                                Being from PA, I've accepted that I'm not going to get anything that will truly rival my hometown cheesesteaks, but I've still been on a mission to see what in LA will scratch the itch when it occurs.
                                                                                                                The South Philly Experience is actually the best I've had thus far (at least since the demise of Mikes on Washington). I had none of the problems of other posters when I got my steak on Abbot Kinney this past Friday. The temps were all good, the bread was pretty great, chewy and authentic. The cheese and meat ratios were good. My only disapointment was that the meat was a bit bland. That said, I'd go back next time I was feeling a little homesick. Or next time the Eagles are on a roll...

                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: hyacinthgirl
                                                                                                                  l
                                                                                                                  Liquid Sky RE: hyacinthgirl Jul 22, 2010 03:38 PM

                                                                                                                  DISAPPOINTMENTS:

                                                                                                                  Don Chow - did not see the point of this truck at all; everything was pretty tasteless
                                                                                                                  India Jones - should be much better than it is
                                                                                                                  Nom Nom - just okay

                                                                                                                  LIKES:

                                                                                                                  Dim Sum Truck - I LOVE their duck tacos and their shrimp dumplings; I just hope that they don't keep raising their prices as they did between my 1st and 2nd visit with them.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Liquid Sky
                                                                                                                    w
                                                                                                                    wooster RE: Liquid Sky Jul 22, 2010 04:47 PM

                                                                                                                    For awhile there I loved just about every truck I tried, now I kind of can't stand them. They seem to be in the way and I just don't like the experience of the little window. I'd rather eat a hot dog from a cart, at least I can have a quick chat and not star up into the big box.

                                                                                                                    1. re: wooster
                                                                                                                      l
                                                                                                                      Liquid Sky RE: wooster Jul 22, 2010 05:27 PM

                                                                                                                      WOOSTER: For some reason, the actual truck thing doesn't bother me. What bothers me is more the lack of quality -- it seems that anyone these days can throw a truck together, but a lot of the food is just plain bad! Either that, or the minute that the truck becomes somewhat successul, they raise their prices significantly.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Liquid Sky
                                                                                                                        m
                                                                                                                        mdpilam RE: Liquid Sky Jul 22, 2010 11:25 PM

                                                                                                                        Yeah, that's one of my complaints - the prices. I mean, the whole point of a food truck (it started with the taco truck) is to get good food, cheap and fast. Some of these places are charging the same (or even more, atleast in comparison to what you get) as B&M places. And most seem to just be average at best (in terms of quality).

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                                                                                                                          Liquid Sky RE: mdpilam Jul 23, 2010 07:39 AM

                                                                                                                          mdpilam: Yep! I'm going to just support the one or two trucks that I like and avoid the rest like the Plague!!!

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                                                                                                                            wooster RE: Liquid Sky Jul 26, 2010 11:40 AM

                                                                                                                            I'm just starting to feel annoyed by the beastly trucks roaming around everywhere. hell, a sushi truck parked in front of my house the other day and did some private catering. I would just much rather see food stands/carts start taking the place of the large trucks. I want the street food without the roaming trucks.

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                                                                                                                              ns1 RE: wooster Jul 26, 2010 12:36 PM

                                                                                                                              food trucks are reaching critical mass and will go the way of the boba shop and pc bang.

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                                                                                                                                BeenThereAteThat RE: ns1 Jul 27, 2010 08:43 PM

                                                                                                                                I agree. Carts are far more inviting than the megalithic trucks.

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                                                                                                                                bulavinaka RE: wooster Aug 1, 2010 01:08 PM

                                                                                                                                Carts are more inviting and less obtrusive, but this is LA. I completely agree with your logic and sympathize with your situtation, but to get a cart around would be far more difficult for the business owner than a food truck. Some serious ground has to be covered by these roving businesses, and to hitch, go, maneuver and unhitch would kill their time schedule, add extra steps, and create another risk factor for them (as well as the public - like the other day when a trailer became unhitched from a truck on the 405).

