The Best Food Truck in Sherman Oaks

The Calbi Taco & Burritos Truck

The Calbi Taco & Burritos Truck

By Charles Lee Hackett

The weather had just changed. The air had turned cold and damp, the rains had not yet come, but it would be over the mountains soon and dumping on us. Just a matter of time.

I was waiting for my Gal Pal to come out of CVS on Ventura Boulevard. I was staring at the Calbi BBQ food truck. The smell was great. There was no line, just a couple of guys holding hands and waiting for their food. I felt my girlfriend walk up behind me and kiss me on the neck. I saw the cooks hand out six or seven large bags of food to the two guys. I wondered if it was that good. My Gal and I approached them and asked what it was all about.

“Eat it fast. It doesn’t travel too well,” they advised, adding that they were having a dinner party “and we wanted to give a new experience to our guests.”

A dinner party on a Tuesday in Sherman Oaks. My kind of Bohemians. We perused the menu.

We ordered. I had the kimchee quesadilla. Gal Pal got the Korean grilled shrimp tacos and the Korean spicy pork tacos. We waited as a few more couples came up beside us. They, like the previous couple, had been to this truck before. They, too, were holding hands and were very excited about this rare food find.

Our order came up and the food was delivered. We got out of there for $9 and ran to our truck to eat it.

Simply Awesome!

Once we opened the bag, there was a smell that sank into our clothes and into our hearts. Man, it was stanky and weird. I bit into my kimchee quesadilla and my eyes rolled back into my head from the serious, serious kimchee. The taste of dead fish and fermented cabbage mixed with a pungent exotic cheese was both horrifying and holistic and heavenly at the same time. It was as if some force was daring me to die for this new experience.

The sauce was very exotic. A plum/soy/ginger-based concoction. There were several forms of it in various colors, from mild to gut-wrenchingly hot.

The food settled in after the second chew. Man, it was good. And now I know why all the couples were outside as storms swept in from over the Santa Monica Mountains. This was a great experience. Great food can sometimes be.

This was the best meal from a food truck I had ever had. And I get around, baby. It was great. Most food-truck meals are either OK or really good. This made me want to be a better man. It made me regret that I went to film school and made me think about what my life would have been like if I had spent all my time and energy on making other people feel like this from food instead of writing. (Sigh.)

By the time we finished our inside-the-car meal, I decided to go for broke and order more for later. The food traveled well and reheated well, contrary to what we were told, and I could only think about all those handsome and beautiful couples who had “the secret” that night. They were giggling under blankets drinking wine and smelling like the best damned stanky food the universe could produce.

I smelled like hell and loved it. My mouth burned and I loved it. My belly was full and my gal was rolled up next to me in a big, heavy blanket. The storm had arrived and we were safe and warm.

Go get some of this. It made me happy.