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#foodbeast Cravings Features Food Trends Food Trucks FOODBEAST Now Trending Video What's New

Las Vegas Food Truck Serving Up BIRRIA-STUFFED Tamales

Birria has been booming in the food scene outside of those in the know recently. For those that have been up on it, they’ll probably tell you, “What took y’all so long?”

And I get it, birria, from its origins in Jalisco, Mexico to the widespread appeal it enjoys today, is something that shouldn’t be treated as some new trend. Proponents (which I assume would be pretty much anyone that’s had it because it’s f*cking delicious) will extoll the virtues of its savory allure all day, all the while pointing you in every direction to where you can enjoy it in different iterations and contemporary takes. This then can take you into a fantastic journey that will have you feasting through creative takes like birria ramen and birria pizza.

However, keep going further in that journey and you might find yourself in Las Vegas, Nevada, just like I did, where birria takes on the form of tamales. Yes, the concept of birria has now found a home inside a warm tamal, with melty cheese as its roommate, all courtesy of El Tamalucas, the city’s first tamale food truck.

Since opening El Tamalucas in 2014, owner Saul Talavera has innovated his recipes and expanded the repertoire of his takes on the iconic dish, which include unique selections like chicken alfredo tamales and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos tamales. His next hit is the BirriQueso Tamale Dunkers, which I described earlier, and is a holy trinity of birria, consomé, and cheese. My mouth just watered typing out that sentence and now I’m fighting the urge to buy a plane ticket to Las Vegas. That’s because these tamales were one of the best things I’d eaten this year and the memories of having it look like a rush of the rich, bold consomé-soaked, cheese and birria-stuffed tamale cascading down my greedy gullet.

If you’re trying to catch a glorious fever dream off one bite, absolutely look up El Tamalucas when you’re out making questionable decisions in Las Vegas.

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Design Entrepreneurship Technology What's New

A Movie Screen Food Truck Exists And I Want To Book It ASAP

While the pandemic has kept us out of movie theaters, folks have been trying to find fun alternatives to just chilling to Netflix on the couch.

Unfortunately, not everybody has a drive-in theater or a projector screen on handy to get outdoors with films. However, a new concept could be promising, as it brings both the flicks and the food to your driveway.

Photo courtesy of Blue Bunny

As part of an ongoing sweepstakes/giveaway, Blue Bunny has constructed a custom truck that serves up ice cream AND comes with a 11-foot by 6-foot movie screen. It can roll up to your driveway, get you some treats, and serve as your out-of-home theater all in one.

We can get outdoors but still be comfortably safe, social distance on the lawn, get some awesome treats, and cozy up for a big screen film all at the same time. Sounds like a fantastic experience to get on your own front lawn.

It would be dope if we could book this for ourselves, but for this iteration, Blue Bunny is limiting the truck to a few select cities and a chance to get the truck in your driveway. You can enter at Funlightenment.com to try and secure one of those private screenings, which can happen in either Denver, Chicago, Cincinnati, St. Louis, or Le Mars, Iowa, depending on the date.

Photo courtesy of Blue Bunny

Even if this is just a one-time giveaway for now, though, this is something food truck owners everywhere should take note of. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I would be down to book one of my favorite food trucks for a private screening if they could bring me some awesome eats alongside a giant screen to play my film of choice on.

Could be an interesting and cool new way for food trucks to make money, but for people to also get outside in a safe and fun way to watch movies.

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Culture Entrepreneurship Film/Television Food Trucks Hit-Or-Miss

How Getting Fired Reignited Roy Choi’s Flame For Cooking and Lead To The Kogi Truck’s Success

Famed Los Angeles-based chef Roy Choi was a recent guest on Talib Kweli’s burgeoning podcast “People’s Party.” They discussed a range of topics which included Choi’s upbringing, hip-hop’s contribution to his culinary journey, as well as the importance of community. Likening the overly-corporatized world of food to that of music industry major labels, it took being fired from celebrity hot-spot Rock Sugar to reignite Choi’s flame for cooking. He recalled his sudden “writer’s block” while preparing for the restaurant’s opening:

“I became a deer in headlights [everything], almost like I had amnesia. I woke up and couldn’t remember almost everything I was very proficient at. Like if you were to wake up and not know how to rhyme.”

Choi’s dismissal was a blessing in disguise, resulting in a slew of successful independent ventures like Chego!, A-Frame, Commissary, POT, LocoL and well-known catalyst Kogi BBQ. That’s Kogi with a “hard G,” by the way. Shedding the corporate chains allowed Choi to engage his dormant creative spirit. It also helped to inspire an evolution in the food world, with many others following suit into the great food truck unknown

What separated this new school of culinary adventure seekers was the ability to reconnect with the everyday person. An industry once divided between fine dining and mom and pop spots was now experiencing a renaissance as fantastic fusions entered the fray. This freshly found zeal flooded the streets of Los Angeles, overtaking a land once occupied solely by Latino taqueros. With respect to LA’s OG food truckers, Choi admits his initial unease:

“I was always torn between it because for us, there was a whole life and generation before this modern food truck movement. And that’s the culture of the Latino taqueros, especially in Los Angeles. And I think it’s really important to respect your elders and the generation before you and really pay homage to the work that they did for the streets.” 

