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Oct 22, 2012 10:49 AM

Truck stops...and I am not talking about where your favorite taco guy parks his rig


Is there chow worthy fare you can suggest at a truck stop? I am not talking about where your favorite taco guy parks his rig. I am envisioning a diner-like establishment where cross county, 18-wheeler type folk sit down to a gut busting breakfast or some good CFS. Thanks in advance!

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  1. I think you are barking at the moon a bit to look for this sort of place in the L.A. area. They usually exist out in the hinterlands where there are no other food choices around except for fast food joints. I still think Blue Star Diner is good and you will be surrounded by everything from semi's to every size of smaller trucks:

    2 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      Servorg, you never cease to amaze me. My wife wanted to try Z Garden in Santa Monica. I said I had never heard of it, but sure enough, a quick search on Chowhounds found a review by you. I had the lamb shank, by the way, and it was great. To the OP, when I think of truck stops, I think of The Mad Greek in Baker but that's way outside the boundaries of this board.

      1. re: Ogawak

        It turns out that my aging (and consequently new and VERY slow speed of my current bicycle riding in the middle of the night) is good for spotting places along the streets of LA. Who would have thought one good thing could come out of one very annoying thing? Glad that Z Garden worked out for you. I've liked a few of the things I've tried there, but the falafel was definitely NOT among them.

    2. I agree with Servorg that there are no traditional truck stops in LA because this is not where they stop. This is where they start. The freight comes into the Port of LA or Long Beach, and much of it is sent by rail to yards beyond LA proper, where the trains are broken down and the cars are re-routed or the containers are loaded on trucks out there. The big freight forwarding operations are beyond LA.

      The trucks that do pick up freight at the port are just starting their journey here in LA, so there's no reason for them to stop so early in their trip. And the trucks doing short haul around LA have places they like where they might be able to park one truck. There are very few places to park a number of trucks.

      Notwithstanding this, the food at Nick's Diner downtown is the closest I can think of to a traditional truck stop (although no trucks).

      2 Replies
      1. re: lil mikey

        Actually, you're right about trucks leaving from LA/Long Beach but I'm pretty sure there are at least a couple truck stops on the PCH in Long Beach/Wilmington. I used to drive on the PCH then up on Western to go back from Long Beach when I worked there and I think I noted a couple truck stops on the way.

        I can't remember exactly where and I never stopped (sorry...) but I think it's either directly South or North of the refineries in Wilmington when you're on the PCH, on the right side of the road when you're heading toward LA. I'd surmise it's before the trucks hit the Alameda corridor. If anyone in Long Beach/Wilmington reads this and can confirm with names of the truck stops, and maybe even recommendations for the OP...

        1. re: bad nono

          I work in this area and there's not much in the way of truck stops around here...unless you totally dig Spires (Wilmington and 233rd St).
          Around that area the truckers mostly stop at the small independent carnicerias for quick Mexican food, one of the numerous charbroiler/burger huts in the area, or they'll pull over if they see a taco truck. That's about it!

      2. The closest truck stops that you are going to find close to LA are either in Mojave/Palmdale to the North or Fontana/Rancho Cucamonga area to the East

        1 Reply
        1. re: Coribdx

          This comment will probably cause LA Hounds to guffaw, but the better half and I have liked Wheel Inn -- in Cabazon, roughly 10 miles away from Palm Springs -- and its uber-savory chicken fried steak and gravy. It's an artery clogger for sure, so it's a good thing that Wheel's about 80 miles away from home. And, yes, truckers routinely make a stop there for their favorite meals.

          In case it's not ringing any bells for you, Wheel Inn is likely better known for its:

          * faux dinosaurs
          * appearance in 1985's "Pee-wee's Big Adventure"

        2. There is a Country Pride restaurant at the Travel America truck stop at 4325 E Guasti Rd, Ontario. I can't speak for the food as I have never stopped there. My educated guess is that this is not a destination restaurant.

          There is also Truck Town at 10238 Cherry Ave, Fontana, the only web review I found stated "food sucks".

          1. Agree -- LA is not where trucks stop. You need to go into the Grapevine or Bakersfield, Barstow, etc.