Roughly twelve months after the general public hit the food truck saturation point, the same people who initiated this so-called “movement” are crying to the L.A. Times that the soul has been sucked out of it and we’ve all missed the point anyway. Roadstoves has managed to keep a tight stable of trucks and partner Josh Hiller is angry that nobody else did. “The problem came when the other commissaries and truck owners saw money and basically just prostituted the whole culture,” he says. “So what you ended up with was 15 so-so trucks parked on Mid-Wilshire, the city unhappy, a mediocre food product and all the truck owners cannibalizing each other’s business.” Sounds about right. There are, for sure, a lot of sucky and bastardized food trucks out there and people have been saying it since Calbi rolled out. But really, did no one notice this all happening until it was too late?
The story hearkens back to the early days of the movement (waaaaay back in 2009), when it was an “exciting, underground food scene driven by a punk rock aesthetic and an exploratory mentality.” AHAHAHAHAHAHA! Please. To be clear, it was Kogi and our time-tested loncheras. That’s it. It was Kogi and then a few other good trucks came along amid a downpour of crap. And there was llittle punk rock, just a DIY chef riffing brilliantly on Korean barbecue and taco trucks, which fortunately seem to be the only phenomenon not to be completely ho’ed out on our streets in the last few years.
The story continues to complain about those corporate food trucks we’ve been down on since Leblon first learned how to drive, gives some insight into Komodo’s decision to turn brick-and-mortar, (“There is so much saturation that we had to secure our future.”) and follows Dave Danhi, of one of the only worthy trucks, as he gets a tattoo of his Grilled Cheese Truck logo.
But leave it to Roy Choi, the don gorgon of Kogi, to have the final word and even make us believe that this thing actually might have been a movement (and possibly even an important one). After scolding all of us for not being more like the good people of Thailand (where he recently traveled), or any other culture who chooses to venture outside occasionally, nurture a vital street life, or enjoy the company of its neighbors, Choi delivers a new call-to-arms by warning all of these crazy trucks that if they “don’t serve and honor the culture and soul of L.A.’s neighborhoods, what differentiates you from that Marie Callender’s across the street that you are so blatantly fighting against?”