Los Angeles Truck Madness

The following is a list of food trucks we have found while exploring Los Angeles, Ryan’s hometown. In order to keep things short and brief I have given the basics about what we ordered, how much it was, and if it’s worth going back. I ranked the taste of our order to give a sense of what we loved. 5 is the best!

Bollywood Bites- authentic Indian fare made by a chef to many celebrities.  
Order- Chicken curry bowl with basmati rice. This was a red curry with tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, and cumin.
Taste- 5 warming with flavors of red curry, cumin and coriander. Chilies packed some heat but were just spicy enough to make you want more and more. Delicious.
Price- $8 for a bowl that was big enough for a meal.
Worth Going Back? Definitely- but I would stick to the traditional dishes like curry bowls over the trendier options.

Cool Haus- very intriguing ice cream sandwiches. Ice cream flavors range from meyer lemon basil, to marscarpone and balsamic fig, to guinness chip. Yum! You order your choice of cookie and ice cream per order.
Order: southern belle ice cream (Maker’s Mark & candied peaches) on a maple and white chocolate chip waffle.
Taste: 4.25- you can tell the ice cream is homemade; it’s rich, decadent, and full of flavor. I expected a little more flavor from the cookie, which was a little mute.
Price: $5. Expensive for the size, but more justifiable for the quality.
Worth Going Back? I’d say yes for an indulgent splurge and seasonal flavor changes.

Don Chow Tacos-my favorite combo! Asian and Mexican fusion.
Order: The Don Chow Bowl. A monstrous portion size of ginger shrimp, Spanish rice, refried beans, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, cheese, salsa, and avocado. The bowl probably weighed two pounds!
Taste: The Asian style shrimp were salty tangy. I would have like to see more Asian influence in some of the toppings; maybe pickled onions and sesame based dressing..
Price: $8 for a very filling, tasty meal.
Worth Going Back: filling, not too damaging on your pocket, and a menu full of new things to try. Count me in!

Fishlips Sushi- yep! It’s sushi on the street.
Order: A spicy tuna roll and a crunchy hand roll with shrimp tempura, crab, avocado, cucumber, and eel sauce.
Taste: 3.75- the crunchy hand roll is a must, but your palate won’t be exposed to unusual flavors. The fish was very fresh though and tasted great. 
Price- $10 got two large, filling sushi rolls. Not bad!
Worth Going Back? – For the sushi lovers out there, absolutely. They also have a few hot meals including teriyaki bowls and beef curry that seemed yum.

The Greasy Wiener- gourmet dogs with every topping imaginable and crazy curly fries on the side.
Order: We broke boundaries on this! The “Hippy” veggie dog with grilled onion, pickle, and mustard.
Taste: 3.5- the veggie dog was really great (and could have possibly fooled Ryan!) and didn’t leave us with the grease the truck advertises. It gets bonus points in my book for that.
Price: $4 for a filled dog, more expensive for the fancier ones with chili and nacho cheese.
Worth Going Back: it doesn’t offer much for originality, but they present a quality dog if you see them on the street!

Grilled Cheese Patrol- outrageous grilled cheese with decadent toppings.
Order: The Big House- smoked bbq brisket with chipotle cheddar, caramelized onions, and sweet chili sauce on toasted French bread.
Taste: 4.5 – absolutely delish. The sweet chili provides a contrast to the smokey pork and the bread was the perfect crunch.
Originality: the fancy grilled cheese is fun, but there aren’t too many variations. The menu has a lot of repetition.
Price: $8 for a very filling dish, but not a balanced meal by any measure.
Worth Going Back? – Once was enough for us, but the less health conscious may have found a new favorite lunch stop.

India Jones Chow Truck- Indian street food; known for “Frankie” roll ups and curry dishes.
Order: Lamb “Frankie”- roti (pita-like) roll up with tamarind chutney, chopped onion, egg, and lamb.
Taste- 4- there wasn’t much depth in the flavors, but the curry sauce and chutney were warming on a cold night. I would have liked to see something crunchy and some spice.
Price- I thought $5 was a little expensive. Someone of Ryan’s size would never be full off one.
Worth Going Back? : I would try the curry dishes next time and not recommend the roll up.

