Doing it standing up is all the rage in Los Angeles. What was once a game run almost exclusively by super-cheap taco trucks has opened up to all comers — hello again, vendrification — making “taco truck” a bit of a misnomer (and no, we do not accept “lunch truck”). But “food truck” sounds so impersonal, we’re not yet settled on replacement. Nevertheless, here are 10 trucks-serving-food garnering the most attention at the moment. We know, Kogi’s not on the list. If you don’t already know about Kogi, you’re probably not reading this anyway.
● Marked 5 (@Marked5) – Is there such thing as an umami tooth? This truck’s existence says yes: it may be the most highly-desired right now. It serves little Japanese “burgers” on a bun composed of pressed rice. Teriyaki salmon, katsu pork, that sort of thing. Plus snacks like Calpico and Pocky for a Eastern experience on the Westside. ● Baby’s Badass Burgers (@BabysBBs) – So not all the trucks are getting attention for being awesome. This one is essentially Hooters on wheels. The burgers look terrible, but then, the idea is that the food’s not really the draw. L.A. is full of enhanced, half-naked women, so no one’s really sure why they’d pay $5 to ogle these in particular.
● Get Shaved (@getshaved) – Am I a perv for thinking this name is gross? Anyway, it offers a product we all crave and hardly ever get (ha!), real Hawaiian shave ice. Yes, there are plenty of weird, authentic flavors, and yes, they really do shave from a block of ice. ● Bool BBQ (@BoolBBQ) – “Bool” means spicy in Korean; accordingly, they serve kimchi quesadillas. This is another Korean/Mexican hybrid, but with some extra Brazilian elements added in to be different from Kogi. And probably some snotty-ass attitude taken out to be different from Kogi, but that’s a whole other story. ● Border Grill (@BorderGrill) – The brick-and-mortar restaurant is an semi-upscale Santa Monica classic. One of those places that in the 80s pioneered the idea of elegant Mexican food in the U.S. This new truck is where they try out bites of the new stuff, like ceviche recipes and guacamole with ponzu. ● Don Chow Tacos (@DonChowTacos) – Get tacos, burritos, and tortas with Mexican or Chinese (soy-ginger shrimp, barbecue pork) fillings, or go super crazy with a “chimale,” their version of a tamale. I’d bet money on this one enjoying the most longevity. ● Dosa (@dosatruck) – L.A. doesn’t know much about Indian food, especially dosas, but this truck is trying to teach everyone something new. Dosas are kind of like crepes, in that they’re thin and made of batter, but also kind of like burritos, in that they’re stuffed into a cylindrical shape and accented with chutney. Eating here is a teachable moment for a lot of locals. ● India Jones Chow (@IndiaJonesct) – Rolled in a roti or scooped onto a bed of rice, here’s another Indian truck with a dedicated following. L.A. is full of late but enthusiastic culinary adopters, it seems. Butter chicken, chana masala, and samosas, among other classics. ● Green Truck (@Green_Truck) – I suppose this truck should get some credit for sparking this whole nouveaux-truck trend. I believe it’s been around even longer than Kogi. However, they are not cheap. Some might even call them expensive. I find that offensive in a truck, and I shun them accordingly. But young trust-funded hipsters love it, and they’ve managed to expand to New York. ● Nom Nom (@nomnomtruck) – Horrifyingly cutesy name, but it brings decent Vietnamese to the westside. Fancy businesspeople and UCLA students rejoice at the delicious bánh mì, a.k.a. Vietnamese sandwiches, a.k.a. the best sandwiches in the entire universe.