This past weekend will go down in L.A. food history as The Weekend That Was The Clusterf*ck Known As The L.A. Street Food Fest. Don’t get me wrong — I thought it was a great idea, and I enjoyed myself while I was there. But as is the case with so many first-time events, there were problems, though I guess things could have been worse.
I actually got lucky with getting into this event, which featured 30+ food trucks and vendors and 30+ retail booths via Unique L.A. I had managed to secure a media pass, so I didn’t have to wait in the ridiculously — I mean ridiculously — long line to get in. This blocks-long line was most likely due to the extremely low entry fee of $5, payable at the door. (That is, if you could get to the door. A reported 10,000 people were turned away after the first 10,000 actually got in.) If I had to wait in that line, I definitely would have bailed.
Once I got in, I had to contend with the long lines for food. Even at the beginning of the event, the lines for some of the most popular trucks were crazy long. I was looking forward to trying some of the trucks that have so far eluded me on the streets, including the Buttermilk Truck and the Grilled Cheese Truck, but the lines were prohibitively long. So here’s what I did get to try.
Louks to Go: This Greek food truck was pretty darn tasty. I tried a beef gyro, which came stuffed with tzatziki sauce and french fries, and some feta fries, which were just french fries topped with feta cheese. Both were satisfying, especially the feta fries because I loooove feta cheese. The fries weren’t anything special — I think they were the frozen kind — but the feta made up for that.
LudoBites: It seemed like everyone and their momma was waiting in this line for Ludovic Lefebvre’s fancy fried chicken. As I have no patience for lines, especially when it’s 80 degrees out, so I decided not to wait for Ludo’s fried chicken. However, I ran into Fiona of Gourmet Pigs, who was kind enough to give me a bite of hers. It was very juicy and nicely seasoned with rosemary.
Monsieur Egg: This was one of the vendors I was looking forward to trying, having read the L.A. Weekly article describing it’s eggy goodness. First I tried the crab cake, which was a hand-me-down from Elina Shatkin, formerly of the Los Angeles Times’ Daily Dish. (I’m not too proud to turn down other people’s leftovers!) It was mostly crab, which I appreciated. Then I tried the croque madame, which is a croque monsieur topped with a fried egg. The ham and egg were awesome. Monsieur Egg normally sells via push cart, so if you see it, get something!
Mama Koh’s: Asian chicken wings. These would have been better if the skin were crispier. The sauce was good, sweet and tangy, but the sogginess of the skin was disappointing.
CoolHaus: I’ve had these ice cream sandwiches before, but at this event the truck was giving out mini tasting size sandwiches, which I actually liked better because the regular size sandwiches are too big for me. Anyway, my favorites were the Meyer lemon ice cream with ginger snap cookies and the brown butter bacon ice cream with…Who cares? There were candied bacon pieces in the ice cream!
To combat the extremely long lines, I would suggest raising the entry fee to $10 or $15 and having only presale tickets.