Dining

Tales from the road

Gourmet food truck operators have no shortage of stories from the streets

Image
Fukuburger’s Colin Fukunaga and Robert “Mags” Magsalin
Photo: Beverly Poppe

Colin Fukunaga, owner of Fukuburger: “We have a huge dance following, and this one night a group called High Profile had just won a local competition and wanted to dance at the truck. They came up to the truck to give me a CD to play, and as I’m exiting the truck, [Palms owner] George Maloof is standing there. He said, ‘How do you order here?’ Meanwhile, one of the High Profile guys is looking at Maloof and says, ‘Excuse me, can you please move so we can set up?’ He had no idea who he was. And when I put on the CD, George had this look on his face like, ‘What the hell is going on here?’ But he visited our truck twice that week. He doesn’t like mayo, so we made him a special sandwich—a bacon cheeseburger with Sapporo barbecue sauce.”

Jerome Thomas, manager at LBS, driver of the LBS Patty Wagon: “I get some weird food requests. One guy came up and asked, ‘Can I get tacos here?’ I just looked at him and said, ‘Sir, we are a gourmet slider truck.’ I find that my biggest job is just educating people, both in the type of truck we are and that any business or company can enjoy our services—all they have to do is call and we come right out. It really is that easy.”

Ricardo Guerrero, owner of Slidin’ Thru: “Our fans are just so cool. There’s this one woman, her name is Dawn, and she and her husband just started hanging out at our truck, bringing treats with them. She brought us little slider cupcakes, and one time she brought out chocolate marshmallow lollipops. Her newest creation is a ‘Brookie,’ a mix between a brownie and a cookie. We’re thinking of partnering with them to sell those treats out of our trucks. We call her ‘Mama Dawn,’ because we’re all like her kids.”

Doug Porter, owner of Curbside Café: “I used to go to this hair academy, because the students asked me to come. I parked behind the school in an alley, and had good business for about five weeks. Then one day this guy comes to the window and starts calling me names and [says] to get out of the truck and fight him. Bear in mind I’m 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds. This guy is 5-foot-4 and about 140 pounds. And here he is, telling me to put up my dukes in front of all these academy girls. I come to find out he’s the owner of a restaurant in the same center that apparently the girls didn’t like, and I was taking his business. He called the cops, but I was parked on public property and nothing came of it. But I don’t go back—why aggravate the situation? Still, I didn’t feel guilty. He lost business because he wasn’t doing a good job.”

Share

Previous Discussion:

  • Tender wrappers, each plumped up to the size of a playing card, swaddle a juicy pork/vegetable blend worthy of being trumpeted on the marquee.

  • La Monja will be a Mexican-style raw bar, while Hatsumi will offer a more elegant experience, focused on traditional robata and irori grilling.

  • Head to the bar for executive chef Mark Andelbradt’s counter-only menu and prepare for a range of explosive flavors.

  • Get More Dining Stories
Top of Story