I sense a seething jealously from ya’lls when I mention the food truck blessing that has rained down upon Los Angeles over the last year, and for good reason. It’s incredible. I rarely have emotions that vary from WORRY (of which there are 17 complicated stages, I’ll tell you about it sometime), but I have some pretty strong ones for the food trucks.
There’s some semi-minor drama going down about the trucks, too. Some Los Angeles council members are being leaned on heavily by brick and mortar restaurants that don’t understand we’d rather eat from roach coaches than their overpriced, underwhelming mega-plates of slop. Tom LaBonge is the worst of these council members, vocally encouraging absurd limitations on the trucks whenever he’s given the platform to do so. My favorite was to limit the number of trucks that can operate in Los Angeles at any given time. I’m not sure how this guy figures out how to put his pants on in the morning. In fact, I wrote him this letter, and I’ll accept your praise for not using a single swear word:
Dear Mr. LaBonge
I love Los Angeles. I do! My father moved to Los Angeles as a young teen and made the city his own — his stories are the stories of most Angelenos, filled with craziness, fame, adventure, and hardship. Years after he’d left and raised a family, I’d also move to Los Angeles and make the city my own. One of the things I list when describing the wonderful and bizarre L.A. are the food trucks.
I would be spending at least $100 less a month on food if I weren’t eating at lunch trucks a few times a week. I work from home and the trucks are my splurge. Shaved ice, Brazilian hamburgers, hum bao, banh mi, Philly cheesesteaks, crepes, hot dogs and dosa — I love them all! These foods are Los Angeles to me, and while I eat at brick-and-mortar restaurants with regularity as well, I am not exaggerating when I say that much of my motivation behind living in the La Brea area is walking distance to food trucks. While there are a long list of cons to living where I live (expensive! no parking!) the list of pros is short, but contains one notable point: FOOD TRUCKS. I’m not kidding. Food trucks!
You see, when I call home, I tell my mom and dad what I ate that day. It sounds bizarre, but it’s true: my parents are lovers of food strange and delightful, and a large part of my life here in California are the gastronomical delights. For better or for worse, my entire feeling for the soul of my adopted city includes – among many other things – the ability to walk to a busy street and see a vista of possible edible treats spread before me like a feast table in some Medieval movie. It fills my heart with hope and my tummy with a rumbly.
Please do not limit the ability of these trucks to make people like me happy. There should be no villains here — what a wonderful time to be a lover of food in our city!
Some brick-and-mortar shops like Sprinkles – arguably the most famous cupcakery in Los Angeles – wasted no time recognizing the power of the truck and launched one tout de suite. They aren’t shedding a single drip of sweat over lost business – they’re pulling up at street corners and selling out dozens of $4 cupcakes in the time it takes to drive from one end of town to the other. Bitches is smart, yo.
This is all a very long introduction to say: I walked by the Sprinkles cupcakemobile entirely on accident – THOUGH ONE MIGHT ARGUE THERE ARE NO CUPCAKE ACCIDENTS – and had my first taste. First: $4? Too much for a cupcake. Sorry, charlies. Still: what beautiful packaging, yes? Makes a nice little gift. To your own face.
Unless you walk like the hunchback of Notre Dame with a sprained ankle, in which case this happens:
Whoops. Oh well. That’s what the frosting is for. Slap that thing back into shape.
This is an orange cupcake. And how’d it taste? Well… boring. I know! But so entirely one-note. Just: orange. I couldn’t even detect any salt in either the cake or the frosting, and if there was vanilla in there I missed it too. Admittedly I just got over the flu, but I kept taking bites expecting to be wooed and getting just somewhat buttery orange instead. Even that sounds too interesting. The frosting was a more straightforward disappointment: gritty. It takes several minutes of whipping butter and confectioners sugar together before they become smooth and creamy – it takes a while, but the sugar will eventually break down. But it takes patience.
Lets try this beauty: the marshmallow chocolate cupcake.
Very attractive, first of all. Though, I admit a childish and petty irritation that the gumpaste dot on top was inedible. It was technically edible, but in the same way that Hot Pockets are technically edible.
Here the chocolate flavor was very good, rich and fudgy, but would it fucking kill someone to use some salt at Sprinkles? I thought America had unanimously agreed that salt was great all the time.
Sprinkles has a pretty solid cupcake, at least of the two I tried, but no way I’ll ever pay $4 for them again. Until someone smuggles some sodium chloride into their kitchen, I’m out.September 23rd, 2010 | Eatin' Fancy