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Oct 16, 2012 08:59 PM

Non Taco Food Trucks - LAish - 2 questions

1. Regular gatherings of food trucks in the LA-ish area? Meaning everything LA central, plus all the way to the water (SM/Venice) and Pasadena/Glendale, but NOT SF or SG valley and not South Bay. Just trying to keep the driving radius manageable.

I know about Venice First Fridays, lunch trucks near Miracle Mile Wilshire, and Wheel Wednesdays Pasadena. What else is there?

2. Bound to be contentious, but is there any consensus on favorites? I've seen the longest lines at Lobsta, Kogi, Grilled Cheese, Coolhaus. Heard good stuff about NomNom. Eaten at South Philly. Any other can't misses?

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  1. Have you tried doing a search on the board? There may be more info to be found that way.

    As far as your list, Nom Nom truck was pretty good, I liked their bahn mi & lemongrass chicken. The Grilled Cheese truck is killer, that sandwich with the Mac & cheese + pulled pork is just outrageous.... My husband's building has food trucks a couple times a week, with Kogi making regular appearances; he truly enjoys the spicy pork or short rib burrito and the blue moon melita.... Unfortunately, I have been denied trying Kogi yet, as it seems to never work out for me to be able to visit when they are there. And I'm not happy about it.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

      Some of my favorites: Kogi, Ludo, Buttermilk, Grill' em all, Nom Nom, Rebel Bite, Grilled Cheese, & Lobsta.

      Every Tuesday night in Santa Monica at Main St & Ocean Park (behind the museum) is a great food truck evening. here is their October list of attending trucks at this link:

      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

        I've searched - just couldn't find anything specific to what I was asking. I've tried the plain vanilla Grilled Cheese truck, which was fine, but nothing better than I can do at home. Maybe the more complex sandwiches are a better bet for a "wow" experience. I liked Kogi's shortrib tacos a lot, tofu tacos pretty well, and sliders not so much. They were overly busy and a greasy gut bomb. As I age, I find that my enjoyment in a given moment is marred by the knowledge of how I'll feel 10 minutes later...

        For the record, I tried Pigs Feet Under today. It was ok. Nothing I'd go back for. Their thing is pork, many ways (well 5 ish ways), primarily rolled in a scallion pancake like a burrito. That was a nice touch, and the pork was flavorful, but there was way too much of it. I know, imagine that. The entire roll was probably 80% pork, 20% everything else plus wrapper. Overwhelming.

        1. re: sasha1

          Too much pork, that was flavorful and good? Impossible.

          1. re: nosh

            Maybe hard to believe, but when people talk about really good food, they talk about a balance. Soft with crunch, cooked with fresh, hot and cold. This roll had no balance. I felt like James and the giant pile of pulled pork, and I would never eat through it.

      2. Getting not much love here. Can anyone at least speak to regular gatherings of trucks in the location described above?

        If I know where to go, I can do the trial and error thing myself.


        1. When I first started experimenting with various food truck sites, I found that maybe 1 or 2 trucks were really worth trying at each site. Yesterday, I went to Mother's Beach in MDR (Thursdays, 5:30-8:30 PM) because I generally follow Cousins Maine Lobster truck. Also there was Border Grill, Dogtown Dogs, among others. Also Sweet Arleen's, which has won two Food Network Cupcake Wars contests. The lobster rolls and lobster bisque were great, as were the cupcakes. I recommend following your favorites on their websites or Twitter to help you find different gatherings.

          Among my favorites: Coolhaus, Ludo, Get Shaved, South Philly Experience, Kogi.

          Below is a link to where most of the food trucks will be from week to week. They seem to keep the list current based on recent tweets.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ogawak

            Thanks for that website. The appeal of a gathering is one stop shopping. And until I have a little more exposure, I won't know which ones to follow.

          2. Tried South Philly Experience today based on this thread. Not a winner for me. Ordered a Philly cheesesteak with provolone and onions. Took longer than I expected to get it -- surprising, as there was only one person waiting in front of me. Back in the car and a short drive to find somewhere to eat -- no picnic tables or facilities at Pennsylvania east of 26th. First couple of bites -- mostly roll. Onions were oversized, crescent slices instead of diced, and while there were small bits of char, they were undercooked -- held their shape when picked up. Meat was dry and bland. Wrapped up 3/4 of sandwich, took it home, dosed with hot sauce and added another slice of cheese. Much better. Roll now slightly crisped, onions a bit softer, hot sauce added needed flavor, cheese added moisture. No comparison to Philly West (a bit smaller, but better), Big Mike's (much more meat) or Philly's Best on Ventura (close to where I often play golf) -- all of which are a bit less expensive.

            4 Replies
            1. re: nosh

              Sorry to hear that. I haven't had a philly cheesesteak anywhere else (except the little chain you find in the mall sometimes), so I thought mine was ok. But consistency isn't always there. So maybe mine was ok and yours, not so much. Where is Pennsylvania east of 26th? Is that Santa Monica? Were there several trucks or just that one?

              1. re: sasha1

                Yes, Penn east of 26th, a one-way short street in Santa Monica near the Water Garden complex. Lots of trucks there.

                Hard to believe a truck charges more than a store. And while many trucks include sales price in the menu price, South Philly Experience adds it on.

                1. re: nosh

                  Nosh, does that location attract trucks mostly during business lunch rush, or are they there on the weekends too?

                  1. re: sasha1

                    I don't know, haven't been. Assumption is weekdays only -- big office population, and with nowhere to eat seems a bring back to desk or lunchroom kind of venue. Most trucks post their calendars on their websites and twitter.

            2. Monday Night from 5:30 to 9pm in a church parking lot in Los Feliz at 2060 N. Vermont, there are 5-7 trucks each week with Mandoline Grill always one of them and at least one desert truck. They post what trucks are going to be there to this twitter account:


              That's the only regular gathering I go to.

              My favorites: Lobsta, Coolhaus, Lomo Arigato. i don't know that I'd really call any can't misses. I don't think I've ever tried any that I disliked either though.

              2 Replies
              1. re: bg90027

                Thank you! That's a somewhat central location. How's the parking?

                1. re: sasha1

                  There isn't any dedicated lot for it but it's not crowded and mostly is just serving the local community. I wouldn't think you'd have trouble finding street parking nearby. I live close by and just walk.