Last night a group of taco fans (loyal, aggrieved, stubbornly hungry) gathered in East L.A., lining up for wobbly, sauce-drenched, carne asada-loaded paper plates at the Tacos El Galuzo truck parked on Whittier Boulevard. Parked legally, that is, for the final hours before the new city ordinance went into effect at 12:01 a.m. today. Now taco trucks must move every hour or face misdemeanor charges, $1,000 in fines and-or 6 months in jail. These new regulations apply only in unincorporated parts of the city, but as the folks at saveourtacotrucks.org, which sponsored the gathering, point out on their website, that's 65% of the county.
The taco crowd was good, especially considering that the Lakers were playing Game 5 only a few miles away. And the gathering was upbeat, proving that a heady taco al pastor can generate more civic goodwill than a questionable city ordinance. Saveourtacotrucks.org founders Chris Rutherford and Aaron Sonderleiter (looking tired, overwhelmed by the enormous publicity their site has generated, and a bit sauce-spattered) said they've received more than 9,000 signatures on their petition -- but no comment from District 1 County Supervisor Gloria Molina.
"I'm curious to see what the next step will be," said Sonderleiter, a schoolteacher from Highland Park who started saveourtacotrucks.org with a $6 investment in the domain name ("that's almost two nights' dinner").
So are we. And not just the next step by the city -- but the next steps, and routes, of the trucks themselves. News from your favorite taco trucks? Comment below.
Tacos El Galuzo, 5555 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles (as of 10 p.m. yesterday).
-- Amy Scattergood
Correction: As many readers have pointed out, the new regulations apply to unincorporated parts of the county of Los Angeles (I incorrectly referred to the city of Los Angeles).
Photo by Amy Scattergood