                                                                                                                                I think one solution to this issue would be for these trucks to have designated lots to set up in. There are so many gigantic parking lots in urban areas that go underutilized. If these become standard, the concept of these trucks will be similar to hawker centers in Asia. Tables and chairs and porta-potties can set up, trucks can set up, carts can set up, a periodic fee is paid to the lot owner, and everyone can access the food.

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                                                                                                                    thestratbrat RE: Ciao Bob Jul 23, 2010 05:28 PM

                                                                                                                    The Fresh Fries truck is the worst. Waited for about a half hour for them to fill my order, only to receive mediocre fries with minced garlic from a freaking JAR. Because it takes so very long to toss a spoonful of vinegary, off-tasting garlic onto fries which are, presumably, deep-fried in big batches, then top it with maybe two or three parsley leaves. WTF.
                                                                                                                    Ironically, the only nouveau food truck I ever find myself craving is proof that mouthwatering fries from a truck are indeed possible - mmm, Frysmith.

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                                                                                                                      steiny33 RE: thestratbrat Aug 15, 2010 01:11 PM

                                                                                                                      I tried Frysmith last night at Chinatown Summer Nights and was disappointed with my selection...got the vegetarian chili cheese fries. Bland and bordering on tasting funky, though I did like the well done, crispy consistency of the fries.

                                                                                                                      I admit that without real meat (they use soyrizo instead) it's not gonna have as much flavor as real chili with beef, but I thought they could have done better. Not going to hold it against them though, I'm going to try something else next time I have a chance.

                                                                                                                    2. Das Ubergeek RE: Ciao Bob Jul 28, 2010 10:57 PM

                                                                                                                      I'm completely over India Jones. I didn't eat a frankie, just a gobi paratha, but it was a salt lick.

                                                                                                                      I'd so, so, so much rather go to the new Anaheim location of San Diego's beloved Punjabi Tandoor.

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                                                                                                                        gore_mutt RE: Das Ubergeek Aug 1, 2010 11:34 AM

                                                                                                                        (always an honor to follow das ubergeek )
                                                                                                                        i too have definitely cooled off on the truck scene.
                                                                                                                        it just seems to me that they cost a little more than they should, and so often "ladle the food out" like they are giving away dollar bills. India Jones being particularly so inclined. and in generally to most, too much meat.

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                                                                                                                        Clyde RE: Ciao Bob Aug 2, 2010 11:09 AM

                                                                                                                        i'm down for supporting these trucks who come to miracle mile to battle it out with the businesses across the street. however, yeah some i just walk up and down the street scouting the food trucks and nothing sounds good. there is a great one i just discovered called party q'sadilla. really good home style korean food. also, i'm digging the phamish truck for their tofu on rice noodles. their sandwich however didn't really do anything for me. i'm glad i was able to try the frysmith, because i think it's my favorite out of all of them. sometimes it's just too expensive for what you get in general with these trucks. if i'm paying $8 to india jones, i'd like a little more than a little bit of curry over a lot of rice. i like it, but it's just not worth it.

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                                                                                                                          hboy RE: Clyde Aug 6, 2010 04:44 PM

                                                                                                                          just tried Ta Bom, the brazilian truck often on miracle mile...enjoyed it quite a bit, thought the steak burrito was pretty great - could have used a little more kick spicyness-wise...chorizo taco and spicy coxhinas were good too...better than average food truck imo

                                                                                                                        2. OC Mutt RE: Ciao Bob Aug 6, 2010 04:59 PM

                                                                                                                          What "sucks" is waiting in line. Nothing, particularly any food served from a truck, no matter how good it is is worth standing there like a shmo to get the "privilege" of eating in a bucket seat with your steering wheel as a tray. So basically any truck sucks. And yes, Kogi is amazing food and worthy of the hype, but LISTEN UP KOGI, I PROMISE YOU PEOPLE WILL GET SICK OF WAITING IF THEY ARE NOT SICK OF IT ALREADY! (I've noticed the Twitter tweets all of the sudden crying out that there's "no line!" or "5 minute wait!" - this is not a coincidence) No one wants to wait an hour or longer more than once for a taco no matter how good it is.

