Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Food Truck Road Trip - SoCal/TJ

Awww...my first food truck back in 2009. Kogi BBQ in LA.

Well, I just set off for my next food truck adventure this morning. I'm finally making a return trip to the city that introduced me to gourmet food trucks and authentic Mexican taquerias...Los Angeles! Some of you will know that for various reasons I had to cancel this trip twice already this year. But, with an abbreviated schedule and some well deserved time off work, I think I have finally managed to make it happen!

I'll be in Southern California for a total of 8 days stating today. I'm excited to meet some food truck friends I have gotten to know over the past year through various blogs and Twitter, and I may have even brought a couple of the Canadian inspired trucks a few treats from home! With only 8 to go before hitting my 100th truck, I am curious to see where I will end up for this milestone food truck meal. Of course, I will at some point need to track down the Kogi BBQ truck. As they were the ones that popped my food truck cherry back in 2009, it just feels right to go back for another round of Korean tacos.

But aside from the ever popular and fun “gourmet trucks”, I am mostly excited for the chance to immerse myself in the Mexican culture. With only 6 weeks of Spanish lessons under my belt, I'm hoping that I will have adequate confidence and ability to converse with the street vendors and (maybe) learn a little from Latin American community members along the way.

I have purposely scheduled this trip to coincide with La Dio de los Muertos, the “Day of the Dead” festival at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in LA. On this day, the Mexican community (as well as several other Latin American countries) celebrate the lives of the loved ones they have lost. Most families construct large and elaborately decorated altars with photos, sugar skulls, flowers and food, among other items. The festival itself can best be described as “Halloween meets Carnivale”. Participants often dress up or paint themselves to resemble skeletons, and enjoy dancing and eating authentic Mexican foods during the celebration. Definitely looking forward to this experience.

With ample time allowed in my itinerary for exploring East LA and the Boyle Heights neighbourhood, along with a day trip to Tijuana, I will no doubt return home with an even greater appreciation for Latino culture...and of course, the food!!

As always, you are welcome to follow along on Twitter @Street_Eater with my adventures. And if you have any specific trucks or street vendors in The LA area that you'd like to see me visit/profile, please let know know and I'll do my best to get to them!