It’s been a few months since our last food truck update, and in that time many more trucks have ventured out to Pasadena and environs. Some of them are even making semi-regular stops, thanks in part to Vroman’s, whose privately owned parking lot is a way around Pasadena’s sometimes onerous parking restrictions (we’re pretty sure health code regulations are still enforced).
We neglected last time to give sufficient attention to The Place LA, a Pasadena staple that makes a mean asada burrito, as well as traditional California fast food: tacos, burgers, fries, dumplings and hot dogs—as well as chili and pastrami, which means you can get a pastrami burger, a chili dog, a hot dog with pastrami, a chili burger, chili fries, a chili pastrami burger, a burger dog pastrami chili fries, etc etc etc. The burrito is so good that we can’t bring ourselves to order anything else, though the asada fries have tempted us. The Place can be found most days for lunch on or near Colorado at either Marengo or Garfield. They’ve recently opened a second truck to cruise the rest of L.A. (congratulations, fellas). Follow their Twitter feed here.
Another local truck we mentioned only in passing last time: Qzilla BBQ. Their website says they’re at Lake and Colorado for lunch on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and on Lake a little above Orange Grove for six hours on Saturdays, but we’ve been by at these hours with Qzilla nowhere to be found. Their Twitter feed seems to indicate they’ve been hanging around Altadena some evenings, at the Rancho and at Farnsworth Park. We’re eager to give them a try—there’s only so many times one can look at pictures of brisket without trying to eat the monitor.
One truck we missed completely last time is the Dumpling Station, which can be found in Pasadena three or four times a week for lunch, usually at Colorado and Garfield, and about once a week for dinner at Euclid and Cordova. I stumbled upon them by chance one day at the Pacific Asia Museum and quite enjoyed the steamed kim chee pork dumplings (all dumplings can be ordered steamed, pan fried or deep fried). Even better were the garlic wasabi fries. More unusual are the wonton creations: cream cheese and jalapeño wontons or, for dessert, s’more wontons and chocolate-banana wontons. We’re definitely intrigued. Twitter feed here.
The Nom Nom Truck’s first Pasadena appearance back in March was one of the reasons for the original post. They’ve been coming back every two weeks or so, usually in the evening at Vroman’s. Their $10 combo is among the better food truck deals: a 12-inch banh mi, three tacos and a drink—it’s a meal for two people, or one 17-year-old water polo player.
The ubiquitous Kogi continues to have a weekly stop or three in the SGV. This week’s is tomorrow, Tuesday the 13th, from 10:30 p.m. to midnight outside the Coffee Gallery (2029 N. Lake Ave.). Admirably, Kogi’s menu has continued to evolve, with new specials—the results of Chef Roy’s experiments—every week. Tomorrow you can try the CREAM, a short rib quesadilla with sweet pickled red onion, cheese and a mascarpone sauce.
Two trucks made rare Pasadena stops last week: the Flying Pig Truck, which uses French technique on Asian/Pacific Rim flavors and then serves the resulting concoction in—what else?—tacos; and Coolhaus, which makes architecturally inspired ice cream sandwiches with lots of intellectual baggage. Both trucks spend most of their time Downtown or on the westside, but we’d like to see a lot more of them—Flying Pig’s tamarind duck taco is pretty outrageous, while Coolhaus’s mascarpone balsamic fig ice cream sandwich has us very curious indeed. Please come back soon!
While we’re at it, we’d like to put in a request for the Canter’s Truck—the mobile unit of the esteemed deli—to put in an appearance somewhere in the neighborhood. Pasadena is woefully deficient when it comes to mountainous piles of brined meat served on seedless rye with a side of pickles. Come to us, Canter’s!