If someone wanted a tour of the San Fernando Valley — an eating tour — I could think of multiple places to take them. There are places to buy food, to eat food and get snacks. Yeah, I’m totally in with the 818 (area code).
But when the Kogi BBQ Truck (which I’ve been virtually lusting after) happens to wander into the Valley, I’m there, even though I haven’t lived in L.A. for almost three years.
I was in L.A. this Saturday for a convention, namely a Berkeley Breathed book signing in Long Beach. How I made it from Long Beach into the San Fernando Valley is another story but if I’m in the area, I always try to make up there despite the traffic.
The thing about the Kogi truck is that you have a time and a location but you don’t know exactly where they will be. Is it in a parking lot? On the street? On this occasion, I only had a corner: Calhoun and Ventura Blvd. I arrived 20 minutes early and there were people already loitering around waiting. There were only 13 people in small groups at different corners trying guess where the truck will park. Paul and I thought it would be right in front of a tattoo parlor where there were several open parking spaces and we were right. And we also made friends with the family who waited with us on the same corner. The mom was as eager as I was and her daughter filled me in on what was good to order. Apparently it was all good.
Tacos are $2 each with a choice of spicy pork, short ribs, chicken and tofu. There are also quesadillas, sliders, burritos and a Kogi dogs at $5 each. I was the fourth person in line and my order was ready in less than 10 minutes. The people behind me, which doubled since the truck arrived, were all checking out my food as I walked past them.
But the food! I get the hype. I get reason behind the hoopla. I understand the reason behind the three trucks. The fusion of Mexican and Korean BBQ works so well. My favorite of the tacos were the spicy pork and short ribs. I squeezed slices of refreshing lime and orange onto the tacos. The sliders were equally as good.
The whole experience was fantastic. As I basked in the taco afterglow near the taco truck, people with their orders passed by, giving nods. Or maybe they were just checking out my Judge Wapner root beer I got earlier that day from Rocket Fizz which also happens to be located in the Valley.