Kogi BBQ- A very well known truck featured on many a food show for their Mexican-Asian fusion tacos.
Order: The Kogi Taco Special- one mini taco each of short rib, spicy pork, and calamari with salsa, cilantro.
Taste: the meats are packed with flavor. Strong and smoky tastes of cumin and sriracha fresh off a grill.
Price: $2-$3 per taco, or the special for $6. A little small for a hungry patron but perfect for trying a few items on the menu.
Worth Going Back? It took us three tries to get to this truck! By now there is enough of this concept that this particular truck isn’t as glorious as it was, but it’s worth trying just to brag to fellow foodies.

Lobsta Truck- a little reminder of our time in Portland- lobster rolls and clam chowda.
Order: On a cold winter night, only clam chowder would suffice. The lobster roll on a sunny day.
Taste: Creamy, rich, and thick with lots of clam, garlic, onion, and a few potatoes.
Price: $4 for a good sized cup. Very reasonable compared to a restaurant.
Worth Going Back: I’d say this is a one and done, but for people unfamiliar with clam chowder and coastal street food, it is worth trying once.

Mama’s Food Truck- Malaysian/American cuisine.
Order: char kuey teow- pan fried flat noodles with veggies, chicken, egg, and shrimp.
Taste- 4.75 sweet and salty garlic and hoison flavors with rich Asian aromatics. No shortage of protein either- it was massive!
Price- $7 for a very filling entree with a balance of protein, vegetables, and carbs. Can’t ask for much more from a meal on-the-go.
Worth Going Back? 5- I’m already tracking it down. The chicken satay, sweet potato balls, and fried rice all look like they are worth sampling.

Mandoline Grill- Vietnamese street food- banh mi sandwiches, rice noodle bowls, and tacos. 

  • Order: chicken tacos with pickled carrot and onion, cucumber, cilantro, and sriracha aioli in mini corn tortillas.
  • Taste: 3.75- light and refreshing, the pickled onions and carrots pack a punch. The chicken could have been seasoned better.
  • Price: 3- I think that $6 goes further by ordering the 12 inch banh mi sandwich rather than tacos.
  • Worth Going Back? 3- the tacos were good, but I think there are better Vietnamese and Asian trucks out there.

The Munchie Machine- gourmet “munchies”- including a smoked turkey, apricot chutney, and brie grilled panini, pesto parmesan french fries, and unusual s’mores.
Order: Scooby Snack 2.0- multigrain bread with nutella, bacon flavored marshmallows, and bacon. Splurge!
Taste: 4.75- salty, sweet, and crunchy, this sandwich was amazing!
Price: $8 for this sandwich seemed excessive when other more filling menu items were the same price.
Worth Going Back? 4.75- the rest of the menu offers healthy, filling, sandwiches that seem worth exploring. The Green Veggitini and Green Bird make me want to go back.

Oooh La La Crepes- a menu of mostly sweet and some savory crepes with decadent toppings.
Order: Nutella crepes with bananas, strawberries, and whipped cream.
Taste: 4- familiar tastes executed well. Light and flakey crepes with warm nutella made for a perfect dessert to share.
Price- 3.5- $6 for four crepes. I’ve seen them plenty more expensive in other places.
Worth Going Back? If you are in the mood for crepes or something sweet than yes, but otherwise I’ve been there done that.

The Patty Wagon- gourmet sustainable, grass fed sliders paired with fries and pickles.  
Order: La Vie en Rose- a beef slider with Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, thyme, and vermouth on ciabatta.
Taste: 4.75- the cheese and beef melt in your mouth. The aromatics of the thyme are essential and the crispy ciabatta bun makes it perfection. It’s marked down because we all wanted more!
Price: $3.75 for a slider. Consumers pay for quality over quantity at this stop. For me, the quality is worth it.
Worth Going Back: The beef quality is impeccable and the flavor profiles will please even the most sophisticated of palates. The  cost could be too much for some, and I’d recommend some healthier side options on the menu.

