The Lobos Truck
Any food truck that has a whole menu section dedicated to ‘wachos’ is in a league of its own. (For the uninitiated, wachos are waffle fries with nacho toppings). This fleet of trucks offers some seriously decadent American comfort food using quality meats and organic produce—you can get anything from creamy mac n' cheese with their spicy diablo sauce to a chicken, bacon, and ranch salad, to a beef burger with garlic aioli and cheddar on a Brioche bun.
The chefs behind Pico House are all roommates, and the truck gets its name from the moniker they’ve lent to their LA pad. Born of a desire to find healthful, satisfying food, their mobile collaboration serves up whole grain bowls made with meats, veggies, house-made pickles, and fresh herbs. If that sounds uninspired, consider their Robertson Short Rib bowl: sautéed broccoli stems, swiss chard, pickled red onion, and tomato chutney—plus, of course, the short rib and a pasilla pepper and broccoli purée—sit atop their mix of ancient grains, which includes farro, barley, wheat berries, and rye.
Okay, so technically this isn’t a food truck—it’s a tricycle. Headquartered in Santa Monica, this direct trade, micro-roast coffee company operates out of a three-wheeled vehicle outfitted with a brewing and kegging system that produces top-notch nitro cold brew. You can usually catch them somewhere in Santa Monica or Downtown, and they’re also available for private booking.
Served out of a 50-year-old truck named Charlie, CVT offers soft-serve the way it was meant to be served—simple. Your only choices are vanilla, chocolate, or a twist of both, with an option of added sprinkles or sea salt. But you only really need two topping options when the ice cream is this good.
The Grilled Cheese Truck
An early crowd-pleaser at Abbot Kinney’s First Fridays food truck events, this LA-area mainstay draws huge lines. It’s not difficult to see why: they offer a full menu of excellent grilled cheese, from which you can choose your cheese of preference (American, gruyere, and sun-dried tomato goat cheese are just a few) and pair it with either French or wheat bread. Or, if you’re feeling like a grilled-cheese fiend, you can opt for one of their ridiculously decadent (and amazing) combinations—there’s one that sandwiches a layer of macaroni and cheese with house-smoked BBQ pork and caramelized onions.
The two-person team behind this relative newcomer serves up an amazing Spanish menu, usually from in front of local coffee shops all over town. The main draw is their Barcelona-style pan tumaca sandwiches, which are prepared with freshly baked toasted ciabatta bread, tomato, and extra virgin olive oil as the base. Fillings range from Spanish serrano ham with caramelized onions, roasted green peppers, and salsa, to an eggs and chorizo offering, to free-range pork loin with manchego cheese and piquillo peppers.
Bowled & Beautiful
If you’re looking to come away from a sea of food trucks with something moderately healthy, this truck is for you. While Bowled & Beautiful still offers a variety of indulgent comfort foods (blondie bars, truffle fries, and tater tots are just a few), our favorite from their menu is the Barbie Bowl: greens with brown rice, black beans, grilled chicken breast, corn relish, and their creamy chipotle sauce. Pro tip: ask for a fried egg or an avocado on top.
Vchos mobile pupuseria—named after Central American slang for “young people"—is in the business of amazing Salvadoran food with a twist. Made from scratch daily—and naturally gluten-free—the pupusas are stuffed with standard choices ranging from the loroco and cheese to chicken and spinach, and are served with pickled cabbage and salsa. Also of note: their caramelized Colombian plantains, which come with mashed beans and house-made salvi cream.
The NoMad Truck
A roaming extension of the New York restaurant of the same name, food trucks really don’t get more gourmet than this one. Chef Daniel Humm, co-owner of the lauded Eleven Madison Park (and NoMad), works with a rotating roster of different iconic LA chefs on the mobile NoMad’s menu. The truck’s first partnership was with chef Roy Choi of Kogi and Commissary, who dreamt up a chicken dumpling burger with shrimp, chili, and ginger for their menu in the fall. While you won't always see that masterpiece on the menu, you can expect to find their notorious chicken burger, elevated seasonal salad offerings, and milk and honey soft serve.
This Indian restaurant on wheels specializes in frankies: roti-wrapped lamb, paneer, or mushrooms prepared with chopped onions and tamarind chutney. Of course, just because it’s a food truck doesn’t mean you have to feel limited to food you can eat sans cutlery. Chef Sumant Pardal’s menu also includes a variety of excellent curries—we’re partial to the saag paneer and the veggie coconut offerings.