Writer/director Jon Favreau just jumped on the food truck bandwagon with his film “Chef,” a familiar story of a gifted cook who leaves his restaurant job to take up serving phenomenal grub to customers through a tiny window. Roy Choi, the guy everyone from Los Angeles knows was an inspiration for Favreau’s character, reignited the massive food truck following when he started rolling his Kogi BBQ truck through the city. LA and street food: like peas in a pod, one might think.
The only trouble with street food and LA is that there is no citywide street vending policy. Only under certain circumstances and with special permission can streets or neighborhoods form vending districts. For some, keeping a tight leash on street vending is logical. A policy to legalize street vending throughout LA would require coordination among a number of city agencies, including law enforcement and the Health Department. Many cite the distinct possibility of theft or assault on street vendors as reason enough to put the brakes on a citywide program.
On the other hand, the red tape and other barriers to setting up shop on the streets of LA can put a real damper on vibrant businesses. Many supporters (including Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council, who already submitted a CIS!) note that street vending adds to the culture, ethnic diversity, and culinary prowess of our city, not to mention the economic opportunities for vendors and their neighborhoods. For anyone who has grabbed a taco from a truck or a banana from a fruit stand, food trucks and other street vendors can be a welcome sight.
How does your Neighborhood Council feel about the proposed changes? While the Economic Development Committee waits on another report from the Chief Legislative Analyst, you can read up on the details of the proposal and the opinions already shared in Council File 13-493. Add your CIS to the mix!