LA Food Truck Critic

Tasting My Way Through LA's Food Scene, One Truck at a Time

Lobsticle Anyone? October 23, 2011

About a month ago, I headed over to a fairly new food truck lot in El Segundo (you can follow them on Twitter ElSegundoDDaGG) and ate at SlapFish truck.  I talked to one of the owners, Chef Andrew Gruel, and he told me that he was primarily an Orange County truck.  He’s got a cafe in Huntington Beach, hence, he’s able to get very good quality seafood and keep his costs down on the truck.  I also found out that Andrew attended one of the finest culinary schools in the country,  Johnson & Wales (shout out to my tiny little hometown of Providence, Rhode Island!).  Yet another reason for me to like Andrew and his truck.

More importantly, though, is the food that Andrew serves up.  He only uses sustainable seafood and if you don’t know that what means, you can read up by clicking here.  One of his more cheeky menu items is the title of this post – a lobsticle.  It’s a portable piece of lobster, more specifically a half of a pan-grilled lobster tail topped with chipotle aioli, vinaigrette and fresh chives, served on a skewer.  It’s served on top of their Virgin Slaw, which has just the right amount of spice to it, and pickled vegetables.

They also serve up fresh local oysters from Carlsbad, Hake and sea bream, as well as constantly offering mouth-watering specials such as Smoked Salmon on brioche topped with an egg or Shrimp & Lobster quesadilla.

Here’s the best news of all – Andrew now has a truck just for Los Angeles peeps!  So keep your eyes out for his truck and follow him on Twitter to find out where they’ll be next.  Fresh, sustainable seafood at an extremely reasonable price?  I’m in!


I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for … Peanut Butter! August 13, 2011

There’s a new truck out on the streets, The Pnut Butter Bar Truck, and it really takes me back to my childhood.  The owner,  Kharyn, has completely elevated the simple pb&j and taken it to a new level, and then some.  Yes, you can get a simple pb&j (grape, strawberry, boisenberry, blueberry and apricot) but you should really try a grilled peanut butter, Nutella and marshmallow fluff sandwich (Choconut on a Cloud).  Or perhaps you’d like an all-beef hot dog with applewood-smoked bacon, grilled onions and their peanut butter sweet chili mustard (Walking the Pig).  I tasted the mustard and it had a hint of peanut butter with a nice hit of spicy chili that lingered on the back of my tongue.

For me, their proudest moment comes in the form of something that is distantly related to a beignet.  It’s their Pnut Butter Puffs – pb&j or pb&Nutella deep-fried, topped with a drizzle of Hershey’s chocolate, whipped cream and powdered sugar.  I was lucky enough to get a free order by showing up after Kharyn had tweeted her current location.  I brought my son back and bought him an order because after I told him about dessert, he said, “that sounds really good”!

As more and more trucks make their way onto the streets, it’ll become increasingly important to set themselves apart from the herd.  There are lots of burger trucks, sandwich trucks, etc.  I predict this truck will be a big hit because it taps into a childhood food that brings back many fond memories.  This is a truck that the whole family will enjoy.  I am seriously thinking I may need to get this truck for my next birthday celebration.  Anyone for a Choconut Monkey?  Follow this truck on Twitter.


A Truck with a Heart April 22, 2011

I know what you’re thinking – how can you show a picture of pastrami and title the post, a Truck with a Heart?  I’ll get to that in a minute.  Let’s get one thing straight – anytime pastrami is involved, good stuff is happening!  Da Munch Box is a fairly new truck and I went to Westside Food Truck Central to check them out.  I’d already checked out their website and was already drooling when I saw the pastrami.

I ordered Da Munch Box, which is a NY knish (flown in from NY), stuffed with pastrami, Swiss cheese, pickles and deli mustard.  If you don’t like getting messy when you eat, then this is probably not the sandwich for you.  However, you will be missing out on a GREAT sandwich.  They also have a Vienna dog with pastrami, and french fries with pastrami and cheese sauce.  Check out the rest of their menu.

Most trucks don’t pay much attention to dessert but Da Munch Box kicks it up into high gear with their Shorty Luv – a strawberry shortcake wrapped in an eggroll, fried and topped with strawberry sauce, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and a cherry on top.  Oh, yes, they did!  A perfect ending to lunch. 

