If you only started eating your dinner at taco trucks after Roy Choi revolutionized the food truck scene, you might not realize that food trucks have been lining the streets of this town for a very long time. In today's feature food story, journalist and documentarian Patricia Nazario looks at the traditional catering truck and considers the evolution of the industry in the wake of the current fleet of more gourmet mobile eateries.
The Los Angeles County Health Department tallies about 6,000 permitted catering trucks. About 200 are gourmet: snazzy vehicles dishing up (mostly) fusion food, with a strong online presence. But the vast majority are run by Mexican or Central American immigrants — native Spanish speakers, disconnected from technology.