perfect simplicity

perfectly simple. perfectly me.

la street food fest

with 2 comments

shhh.  i’ve never been to a gourmet food truck before this weekend.

I was probably in the minority up until two days ago.  I know that the food truck craze has been around for awhile now and I’ve kept up with things from afar, though never had the opportunity to track down any of these mobile restaurants.  In my defense, trucks do not come to the South Bay very often and I only have 45 minutes for lunch (which includes travel).

When I first heard about the festival via twitter, I was ecstatic.  Twenty some odd vendors in one place at one time?! SCORE! I’m all for consolidating my time and energies.

Which is how I ended up waiting patiently in line at 10:00 a.m. for the first annual L.A. Food Fest.  When I got there, only about 15 people were ahead of me.  My friend questioned the need to be there an hour before the event, but I, being the always punctual, always early person thought it would be best to err on the side of early.  And, I’m glad I did.

waiting to open

The doors didn’t open up until about 11:30 a.m. due to the fire marshal inspection.  I think people were just eagerly anticipating the event and everyone seemed, for the most part, to be in good spirits.  Some of the vendors came around and gave out stickers, menus, and cards to the waiting crowd.  There was even a scary clown making balloon animals, who we saw as we left three hours later, still botheringpeople.

Our group had a simple plan of attack: hit up the Ludo Fried Chicken Truck.  It was spurred on by my intense desire to taste chef Ludo Lefebvre’s delicious fried chicken which we had the pleasure of sampling at LudoBites 3.0 late last year.  There were other trucks on the list, but this was special and deserved top billing.

LudoBites Fried Chicken Truck

When we got to the truck, there were only about four people in line.  We barely had to wait at all.  However, by the time we got our food, the line was about 20 people deep.  And, from what I heard, only got worse as the day progressed.

Look who greeted us at the window!  None other than Krissy Lefebvre, who graciously posed for a picture.

There was only one thing on the menu, not that it mattered.  I would have gladly trampled down the door and taken the whole lot, but I restrained myself.  Kind of.

Ludo Fried Chicken with a sweet and spicy piquillo sauce

Just the tantalizing aroma of rosemary and herbs was enough to want to rip these little ‘nuggets’ apart.  The dark meat chicken was moist and tender and created a nice balance to the crunchy exterior.  The side of piquillo sauce was an excellent counterpart to the richness of the chicken, creating just the right amount of sweet and spicy.  I loved every morsel.

We then headed two trucks down to the FrySmith truck for some french fried goodness.

I loved the stainless steel design of the truck.

I believe there were six different items available.  Our group decided to try two, the kimchi and foie gras fries.

French fries are wonderful as is, though can also be the perfect backdrop for bold and spicy toppings. The kimchi fries were my favorite of the two.  The fries were generously topped with kimchi, pork belly, cheddar cheese, and green onions.    I could put kimchi on anything, so there isn’t much more to say about this.  Although the foie gras fries seemed like a great concept, I don’t think it was aptly executed.  Our particular order was soggy from the get go which was a let down.

From Left to Right: Dogzilla, Yakisoba, and Karai Furikake

Next up was Dogzilla hot dogs.  These Japanese inspired hot dogs were a big hit at the Nisei Week Festival last year and I was glad to had a chance to try it.  The Dogzilla is their signature dog, topped with avocado, bacon, grilled onions, furikake, kewpie (Japanese mayo) and teriyaki sauce.  The mesh of flavors really worked and the toasted sweet roll was a nice choice.  The second was the Yakisoba dog, with spicy sausage, yakisoba, okonomiyaki sauce, ginger and nori.  I know it sounds odd, but it’s not a new concept.  At Japanese bakeries, you will usually find a yakisoba pan which is bread filled with yakisoba.  The addition of a hot dog gives it heft and catapults it into a meal-in-one.  The karai furikake had grilled onions, spicy mayo, furikake, nori and teriyaki sauce.  My favorite ended up being the original dogzilla because of the perfect balance of ingredients.

At this point, we had been eating for an hour and a half straight, but decided to try the Grilled Cheese Truck.  This ended up being the longest and slowest line.  I think we ended up waiting a good 45 minutes.

Plain and Simple Melt with Cheddar, Tomato and Bacon

I only had a bite of this, but it was definitely comforting.  If it weren’t for the 80 degree temperature, I would have wanted tomato soup as well.

Cheesy Mac and Rib with Sharp Cheddar, Pulled Pork and Carmelized onions

By this time, we were pretty tapped out.  The combination of the crowd, heat and constant eating had us lounging in the shade watching lines snake this way and that.  I still wanted to try Coolhaus but decided against it as my expanding stomach had already reached its limit.

The Crowd

For a group that did not purchase presale tickets, we ended up passing most of the crowds and were able to sample most of the trucks we had wanted.  Getting there early was key in our pleasurable experience.  By the time we left, there were considerable lines for every stall, which wasn’t necessarily the case for us.

Thanks to Shawna and Sonja for putting on a great outing! I can finally say I have been to a food truck!

LA Street Food Fest
500 S. Beaudry Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90017

Written by liveeatlove

February 16, 2010 at 10:34 am

Posted in Festivals, Food

2 Responses

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  1. Oh my goodness, I am in a food coma just reading your post!! Good thing you got there early, that crowd is HUGE!!!!!

    Sonja @ ActiveFoodie

    February 16, 2010 at 10:46 am

  2. I went home and promptly took a nap. I couldn’t have imagined staying any longer than what we did! I would have had to take a nap on the sidewalk!


    February 20, 2010 at 7:47 pm

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