They've tentatively approved an ordinance that will ban food trucks on Main Street, between Ocean Park and Marine -- the part of the city packed tightest with clubs and bars. (Really the only happening spot, late at night, west of the 405. Unless you count Abbott Kinney in Venice, which can get a little dark and bougie for your average Katy Perry.)
It appears the only cool person left on Council...
But that it is. So much so that area restaurants have complained, and on Wednesday authorities raided "Food Truck Night" along Chatsworth Avenue between Zelzah and White Oak avenues, according to the Daily News.
It left some of the mobile operators sick to their stomachs. OGTempura chef Jae Cho was raw, saying:
@greatballsot (Great Balls On Tires) tweets: "You've voted us as best BALLS in L.A., now vote for BOX because he supports Food Trucks in District 4. Get out and VOTE!"
The food truck gang is not only tweet-supporting Box, they are also taking direct aim at District 4 incumbent Tom LaBonge.
@SaveFoodTrucks tweets: "Vote 4 Stephen Box! Food Trucks are under assault from Councilman LaBonge. Protect conumer choice."
Box has found the right foodies:
Recently, it seems that food trucks have been getting the shaft.
First, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved restaurant-style letter grades, meaning pesky health inspections for the mobile eateries.
And earlier this month, a band of Abbot Kinney store owners tried to keep the trucks from slinging hash during First Fridays.
On Thursday, however, food trucks received a touch of justice when a pair of apparent gang members were arraigned on charges related to extorting and vandalizing trucks and their vendors.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday gave its final approval (PDF) to applying the county's twice-yearly restaurant health inspections to food trucks. What's more, the rigs' workers will have to have access to a nearby bathroom -- a tall order that could, at least if rules are strictly enforced, put some of the more down-home taco trucks out of business and give an advantage to those foodie RVs that park near office parks and such.
The inspections start in 30 days. We'll be watching.
Here's the great lede, one that L.A. residents can understand: Economists like myself often present themselves as dispassionate data-driven analysts, but I can maintain no such detachment toward the cause of the food truck.
The transportation committee, led by Councilman Bill Rosendahl, heard concerns about oversized trucks hogging curb parking in front of brick-and-mortar restaurants, refuse left behind for neighbors, and a lack of health and safety standards. Mobile truck proprietors said it's a myth that they are unregulated, and they celebrated the paradigmatic shift of bringing food to the customers, which has energized the food scene and benefited some neighborhoods. The committee instructed staff to study the matter and come back with some potential solutions.