When Simi Valley resident Jennifer Alemano-Ortega saw the buttery yellow truck with a big happy ice cream cone on the side parked along Los Angeles Avenue on Sunday afternoon, she knew it wasn’t like any other ice cream she has seen in the city.
Alemano-Ortega soon discovered her intuition was right when she ordered a chocolate chip ice cream sandwich dipped in strawberry-shortcake crumble topping.
“I’ve died and gone to heaven,” Alemano-Ortega said as she bit into the sandwich.
The ice cream truck, owned by King Kone Ice Cream Company, also is unique because it was recently rated as one of the top five best food trucks in Los Angeles by AOL Travel.
The gourmet food truck was invited to Simi Valley on Sunday as a promotional event for the retail store Surfin’ West that also included surf-related vendors and an impromptu skateboarding show in the parking lot.
Another popular L.A. food truck called Whole Lot of Nachos also was invited to Sunday’s event, but had a flat tire along the way.
Kim and Troy Gould, the owners of Surfin’ West, said they wanted to organize an event where food trucks would gather and possibly compete. This was their third attempt at the event. The first two were rained out.
They said they got the idea from seeing shows about food trucks serving everything from Korean barbecue to grilled cheese sandwiches featured on television food shows.
Many of the trucks have become so popular they are followed daily by fans on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.
On the King Kone truck Sunday, Jamey Heath from Los Angeles and John Gullett from Lancaster, helped serve up cold treats such as their famous soft serve dipped cone made of a secret “caramel-flavored” chocolate recipe, and a Rocky Mountain cone, featuring ice cream set on a cone and dipped in chocolate and rolled in almonds. The cookies for the ice cream sandwiches are baked on the truck.
Simi Valley skateboarders Jason Artiga, 16, and Justin Garcia, 17, decided to try the shaved ice with a flavoring called “Tiger’s Blood.”
“It’s kind of a cross between cherry and raspberry. It’s so good,” Garcia said.
Heath said the truck his family owns is usually hired for movie sets, and can also usually be found in popular lunchtime spots on Wilshire Boulevard in L.A. or in Santa Monica.
But Heath said it’s also nice to travel to communities that don’t always see gourmet food trucks, such as Simi Valley where his father lives.
Becky Sage, a self-described “foodie,” said she was happy to see one of the more famous food trucks from Los Angeles come to Simi Valley.
“Some of the trucks serve inexpensive, but delicious gourmet dishes. I’ve actually traveled to Los Angeles to find them, so it’s nice to see one actually come here,” said Sage.