                                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                                          Kogi
                                                                                                                          Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles, CA

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                                                                                                                          1. re: OC Mutt
                                                                                                                            BeenThereAteThat RE: OC Mutt Aug 6, 2010 05:26 PM

                                                                                                                            I agree wholeheartedly with OC Mutt. Lines suck.

                                                                                                                            In the immortal words of Yogi Berra: "Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded."

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                                                                                                                              shebop RE: BeenThereAteThat Aug 7, 2010 10:58 PM

                                                                                                                              What stops me from going to Kogi now is Chego - I can go eat great food in a comfortable setting and the specials have been amazing......

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                                                                                                                              Chego
                                                                                                                              3300 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034

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                                                                                                                                gore_mutt RE: shebop Sep 12, 2010 02:40 PM

                                                                                                                                i'd rather throw myself _under_ a (moving) truck than stand in line for 2 hours for ANYTHING- but that's just me. i admire those with such a sense of "calm," be they
                                                                                                                                not sheep.

                                                                                                                          2. tablefor1 RE: Ciao Bob Aug 9, 2010 07:10 PM

                                                                                                                            recently compared South Philly to Lee's Philly.

                                                                                                                            Bottom line: I don't feel like eating at trucks anymore.

                                                                                                                            Suck Suck Suck!

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                                                                                                                              mdpilam RE: tablefor1 Aug 9, 2010 10:38 PM

                                                                                                                              You know the last time I went to South Philly (after I had raved about it to my sister and her son and daughter - who lived in Jersey for a while), the food was subpar. Haven't been back since.

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                                                                                                                              coconutz RE: Ciao Bob Mar 6, 2011 04:10 PM

                                                                                                                              The only real disappointment I've had was a Cuban Truck I can't remember the name of, but I tried it out at the last LA Art Walk. The guys ahead of us were salivating over ordering something--meatballs, I think. Their most famous dish. But they were sold out. We order a Cuban Sandwich and it was just tasteless and dull. I split it and still didn't want to finish my half. In the bin it went.

                                                                                                                              The trucks are very convenient at the art walk, except when there is a big line.

                                                                                                                              The lamb frankie at India Jones is very good.
                                                                                                                              The cheese grits and greens combo at Barbie Q are great.
                                                                                                                              I was happy with my little plate of sushi balls at fishlips and thought good value.

                                                                                                                              I was underwhelmed with the chicken balls at Ludo's truck. Nothing wrong with them, nice and crunchy, but after all the talk I expected to be happier with it. My companion thought they were nothing special at all, though I liked a bit more than that--the line also makes for less happy camper.

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                                                                                                                                Das Ubergeek RE: coconutz Mar 9, 2011 09:52 PM

                                                                                                                                I think I know which truck you went to. It's called ¡No Jodas! (Spanish for "don't f--- around") and I agree, the Cubano was awful. Wet, flavourless, gristly. The sandwich had twice as much pork as anything else put together and because the pork had no flavour, the sandwich didn't either.

                                                                                                                                Oh, and it was $7.

                                                                                                                                Also on my not-to-return list: Mandoline ($5 banh mi that were so salty as to be inedible) and Louks (always cold).

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                                                                                                                                  ns1 RE: coconutz Mar 10, 2011 08:18 AM

                                                                                                                                  "I was underwhelmed with the chicken balls at Ludo's truck. Nothing wrong with them, nice and crunchy, but after all the talk I expected to be happier with it. My companion thought they were nothing special at all, though I liked a bit more than that--the line also makes for less happy camper"

                                                                                                                                  Same. No desire to return esp. at those prices.

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