A Legendary Food Truck finds Long Beach

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The line for Kogi

It finally happened. The rumors had been swirling for awhile, that as elusive as it is, something like the yeti of Los Angeles would be venturing the Long Beach way. I had heard of it being down here before, but each time I checked the Twitter feed or the website, the closest I could get was Gardena or Orange. What about us?

Venice Beach is hustle bustle on the nights when they open up Abbot Kinney for various art walks, open houses, flea markets and events. Because Venice still has the edgy vibe akin to Silverlake, Echo Park and could I be so daring as to say, Long Beach, it is a hotbed for new trends as they come up. Several months back, I had met a girlfriend out for a little nightly shopping and art appreciation on Abbot Kinney when to my dismay; I ventured out and struggled to find parking. Now, it is hardly an easy feat to find parking in any beach community in general, but because of the event, it became even more difficult. As I began to notice, some of the blame was due to the numerous plethoras of taco trucks. Parallel parked at practically 10 foot intervals there were various food trucks that housed every type of food you could imagine from responsible eating and vegan, to classically trained French trucks, to authentic taco trucks. The Grilled Cheese Truck, which parallel parked for 30 minutes to squeeze into a tiny space, beckoned to me like a lighthouse to a ship in the night.

And now, that mercurial mythological creature of the night, the nouveau taco truck, is, like the Loch Ness Monster, starting a low murmur as people are spotting her driving through our very own Long Beach.  If you listen hard, you may hear a dull roar with sentences like: “Is that the Border Grill Truck?” “No, I think it’s Nom Nom!” “It can’t be! It looks like the Flying Pig!

I had been following the Kogi Korean BBQ truck, the granddaddy of all posh food trucks, on Twitter. For those of you who are not technologically savvy, this is the preferred method of communiqué for the food truck. Just like the millennial babies, who will grow up to not understand a world without the Internet, the ever-changing, feverishly paced world has bred this rage of a moving restaurant. Part of the fun of finding a gourmet food truck is the fact that you have to go back to your hunting instincts in order to find it.  I patiently waited, not wanting to cave and venture to Gardena or Orange, knowing eventually that I would be voting with my money by abstaining from the taco truck experience until the time was right, and the truck was in my ‘hood.

Lo and behold, my time was here when I looked on the website last week and noticed that Kogi would be venturing to the Cambodian area of Long Beach at the Anaheim and Walnut intersection, last Friday night. It had been in town before, but always too early or too late. This was it. This was my time!

Is it the food that makes you come? Is it the price? Or is it the traveling art of the food truck itself and the novelty of a moving party? Whichever it is, I stood in line from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. last Friday, patiently waiting for my short rib taco, which did not leave me disappointed. How can you not like Korean short ribs, with a mildly spicy cabbage slaw on a fresh corn tortilla, for the staggering price of $2?

The food is something that everyone should try, if just once, for the novelty of the communal party that, like a storm cloud, moves in for a couple of hours, and then dissipates as if it were never there. The truck leaves in its wake, happy revelers to go their way, whichever way that is. Then, it again hits the road in a never ending adventure to find another hungry crowd filled with the buzz and excitement like an opening night, wherever they venture to.

To find a food truck near you, try this website:  www.findlafoodtrucks.com which compiles several of the food trucks Twitter feeds onto one communal website. Or go directly to their individual sites to find out when they will be visiting the Long Beach area.

About Chandra Clewley
A self-described Foodie, Chandra can’t wait to sink her teeth into Long Beach Restaurants. She is a native Southern Californian who loves and lives in Long Beach. Chandra has traveled the world tasting, serving and learning about fine food and wine. You can also find her writing on her blog www.DailyMischief.com and by following her on Twitter @ChandraClewley

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