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People, take note: Food trucks across the nation are bringing affordable, multi-cultural foods to the streets. Now that Los Angeles is home to over 200 gourmet food trucks, they are popping up everywhere—and people are taking advantage. Food trucks offer a cheaper alternative to sit-in restaurants with gourmet menu options and some stellar cooking. While the mediocre food truck will always lurk somewhere in the background, trucks with solid chefs, good customer service and inventive menus are making their way to the forefront. People on the streets are demanding access to food trucks from legislators as truck wars tear across the nation.
It has been a long history in the making of this rebellion. As people migrated westward after the Civil War, growing meat demands in developing parts of the country led herders to guide their cattle through the States to railroads. Because this activity put herders on the road for months at a time, it was on the road that they needed to eat. In 1866 the entrepreneurship of rancher Charles Goodnight brought him to the conclusion the chuckwagon was the solution. Early wagons began selling the essentials such as beans, coffee, and biscuits but never held vegetables, fruit, eggs, or fresh meat as these would rot in storage.
Things have certainly changed with the millennial resurgence of food truck culture. Food truck presence in L.A. grew when Kogi BBQ solicited friends Josh Hiller and Morris Appel of RoadStoves in 2008 to help them market a truck suited to hit the streets with a kitchen in which fusion Mexican and Korean BBQ food could be cooked properly. On the heels of this absurdly successful experiment, today in L.A. one can choose from Kimchi Quesadillas at the Kogi BBQ truck, Hawaiian Bread Cinnamon French Toast Sticks from Buttermilk, a Brie Melt on black peppercorn potato bread from The Grilled Cheese Truck, or a Spicy Veggie sandwich with farmer’s market fresh produce from The Gastrobus. With mobile kitchens manned by chefs who have worked previously for Wolfgang Puck (Gastrobus) or who also operate full-residence kitchens (as in Kogi’s Palms restaurant, Chego!), food trucks are no longer just fly-by operations; they are now a part of a scene. That scene is synonymous with the do-it-yourself, street-life aesthetic. That is why, until last August, food trucks were an integral part of Los Angeles Art Walk, one of the most up-and-coming, eclectic events in Los Angeles Food trucks helped to carry the event as art-lovers and scenesters alike milled from gallery to gallery in the Old Bank district, enjoying the wait for their food on foot while socializing.
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