It’s no secret that Mexican taco trucks rule the food truck scene in Echo Park (and Los Angeles), but over the last few years food trucks in the city have expanded in diversity by offering cravings beyond the taco.
If you were in Echo Park during Mother’s Day weekend, it was difficult to miss the appropriately-colored red Chinese food truck stationed on Sunset Blvd in front of Walgreens. Looking big and without apology, EPF also learned that Saturday, May 10th was the truck’s first day in business as it had its debut in Echo Park.
Was this a one day thing? Is it a roaming food truck, or one looking to become a permanent alternative to Arizas Tacos in a stretch of Echo Park increasingly growing in food options?
On Saturday we spoke to a staff member who shared that the truck plans to make Echo Park its permanent home on weekdays and weekends. Currently, their plan is to park on Sunset Blvd even on weekdays, if possible.
Menu and Pricing
The menu is expected and standard for Chinese food. Think Panda Express on wheels (even the price). All entrees come paired with rice or chow mein, and they include:
- Orange Chicken
- Kung Pao Chicken
- Mushroom Chicken
- Curry Chicken
- Broccoli Beef
- Orange Beef
- BBQ Pork
- Veggie Stir Fry
Customers can add side egg rolls and drinks. 2 entrees for $5.51 + tax, and 3 entrees for $6.88 + tax. You can make either into a combo for $1.58 + tax (with egg roll or drink). Very specific pricing there. Cash only.*
Update May 19, 2014: We spoke to the offices of Chow Mein Truck, and they confirmed the following prices: $6.50 for two item combo, $7.50 for 3 item combo (taxes are included for each), and $1.50 additional to add an egg roll and soda. A three item combo meal with an egg roll and soda should be $9.
Although their website www.chowmeintruck.com is advertised on the back and sides of the truck, the site seems to be down or not yet live (at the time of this publication).
Upon further research however, information about the truck’s owner points to him being the same owner of Lobsta Truck–Justin Mi and his company TIG Restaurant Group, Inc. Even a quick visual comparison of the trucks, colors, and marketing style hint at the connection (same truck supplier):
Lobsta Truck is a Maine + New England inspired food truck that brings an authentic on-the-go lobster experience to Los Angeles and San Francisco. Lobsta Truck receives its lobsters and bread straight from New England, and offers lobster rolls, crab rolls, clam chowder, and more. The truck has been operating since 2010, and it posts its locations and schedules online on its website, Facebook, and Twitter. Lobsta Truck is all over, from Downtown LA, to Pasadena, Fullerton, Encino, Arcadia, Glendale, Long Beach, and more.
After 600+ Yelp reviews, Lobsta Truck is staying above average with a star rating of 3.5, which is not bad given the number of reviews, and especially given its most recent ones (have you been to it?).
Faithful to EP?
So what does this mean for Echo Park? The history and connections behind Chow Mein Truck’s owner point to a good track record given its correlation with Lobsta Truck.
But with Lobsta Truck’s business model–to be in tens of cities across the Southland–are we to question what we’ve initially come to know about the truck’s intentions, to be in Echo Park?
Seeing the truck on both Saturday and Sunday over Mother’s Day Weekend is a strong indicator, but only time will tell. We will update you through EPF if we learn more (and confirm) the details from the owner.
Until then, let us know if you visit the truck. Maybe “Mushroom Chicken Mondays” can become a thing along Sunset Blvd.
Photos of the Chow Mein Food Truck on Sunset Blvd. taken by Echo Park Forums staff.