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Another Foodie Mob Scene

Monsieur Egg's crab cakes

Because food-truck mania is at a fever pitch, it was only a matter of time until someone organized an event around the trucks, and that’s what happened last weekend. Thousands of foodies swarmed the first LA Street Food Fest on Saturday, February 13, but unfortunately, many left disappointed.

While the concept was good, the organization was lacking. The line to get in stretched blocks upon blocks through Downtown. Some say the wait clocked in at about two hours, and those lucky enough to get in then had to wait 90 minutes at many trucks. (Mama Koh’s Chicken decided to capitalize on the hour-long wait at the neighboring Grilled Cheese Truck by saying it didn’t have a line because it was so efficient at making chicken wings.) Some trucks began running out of food by mid-afternoon because they weren’t expecting such high numbers, though given the frenzy for trucks, and the mobs at other food events in the last year or so (including the chaotic Grilled Cheese Invitational and Jonathan Gold’s first shindig), it should have been obvious.

Given L.A.’s longstanding love affair with traditional taco and ice cream trucks, it was a shame to see that those were noticeably less crowded than such newbies as Gastrobus (barbecue) and the Flying Pig (Asian and French fusion). The difference was so glaring that one wonders if the craze for unique food trucks will be sustainable or whether it’s just a phase.

Lines beginning to form at the Street Food Fest

High points of the food fest included the red velvet pancakes and buttermilk brick at the Buttermilk Truck, which had one of the longest lines, and the tasty shaved ice over ice cream from Get Shaved, a cool relief for those waiting under Saturday’s sweltering sun. Notable mentions include Monsieur Egg‘s sweet and flavorful crab cakes (placed upon a salad bed with bacon bits) and CoolHaus‘s ice cream combos (a pairing of ice cream sandwiches with such flavors as wasabi and spicy Mexican chocolate).

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4 Responses for “Another Foodie Mob Scene”

  1. Skylar says:

    I was so excited for this festival – just as I had been for the Grilled Cheese Invitational last year, meaning I should have known better. I arrived around noon and waited an hour and a half before realizing there was no way this was going to work out. It was not as poorly run as the Grilled Cheese one, but it still left hundreds of people disappointed. How does one do this well? I want some big festival like this to work, but I can’t figure out how it would have to be run. Sigh. Next time.

  2. Jeff says:

    As I’ve said elsewhere, great idea until 15K people showed up. The organizers made a valiant effort, but they’re trucks.
    Next time, I hope they sell tickets before the event only. Lot less ruffled feathers and the trucks get business and word-of-mouth PR.

  3. michelle says:

    I was psyched when I first heard about this event, but long ago learned that these types of events get too overrun to be enjoyable. It took a lot of willpower to keep myself from trying to go (though of course now I’m glad I didn’t waste my time).

    Maybe it’d be better if there were a limited number of tickets available and no same-day admissions, but then how do the trucks know that enough people will show up to make it worth their time? Especially in (sorry to say it) a culture as accepting of flaking out as LA. I certainly don’t envy the organizers their balancing act.

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