Crepe Truck Wars: Crepe'n Around vs. La Galette Creperie
They say Paris is gorgeous in spring. But if you can't make it all the way to France, two new crepe trucks are doing their best to bring a bit of Paris to Los Angeles. The real question: is this town big enough for two crepe trucks?
Crepe'n Around (Twitter: @crepenaround), launched by sisters Eileen and Joann DeLeoz, rolled out on March 20 offering basic crepes: three savories (chicken pesto; miso skirt steak; and roasted veggies - $6 or $10 with garlic fries and a drink) and three sweets (strawberries and cream; Nutella banana; and S'mores made with chocolate sauce, marshmallows, graham crackers and whipped cream - $4). Specialty crepes might include chicken adobo, which Eileen recently made for SportsFest at Cal Poly Pomona.
La Galette Creperie (Twitter: @lagalettecrepes), which soft-launched last Saturday at a private event and will have its public launch in a few days at Venice's First Friday, specializes in Breton-style crepes. The truck was founded by Jennifer Samson as an offshoot of La Galette Creperie, the San Clemente cafe her parents opened in 2003. Using mostly organic and local ingredients, La Galette will offer two savory buckwheat crepes (meat and veggie) and four sweet flour crepes ($5), all of them based on what's in La Galette's CSA box that week.
La Galette Creperie and Crepe'N Around will soon fight for dominance of L.A.'s mobile crepe market.
Elina Shatkin (left), Crepe'N Around (right)
The DeLeoz sisters were inspired by crepes a few years ago, when Joann visited Eileen, who was attending the Cordon Bleu Academy in Paris. "It was like a storybook. We were eating crepes by the Eiffel Tower," Joann says. Eileen, who worked as a pastry-maker at Patina and at Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood, is the chef and creative mind behind the truck, while Joann handles the business. Originally, the sisters wanted to open a restaurant; instead, Crepe'n Around rolls out of the Eagle truck lot in Burbank. "With the whole food truck industry taking off in the past year, we thought it would be the perfect way to do this," Joann says.
Samson, who graduated last year from USC's business school, was inspired to launch the La Galette truck eight months ago. With the backing of Road Stoves, the truck has given her an opportunity to combine her interest in sustainable development with growing the family business. (Although the restaurant is in O.C., the La Galette truck will operate in L.A.)
With two crepe trucks launching in such a short span of time, should we be expecting a Jets-vs.-Sharks-style rumble? Probably not. Joann DeLeoz is diplomatic: "More competition is good for the industry and for consumers. If [food trucks] all have a product that people will love, then it's going to be good for everyone."
Update: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the La Galette Creperie restaurant was opened in 2003 by Jennifer Samson's parents. In fact, it was opened in 2005 by her sister Joan Samson. Their parents took over the business in 2007.
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