When I first moved to Los Angeles, I was in Westwood without a car and without access to any of the great Chinese food I had been hearing about. I have fond memories mooching rides all the wayÂ to Monterey Park for the sole purposes of late night, greasyÂ Chinese cafe food and pre-Boba Explosion Era boba milk tea. There was so much as one or twoÂ Lollicups in the area. The ritual of a Saturday or Sunday morning at NBC Seafood was to get there before 11:30 to minimize the wait for a table. But the tastes that resulted were always worth the labor for us Westside college students – especially this Midwestern one.
Enter: 2008, 2009 and now, 2010 – where specialized food trucks join the movement that Kogi BBQ singlehandedly initiated. Well, it’s now come to dim sum – and though some may feel the truck movement has gotten “a lot” out of hand at over 75 food trucks (and counting), I myself can’t complain. If it’s a choice betweenÂ Subway sandwiches or Trimana sandwiches every Monday through Friday at my 9 to 5, who am I to argue with entrepreneurs who choose to expand those choices – and so widely -Â for me?
I admit, I had reservations about a truck that would hold a monopoly on an entire sub-genre of Chinese cuisine on the Westside. Sorry -Â I would sooner die than eat dim sum I didn’t drive at least 15 miles for, and being wrong about that generalization was worth the risk of cold shu mai or stale-skinned har gow.
So when I got invited to check out the Dim Sum Truck on a preview during one of their soft openings, Alex – the U$C grad who put the pedal to the metal when everyone else (including myself) only talked about how there should be a dim sum truck – was gracious enough to give me a sampling of everything from their soft opening menu. Apparently, there will be more menu items on the cart in the truck once it officially rolls out tomorrow night at The Brig on Abbot Kinney – but half the food that I got was enough to put me in a truly authentic post-dim sum food coma…without the 15 mile drive west.
Tired of chasing the food truck of the moment all over town? Wish you could sample things from multiple trucks for a smorgasbord? Does your favorite food truck never come by your work, no more?
Never fear, because a couple of native Angelenos (yes, they exist) have brought the entire Los Angeles food truck movement together in one place, at one time and on one date. All you have to do is make this Saturday your point day to try all things truck at The L.A. Street Food Fest in Downtown Los Angeles. Putting some holiday touches on the festival will be UniqueLA, who will make the gathering of food trucks also a last-minute V-day gift destination at their pop-up Valentine’s Day Marketplace. The event will cost you $5 to get in (sorry, VIP tickets all sold out), and featured food vendors have specially priced their menus to range from $1 – $5 for each item. Admission includes one free drink ticket as well as eligibility to win cool giveaways.
Thirsty for more? Beer and cocktails will be available at two cash bars – with proceeds from donated beverages being donated to the LA Regional Food Bank. Take a picture in the photo booth and watch a Capoeira demo.
And while you’re there, don’t miss the food truck you won’t see on the street (for now); Chef Ludo Lefebvre will be serving his fried chicken made famous during his LudoBites runs. I hear the “pop-up truck” has quite the design, and we already know that his chicken is quite the food. Also premiering are the Dim Sum Truck (@dimsumtruck) and The Fry Girl Inc (@thefrygirlinc) for VIPs.
Got a bike? LA Street Food Fest will be hosting a free bicycle valet for all attendees. They also encourage riding the Metro – the 7th & Figueroa stop will be where you want to get off. I’ll see you there!