The Valley’s Best Food Trucks
CategoryEat & Drink
Written byJoshua Lurie
AboveCafe Vietnam’s truck parked in Studio City
Bite Me Hot Dogs
Missing your fix of Dodger Dogs this baseball season? Head to the Bite Me cart in NoHo. Their uniquely outrageous hot dogs include a nacho version and an “ultimate” dog that piles on toppings from every bottle and bin on the counter. Their Alfredo Dog is a play on fettuccine Alfredo, featuring a snappy all-beef dog touting crispy pastrami bits, mozzarella, caramelized onions and creamy Alfredo sauce on griddled garlic bread. The O.M.G. Dog is a turkey bacon dog with jalapeños, serrano peppers, chopped pepperoncini, barbecue sauce and crumbled Flamin’ Hot Cheetos that packs serious heat. Yes, Bite Me also has basic ketchup and mustard.
12464 Oxnard St., North Hollywood, @bitemehotdogss
Shaul Rubinstein and chef-wife Shevi hail from Israel and started parking their truck in front of Office Depot in Tarzana in 2018. Their burekas are made using her family’s sixth-generation recipe. Spinach and cheese, cheese, and potato are the most popular fillings in these flaky, sesame-studded rounds, though specials are rotated in, such as a feta and green olive version. The savory pastries come with tahini, hard-boiled eggs, pickles, and zesty tomato sauce dabbed with zhoug, a spicy herb sauce. Sandwiches, portobello mushroom shawarma and shakshuka—a red pepper, stewed tomato and egg dish—are also available.
5300 Nestle Ave., Tarzana, @burekasplus
Cafe Vietnam Truck
It is hard to miss the orange truck parked in front of Alfred Coffee on Mondays and Tuesdays in Studio City. As patrons well know, Cafe Vietnam serves some of the Valley’s best Vietnamese rice bowls and banh mi. Regardless of the delivery method, meaty braised pork belly is the star protein here. Cafe Vietnam Truck also has a way with chicken, whether it’s ground chicken sautéed with lemongrass and herbs, firm meatballs stewed in tomato sauce, or crispy egg rolls with the perfect texture. Also available: a potent iced coffee made with Vietnamese beans and condensed milk.
12077 Ventura Pl., Studio City, @cafevietnamtruck, cafevietnamtruck.com
A savory entree from L.A. Falafel Spot
L.A. Falafel Spot
Itsick “Isaac” Sabag and Ron Shivro are longtime Angelenos from Israel who’ve been serving “guilt-free cuisine” from a truck parked in front of CVS in Encino since spring. L.A. Falafel Spot crafts soft green sesame-studded chickpea pucks mixed with spices and herbs like parsley, cilantro, coriander and caraway. Their falafel sandwich incorporates fluffy pita from a local bakery and includes chopped cucumber and tomato, tart pickle and sauerkraut, crunchy white cabbage salad, nutty house-made tahini and parsley. If you crave spice, they’ll add the Israeli hot sauce zhoug, which they buy from nearby Hummus Bar.
17340 Ventura Blvd., Encino, @la_falafel_spot
A roll from Maine Street Lobster
Maine Street Lobster
Two Encino residents launched this sea-blue lobster truck right before COVID hit, and after regrouping for a month, now serve hundreds of customers per week across from the entrance to Lake Balboa. New England-style lobster rolls feature cold crustacean tossed with tarragon mayo, and Connecticut-style rolls come dressed with drawn butter. Their lobster BLT stars lobster folded with mayo and chives nestled with lettuce, tomato slices, and crispy bacon in a buttery toasted New England-style split-top bun. They even top tater tots with lobster.
6200 N Balboa Blvd., Encino, @maine_street_lobster, mainestreetlobstertruck.com
ABOVE: A box of beignets, fried doughy sweets doused in powdered sugar from the Beignet Box
Mariscos La Barquita
This is the on-the-road version of Mariscos La Barquita restaurant in Chatsworth. Despite its unglamorous location—right where the 405, 5 and 118 freeways meet—this truck has been a north Valley hit since launching last year. The signature seafood “tower” is particularly enticing, featuring an architectural cylinder of cooked octopus, cooked and raw shrimp, callo de hacha (scallop), and faux crab with avocado, shaved red onion, diced cucumber and tomato. Each tower is available with mild black, tangy green or spicy red salsa. Fried shrimp empanadas with molten Monterey Jack cheese and spicy dipping sauce as well as scallop tostadas are other popular entrees.
15305 Devonshire St., Mission Hills, @mariscoslabarquita
If you don’t smell Yalla Shawarma’s enticing aroma before reaching the ordering window, you’ll certainly hear its soundtrack. Speakers in front of the truck pump rap music out on to Reseda Blvd. The mobile eatery serves thin-sliced chicken shawarma made with well-spiced breast meat that’s notably juicy and swaddled with potent garlic sauce in soft lavash, a thin flatbread popular in Armenia and surrounding countries. Yalla Shawarma also make sujuk, spiced ground beef that delivers a clove-forward spice mix and punchy pickles in crispy pressed French roll.
9167 Reseda Blvd., Northridge, @yalla.shawarma
ABOVE: The Beignet Box truck
This dessert emporium on wheels is co-owned by pop star and Dancing With the Stars contestant Christina Milian. Fans of eating Cajun food while visiting New Orleans, she and her partner Elizabeth Morris were frustrated at not being able to find beignets in Los Angeles. Beignet, by the way, is the French term for a pastry made from deep-fried choux pastry, a delicate dough that contains butter, water, flour and eggs. The light fluffy creations—topped with powdered sugar—are available five to a box or you can get the smaller bite-size versions. Nibble while sipping on a cuppa joe. Merci beaucoup!