As in all evolution, the street foods in Los Angeles have come a long, long way. Here’s something we can relate to.
Crack open your Gramp’s old travel magazine and take a look at what a motor home used to look like- “not comfy” is the first thing that comes to mind.
Voila! They’ve now become elaborate, luxurious land yachts that are a lot nicer than some hotels, and maybe a close second to even a celebrity home (B-lister).
Street food has also reached that level of evolution and civility, some even achieving notoriety at the national level.
The proof is in the pudding as the saying goes, just look at the Instagram accounts of these roving diners and you’ll see a phenomenal number of followings on some.
We made this list to cover a variety of tastes, so there should be something for everyone here. Enjoy!
The Kogi Truck
Gotta start with the most famous food truck in Los Angeles- the Kogi Truck. This is Chef Roy Choi’s fleet that have been winning over our hearts with his Korean Short Rib Taco since 2008.
Chef Roy is no slouch when it comes to credentials- Roy Choi is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and later worked at the internationally acclaimed Le Bernardin.
In 2010, Food and Wine named him Best New Chef. His cookbook/memoir L.A. Son was a NY Times Bestseller in 2013. He was included in the 2016 TIME 100 Most Influential People in the World list.
The guy’s no slouch. We’re one lucky city to have this culinary pedigree willfully bringing his talents to the streets of LA- no reservations needed.
3040 E. Olympic Blvd., Boyle Heights
A close second to Roy Choi’s Kogi truck, is Mariscos Jalisco, the iconic operation of Raul Ortega—from the Mexican town of San Juan de Los Lagos, Jalisco.
Ordering the fried-shrimp taco here is a rite of passage: a golden, crisp shell of fried masa molded around velvety minced shrimp and topped with salsa and sliced avocado. With over 4,000 followers on Twitter, there might be a line.
Hot Motha Clucker
4625 Woodman Ave., Sherman Oaks & 1708 North Las Palmas Avenue, Hollywood
This is fiery Nashville hot chicken is cayenne-dusted bird at its best. Hot Motha Clucker, offer crispy tenders doused with searing-hot spices and served with slaw, french fries, fried pickles (weird, but ever since they started frying ice cream at county fairs, everything is fair game), and of course, toast.
George Galajian, one of the founders of the family-run operation says their best seller is the Loaded Tender Fries.
“It’s french fries, melted cheese, more fries on top, chopped up chicken tenders, our sauce, pickles, and coleslaw on the side. It’s a really fun eat.”
350 E. 1st St., Little Tokyo
This story begins in Japan. In 2009, the owner, Mr. Takeo mastered the skill of “Takoyaki” at a famous Takoyaki restaurant in Osaka, Japan.
So what is this street food thing called Takoyaki? It’s a ball-shaped Japanese snack or appetizer made of a wheat flour-based batter and cooked in a special molded pan. It is typically filled with minced or diced octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger, and green onion.
When he first arrived, he understood that many people were not familiar with the concept of Takoyaki. Instead of opening a restaurant, he sold Takoyaki at various venues from a food truck and at festival events.
At this walk-up window in Little Tokyo’s Japanese Village Plaza, you can pick your flavor from wasabi, jalapeño, and Parmesan-truffle on a digital ordering pad and then watch cooks griddle and assemble your takoyaki from behind a pane of glass.
Street Food Cinema
Going somewhat high concept in a low brow way, the Los Angeles Street Food Cinema is more than just an outdoor movie.
It’s an experience you don’t want to miss out on. Bringing together the best in pop culture films, gourmet street food and progressive new music. If your cruising up the California coast checking out our top retro motels, try to catch one of these shows while passing through Los Angeles.
Street Food Cinema reinvents the traditional movie going experience – al fresco style. Check out the dates for your fave flicks, grab a blanket and know there will be delightful street food served up at 15 different locations throughout Los Angeles.
The City of Angels has lots more heavenly food trucks to feast at, and they’re actually easy to find with this handy map locator.
There’s even an app for that so you can be true to your truck (limited to Ohio, Raleigh, LA, and Phoenix). Just an FYI, one of Los Angeles’ hottest taco trucks is right next door to an outdoor movie theater experience.
How awesome is that!