Pnut Butter Bar- the mecca for pb lovers out there! All of the foods are infused with the classic ingredient. The menu ranges from peanut thai chicken wings, to some crazy burgers and hot dogs, to sinful pb donuts and pb sandwiches.
Order: “Thank you… Thank you very much” – a pb sandwich with banana, nutella, and bacon! Salty/sweet, yes please!
Taste: 4.5 rich, chewy, with the perfect amount of salt. A definite repeat.
Price: $7 for a peanut butter sandwich is pretty expensive, even with fancy toppings. Some of the other “entree” items may be more with your money.
Worth Going Back? : there’s enough variety to try different things a few times over, and tasty for anyone in your crowd (without peanut allergies of course!).

Rebel Bite-  Deconstructed comfort food with a twist- rebellious” grilled cheese sandwiches and spaghetti tacos.  
Order- the spaghetti taco with meatballs. We’d never seen spaghetti in a taco, much less with kimchi on the bottom. Kimchi is pickled cabbage made in Korean cultures, and certainly an unusual addition!
Taste- 4.75- I was blown away by the garlic zing in the bolognese; definitely made from scratch and a great recipe. Thick chunks of Parmesan added the perfect salty punch. The meatballs were rich and juicy, but difficult to eat “taco style”. I wasn’t sold on the taco part; the tortilla is unnecessary.
Price- $6 for one taco wouldn’t fill up most people.
Worth Going Back? : I’m intrigued on many of the other menu options, which include cioppino (seafood stew), eggplant parmesan melts, and chili. If the rest of the menu has the surprise that the sauce did, I’m game for more!

The South Philly Experience- dieters beware of these delicious Philly cheesesteak varieties. 
Order: Buffalo steak sandwich with caramelized onions and bleu cheese.
Taste: Ryan ordered beef instead of traditional buffalo chicken, and we were all surprised at how good it was. A tad greasy, but the onions and garlic created a desired savory taste for the beef. The buffalo sauce added just the right kick and was cooled by bleu cheese spread.
Price: $8.50 for a monstrous, very filling sandwich.
Worth Going Back: I’d say once was good for me, but anyone craving a guilty-pleasure eating experience would do well going back a time or two.

T’s Chili Wagon- well known for their organic hot sauces, which are paired with a variety of American classics including chili, quesadillas, burgers, and chicken dishes.
Order: Turkey chili bowl with cheese, onions, and pumpkin hot sauce (my choice!) served with tortillas to soak it all up.
Taste: 2.75- I wanted this to taste better than it was. The chili needed the hot sauce to provide most of the flavor and was served a little cold on a chilly winter night. I was underwhelmed by taste when it was supposedly “award winning chili”.
Price: $5 which seemed reasonable for the portion size.
Worth Going Back? Not a chance. I would hope they just had a bad night.

The Wein- another gourmet hotdog stand with outrageous options.  
Order: The “Gunslinger” Dog with bacon, cheese, onion rings, and barbeque sauce.
Taste: 3- the combination of ingredients is a winner, but I would prefer the cheese to be melted, and maybe the chili to have more spice. The texture of the onion ring with the hot dog is great.
Price: $7 for a super grande dog.
Worth Going Back?: I think in general all of the hot dog stands meld together. Find one that looks great, and you can tell yourself you have tasted them all.

The Yummy One- Korean food with a mix of Mexican options.
Order: bul-gogi beef rice wrap with fresh veggies and peanut sauce.
Taste: nothing unusual for a Korean food lover, but the peanut sauce was very good. Very light and filling food compared to most food truck fare.
Price: $6 for two rolls. Your money goes much further by ordering a combo: one rice wrap with a choice of entree for $8.
Worth Going Back: I’d say there are others that are comparable, but I would go again.


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