If you follow food in L.A., you know that we’re in the middle of an absolute explosion of twittering gourmet food trucks. The estimated number jumps every week — last I heard it was in the eighties. Even Canter’s Deli has a twittering truck now. If you’ve followed the trend, you probably also know that the trucks almost never make it out to the San Gabriel Valley. When they do, it can be something of a fiasco: both times the Grilled Cheese Truck has come out here, I’ve waited over 90 minutes to eat. Was it worth it? I’m not really sure. Probably the second time, because it wasn’t raining.
The word is getting out, though, that Pasadena loves food trucks. In addition to two local ones, others are showing up more often. The famous Kogi, for example, which arguably started the whole craze, has regular stops in Altadena and Monrovia, including one tomorrow in the latter. At some point, I’ll be doing a full-on roundup of all the frequent SGV food truck stops — perhaps after they become a bit more common. Until then, I’ll do the occasional post when somebody new comes to town. Like this week, when not one, not two, but three trucks will be making their first-ever stops in our neck of the woods:
First up is the Frysmith, which makes sliced and fried potatoes with gloppy toppings into a fine art. From the core menu, my favorite is the Chicken Sweet Potato fries: free-range chicken in tomatillo-tamarind sauce over sweet potato fries topped with cashews. Delicious. They say they’re going to be in Altadena Tuesday night from 6 to 9 p.m., though they haven’t released details. Check the Twitter feed on Tuesday for more information. It’s hard to imagine they’ll be anywhere but up by Rancho and the Gallery at the End of the World, where the Grilled Cheese Truck set up shop a few weeks ago.
The other two are coming in tandem: the Nom Nom Truck, which serves banh mi (Viet-French sandwiches), and the Sweets Truck, which serves, you know, sweets, will be hanging around Pasadena City Hall for lunch on Thursday, on Garfield near Colorado. They should be there from roughly 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Just look for the huge lines of people. I’ve never had either of these two, so I can’t personally vouch for their quality. I’ll be doing my darndest to rectify that situation this Thursday, though I may have to take an extremely long lunch to do so.
Finally, on Wednesday the Kogi truck will be making its regular stop in Monrovia, from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at 725 West Huntington, in the parking lot of the abandoned Circuit City. Either get there early, maybe half an hour before they’re supposed to open, or at the very end, and just hope they’ve killed the line. Of the trucks that I have known, Kogi takes the cake. It is consistently good, with robust and surprising flavors. Just looking at the first photo in this post, taken on a recent stop of theirs to the Coffee Gallery, makes me salivate a little. People go crazy for this stuff. It’s not hard to understand why.