So, here’s where the “heart” comes in.  I spoke to Rocco, one of the owners, on my first visit.  They have a tip jar, as do most trucks.  Rocco asked me if I’d like to put something in the tip jar and told me that he donates his tips to Children’s Hospital.  He told me they saved his son’s life.  It gives me goose bumps just to think about it.  Rocco is not only making great food; he’s honoring his son every day he goes to work.  This truck is truly one with a big heart.


The V Word April 3, 2011

Vegetarian.  That’s not a word anyone would associate with me.  However, if I was ever going to consider giving up meat, it would be replaced by a constant diet of Fattoush Salad from The Hungry Nomad Truck.

Here’s the description from their website:   A Lebanese salad made with crispy za’atar chips, romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green peppers & fresh mint in a classic lemon vinaigrette. Topped with warm lentils, bulgur and caramelized onions.  They make their own za’atar chips (I call them “crack” chips!).  I’m sure their other menu items are quite delicious but honestly, I’m addicted to their Fattoush Salad. 

And while I’m at it, a big shout out to Clean Street Food TruckI recently had their Thai Chicken Sandwich, which came with a side of chick pea salad.  You can order the chick pea salad as a sandwich or just salad.  This would also be on my new veggie diet.  All I need to find now are about 5 more meatless dishes and I might seriously consider switching to the veggie side with an occasional wandering over to the dark side.


Mesohungry March 23, 2011

Well, yes, I am.  However, this post is about a truck that started last November, MeSoHungry Truck.  I tried them for the first time last week at the Century Blvd. Lot.  I had one of their Lil’ Monsters – popcorn shrimp with a very tasty remoulade; the shrimp had a nice kick to it.  I also tried one of their Big Monsters – Cali Sliders w/Blackened Angus Ground Chuck, Smoked Apple-Wood Bacon, Balsamic Sauteed Onions, Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce.

They were back at Century Lot yesterday and this time, I bought 2 orders of the shrimp (not sharing w/my kid this time!) and 2 different kinds of Big Monsters – KTM Sliders w/Marinated Short Ribs, Pepper Jack Cheese, Crispy Onions and Spicy Crème Fraîche and The Duke Ground Sirloin Burger, Onion Rings, Coleslaw, BBQ Sauce, Bacon on Cheese Bread.  Are you salivating yet?

They also offer a few Sweet Monsters.  I haven’t tried the Fried Bananas w/Honey & Powdered Sugar but I did get an order of the Blueberry Bites (popcorn-style dough), which could be a decadent breakfast item!

So, areyouhungry?


Amazing Balls March 5, 2011

Filed under: Dinner,Late Night,Lunch,Sandwich — Liz Temkin @ 9:08 pm
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Hey now, get your mind out of the gutter.  Let me remind you that this is a food truck blog.  Ok, now that I have your attention, let me tell you about Great Balls on Tires.  They are a gourmet food truck specializing in various kinds of meatballs on a toasted brioche.  They have the IncrediBall (Kobe beef), Ciao Balla (veal & pork) & Ballywood (Masala Chicken), as well as several others.  You pay for 2 & they’ll even let you get 2 different varieties (customer friendly – yay!).

The menu on their website announces “Meat Our Balls”.  I met a few recently and I am definitely a fan of their balls!


Lobsta and Chowda February 28, 2011

Filed under: Dinner,Lunch,Sandwich — Liz Temkin @ 11:50 am
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Hey, calling all transplanted New Englanders!  Thanks to the Lobsta Truck, we can now get a taste of home here in LA.  The Lobsta Truck actually flies in lobster AND the traditional split-top New England rolls for their clam & lobster rolls.  They also make a mean clam chowder (or chowda for those of you that insist on dropping your r’s).  At $12/roll, this is a special treat for my budget. 

If it wasn’t for all that snow back east, I’d actually miss being there.  Thanks to Lobsta Truck for bringing the east coast to me!

P.S.  I recently had a cup of chowder & while I like the authenticity of using real clams, I was crunching on what I can only imagine was real sand.  A little too authentic.