Los Angeles Food Trucks

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The original food trucks

Los Angeles’ rich legacy of food trucks stemmed long ago in the 1800s, with the explosion of Tamale wagons throughout a lively and developing Downtown Los Angeles. According to Los Angeles Times

Tamales were a natural to become L.A.’s first street-food fad, given their utilitarianism, cheap pricing and irresistible taste. The origins of the city’s tamale sellers remain murky, although newspaper accounts place them as far back as the 1870s, and by 1880, a Los Angeles Herald article commented, “The experience of our Eastern visitors will be incomplete unless they sample” a Los Angeles street tamale.

They dominated downtown by the 1890s, specifically from the old plaza near what is today Olvera Street southwest toward 6th Street, between Temple and Main, blocks that attracted itinerant men, new residents and laborers looking to waste their week’s earnings in the many saloons. As dusk fell, an army of 2-by-4 pushcarts and wagons wheeled their way through this Tamale Row, setting up shop until last call and beyond.

Los Angeles’ original Mexican taco and tamale trucks forever changed the face of dining out from that point on; inspiring generations of future entrepreneurs decades to come who isn’t afraid of challenging the conventions and brave the cold streets of Los Angeles.

Komodo Truck Los Angeles

Food Truck Renaissance

Flash forward to the early 2000’s, the Komodo Truck was conceived during Los Angeles’ Food Truck Renaissance. A movement, much credited to Roy Choi of Kogi Truck– the father of fusion street food. Alongside other food trucks such as Grill’em All, Nom Nom Truck, Grilled Cheese Truck, Buttermilk Truck, Coolhaus and many others, Komodo Truck became a gourmet magnet for Los Angeles’ frugal and adventurous gourmands- seeking accessible delicious dining options during the height of the recession. Inspired by the old history of Downtown LA’s Tamale Wagons, the Komodo Truck started with the vision to encompass history/legacy of Los Angeles street food, fusing that with Chef Erwin Tjahyadi’s passion for Southeast Asian cooking.


Food Truck Culture

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