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23Jan/103

TLofts Food Trucks For Haiti: Review

This Saturday’s Haiti fundraiser at TLofts had an enormous turnout. 25 food trucks lined the intersection of Tennessee and Butler Avenues in West LA, and, from 11 AM to 4 PM, seemingly thousands of people showed up to eat for charity. Participating trucks included Nom Nom Truck, Bool BBQ, Buttermilk Truck, Get Shaved, Fishlips Sushi, India Jones Chow Truck, and many, many more.

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I ran into a fellow food-truck aficionado; too overwhelmed to order yet, we stood and chatted for a while. Like me, he was stunned into inaction not only by the Disneyland-long lines at each truck, but also by the staggering variety of food on offer. The problem with such a concentration of trucks in one area is that you can’t possibly eat everything that looks good. By the time I left, I’d only managed to make it through a meatball sub from Vesuvio, a Del’s frozen lemonade, and a chocolate milkshake from King Kone. It would have been great if each truck had prepared smaller portions of some or all of its dishes, so customers could sample more than one truck’s cuisine: although maybe it’s to a truck’s advantage to fill customers’ bellies so full that they can’t fit anyone else’s food in there. I asked a woman at Vesuvio if she could make me a half-sandwich instead of a full order; she told me they “don’t really do that.”

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The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly: everyone wanted to know what everyone else was eating and which truck it’d come from. At Vesuvio, I waited with two other women for arancini (savory rice balls), and we cursed our luck together when the staff told us they’d run out. My friend accosted a man eating a good-looking tostada, and he directed her over to LA FuXion. Sadly, they were all out too.

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By 3:15, almost all the trucks began to run out of food. Willoughby Road had erased most of its blackboard menu; one or two lonely items remained. Don Chow Tacos held off on taking orders, unsure it even had enough food left to fulfill the ones already on the docket. Asian Soul Kitchen took off, honking its horn triumphantly (or perhaps simply attempting to clear the road of chatting diners). The Grilled Cheese Truck and Louks To Go left next. Ridiculously full, I departed soon afterward.

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Notable absences: Frysmith, who had a prior commitment at the Natural History Museum; Marked5, who tweeted today that it’ll be “coming back soon;” TastyMeat (its truck was in the shop); Baby’s Badass Burgers; Kogi BBQ; and Grill ’Em All – as a huge fan of both burgers and Metallica, I was sad this new truck wasn’t there today.

22Jan/100

Tomorrow: TLofts Presents Food Trucks For Haiti

Tomorrow (Saturday, January 23), from 11 AM to 4 PM, West LA's eco-friendly condo complex TLofts is hosting a benefit for Haiti earthquake relief. As of this posting, 24 food trucks have signed up to participate in the benefit. They'll be parked by TLofts, at the intersection of Tennessee and Butler Avenues, one block south of Olympic Boulevard and three blocks west of Sawtelle Boulevard. A portion of the trucks' proceeds will go to the Red Cross International Response Fund. Keep checking this Twitter feed list for the most up-to-date list of the trucks that'll be there. (Make sure you're signed into Twitter in order to view the list.) Personally, I'm looking forward to trying Vesuvio and The Sweets Truck, and eating good food for a good cause.