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L.A. food trucks keep on rolling

July 22, 2009 | 11:34 am

A convoy of meals on wheels outside the Geffen Contemporary at last month's Dwell on Design movie night. Credit: Stefano Paltera / For The TimesAs a sprawling metropolis without a distinct center and with few unifying public venues on the scale of New York’s Times Square or D.C.’s National Mall, Los Angeles may be the ideal city for mobile food. "We have tons of parking lots that can be turned into hubs of activity in mere minutes by the presence of a taco truck," says James Rojas, founder and co-chair of the Latino Urban Forum and a transportation planner for L.A.’s Metro.

In fact, many Los Angeles neighborhoods have a long-established street food tradition with roving vendors that sell corn, tamales, paletas, gelados and champurrado.The latest twist on the tradition is a wave of nouveau food trucks selling "gourmet" everything: hot dogs, cupcakes, tacos, ice cream sandwiches.

But as innovators and imitators crowd the mobile market, will the hungry hordes follow? That's the issue we examine in today's story about the new wave of food trucks springing up throughout L.A. -- and beyond.

-- Elina Shatkin

Photo: A convoy of meals on wheels outside the Geffen Contemporary at last month's Dwell on Design movie night. Credit: Stefano Paltera / For The Times

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