I spent a few months researching funky food trucks in other cities. Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Washington D.C., and New York all have a variety of mobile food units that either tweet their locations or rely on a regular schedule.
The most successful food truck operation is Kogi Korean BBQ in Los Angeles. The chef, Roy Choi, operates four trucks and recently opened Alibi Room, a brick and mortar restaurant in west LA. I guess you could say he backed into the restaurant business. (Rim shot.)
More interesting to me is that Choi was chosen as one of the ten Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine magazine.
Why can’t we find these kinds of stories on our local streets, especially downtown or in the Arts District? After speaking with city officials, restaurateurs, code enforcement officers, and anyone in between, I determined that the future of funky food trucks in Dallas looks grim. Even Michael Sigel, owner of Green House Truck, the first operation to make some headway in Dallas, seems to be using his truck more for catering and special events.
Anywhoo, the whole story about food trucks in Dallas is here. Read it and scream.
Parting note: During the course of researching this story, I tried to reach chef Choi for some perspective. Here is the reply I received (3 weeks after the call followed by an email):
Thanks so much for your interest in Kogi, but unfortunately we are not accepting any press requests at the moment or anytime in the unforeseen future. As it stands, we are on a media sabbatical. I wish you all the best on your project.
From the guy who used to make tacos on a truck in the bowels of Los Angeles? Gotta love this country.