Monday, May 24, 2010

Review - Chef Brian's Comfort Truck

Thanks to Twitter, I have developed a mild fascination with gourmet food trucks in Los Angeles. On any given day, trucks can be found from the Valley to the South Bay selling their tasty wares – dim sum, Korean BBQ, Indian food, burgers, sushi. Even popular restaurants and food establishments like Sprinkles cupcakes, In-n-Out and Border Grill are jumping on this mobile bandwagon. I have tracked down the Grilled Cheese Truck, twice; and happened upon the Sweets Truck when I walked out of my office building for a break. My ‘must try’ list has four trucks: Frysmith (fries as a meal), Cool Haus (gourmet ice cream sandwiches), Buttermilk Truck (breakfast favorites) and the Comfort Truck (sliders, wings and wraps). Yesterday, I crossed off the Comfort Truck from my list.

Friday was a particularly taxing day at work. By late afternoon, I tweeted my sentiment: I sure could use some @ComfortTruck right about now. Within minutes, my tweet was re-tweeted with an invitation to find them over the weekend. I hoped for a location close to me in the Valley but knew I would drive almost anywhere in L.A. to give the truck a try. The event location and time revealed via Twitter, I made my plan to find the Comfort Truck.

Chef Brian’s Comfort Truck took to the road in March of this year with Brian Hill at the wheel. Hill is a former Top Chef contestant and current featured chef on Private Chefs of Beverly Hills.

Waiting to turn at the intersection of National and Exposition, I was greeted by the sight of that iconic red KFC building and a soon-to-be just as iconic red Comfort Truck. To my surprise, and utter delight, there was no line. I parked my car and called Lys – “I am at the Comfort Truck!” Before I could focus on the menu, I was greeted by a happy voice from within the truck “What’s up, girl?” It was Chef Brian! His smile was wide and warm even through the screen separating us. I told him how my need for the Comfort Truck on Friday lead me to seek it out on Saturday. Nikki, one of his co-workers, joined him at the window.

Wait, that was on Twitter, right? What’s your name?”
Rissa. Rissadee on Twitter.”
Yeah! I’m glad you found us.” Brian slid open the screen and gave me a fist bump. Holla!

Unfamiliar with the menu and not sure what to order, I asked Chef Brian’s opinion. He hooked me up with BBQ chicken sliders, jerk beef sliders and an order of his infamous ‘crack’ tortilla chips with relish. Before I left, Chef Brian came out from the truck to give me a hug and said “Thank you!” Holla!

I called Lys to tell my Comfort Truck tale only to lose her in Laurel Canyon; but not before she could ask me to write a guest blog about my experience (that’s how I wound up here, in case you were wondering). The food smelled delicious, the bag was giving off heat, my mouth watering. I could not drive home fast enough. I pulled into my apartment parking space, grabbed a fistful of napkins from my glove compartment (a necessity for professional in-car eaters) and ripped open the bag. No shame in my game!

First stop: BBQ chicken sliders. I’ve said this before: the second bite is my favorite. The first one, you’re just trying it out – the temperature, the texture, checking to see if it’s a combination of flavors you can tolerate. But, the second bite? Ohh, that’s where it’s happening! The soft and unobtrusive roll, that tangy and somewhat familiar bbq sauce, the crispy and tender fried chicken topped with melted mozzarella all came together…mmm. Oh, sorry – I’m salivating.

Next stop: jerk beef sliders. Same soft and unobtrusive roll with a nicely done (inside and out!) beef patty, I got a double whammy on my second bite. That’s when the jerk seasoning hit me and, to my surprise, a bite of pineapple. Aloha! What a clever and tasty pair, which may not be so surprising to some. As a Hawaiian, I am a firm believer in keeping pineapple off of pizza and burgers. I shall now recant and amend my statement to include only pizza.

Third and, sadly, final stop: fried tortilla chips and relish. 1) Chef Brian’s relish of corn, white beans, cilantro and seasonings is a meal on its own. 2) ‘Crack’ chips are appropriately named. WOW! After one bite, I knew one bag of chips was not going to be enough for me. I kept breaking them into smaller and smaller pieces only to make them last longer. And once they were gone, don’t think it didn’t cross my mind to drive back over there. No shame in my game.

If you’re in LA, go find Chef Brian and get your Comfort Truck on. Holla!

*Fist bump*

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