For Choi, the first bite is key. Without all of the various attractions of a traditional restaurant, a food truck’s first bite determines its success. Going beyond mere business exploitation, there has to exist a real love for the food and respect for the street culture connected to it. “If you don’t love the streets, I don’t see how your street food will evolve or be a success,” Choi says.

Believing money to be merely one ingredient in the recipe of life, it’s the connection to community and communion that has fueled Choi’s creative spirit. These are the pillars he’s built each of his ventures upon. Moving ever-forward while never forgetting the root of his inspiration, Choi further accentuates:  

“Those are the cornerstones of Kogi; hanging out in the parking lot, watching the sun go down, watching the street lamps go up, sharing with each other, talking to each other, going out of your way to be considerate and kind to each other, and still represent the streets.”

Check out Choi’s interview with Talib Kweli on People’s Party to hear more in depth about his growth, current beliefs, and future goals.

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#foodbeast Food Trucks FOODBEAST News SPONSORED

These Kimchi Fried Chicken Bao Are Being Given Out For FREE, Here Are The Details


Fluffy bao combine with crispy chicken in an explosive combination of flavors in this handheld delicacy.

These Fried Chicken Kimchi Bao were created by celebrity chef Brian Malarkey, who runs the greenACRE Campus Pointe restaurant in San Diego, California. His take on the fluffy bao bun adds levels of texture and taste with each component.

Malarkey starts off with double-breaded tempura fried chicken that’s tossed in a furikake seasoning. That’s topped off with a spicy aioli, kimchi, pickled Fresno chili, and some fresh vegetables for multiple layers of crunch. The sweet bao bun intermingles with the heat of the aioli and kimchi for a delicate and delectable balance of flavor.

If you’re interested in checking this item out, it’ll be given out for FREE via the Hubert’s Lemon A Go Go Truck, where it will be paired with bottles of Hubert’s Raspberry and Strawberry Lemonades. For more information on the giveaway, head to foodbeast.com/huberts.


Created in partnership with Hubert’s. 

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Fast Food News

For One Day, In-N-Out Will Open A Burger Pop-Up In Canada

Here in the West Coast, we’ve been spoiled with the abundant avaliablilty of In-N-Out Burger. At a whim, I could merge into a drive-thru and order up a 3×3 with Animal Style fries in a matter of minutes. We sometimes forget that it’s just not that easy in other parts of the continent.

For places like Metro Vancouver, you’d have to wait once a year to sink your teeth into a glorious Double Double. Next month the Langley Good Times Cruise-In, a massive charity event for fans of retro cars, will once again play host to the California-based burger chain.

According to the Daily Hive, In-N-Out will travel to Canada to spend a day serving burgers to hungry car enthusiasts by food truck. Fans eager to try In-N-Out will be able to order burgers throughout the day of the event.

Unfortunately, they won’t get the full experience though. While the previous years offered the chain’s famous burgers, accoutrements such as their fresh-cut fries and milkshakes have yet to make an appearance. Still, here’s hoping.

Those living in, or near, Vancouver who have yet to try In-N-Out may want to mark their calendars. The burger chain will be around only on Sept. 18. Proceeds from the In-N-Out burger sales will be donated to the Cruise-In charities.

Categories
Culture Features Hit-Or-Miss

Roy Choi’s Upcoming Las Vegas Restaurant Will Be A Hip-Hop Themed Ode To Los Angeles

Roy Choi

As the godfather of the food truck movement, nothing seems too adventurous or intrepid for Roy Choi when it comes to culinary expansion. The esteemed People’s Chef has been riding for Los Angeles’ food scene and Angelenos for a decade now, using different vehicles in the form of varied dining concepts along the way to drive his vision of what a true Los Angeles food experience should be along with impressing upon us the crucial role a sense of community has with food.

That decade of experience under his belt has earned him a status as one of Los Angeles’ culinary torch bearers, and as such has lent his time and expertise to speaking panels and discussions highlighting the landscape of food today. Speaking at the recent dineLA discussion panel, he reflected on the restaurant week’s ten year anniversary along with what he’s contributed to the L.A. food scene within the decade.

“I feel like I’ve laid a lot of groundwork in the past ten years, in regards to what I’ve done for the food world and the community. And it leads me to right now, where I’m focused on prosperity, not only for myself and my businesses, but also for the things I’m involved in and everything we represent.”

2018 is definitely looking like a prosperous one for Choi, what with the recent news of him working on a new restaurant at the upcoming Park MGM in Las Vegas, the recent launch of his own line of food products with Williams-Sonoma, and the opening of another Locol location within a Whole Foods in San Jose. All of such are major moves and indicate just how much Choi wants to level up in this new year.

“I feel like I’ve been making independent films. But what if I had a studio budget, you know? What if I had a Pacific Rim or Transformers budget? Then really, what can we do? And the first piece to that is Vegas.”

This talk of big budget translates to an 8,000 square foot space where Choi promises, “It’s gonna be poppin’.” The genesis and mood board for the yet unnamed Las Vegas project comes from Koreatown and the Line Hotel, both hallmarks of his brand, ethos, and cooking. He’s honoring this connection by taking everything both are and supplanting it on the Las Vegas strip, creating an environment that’s proudly Los Angeles. He then goes into enthusiastic detail about the vibe and features of the forthcoming restaurant.

“I want people from L.A. to walk in and be like, ‘FUCK YEAH‘ and ‘OHHH SHIIIT‘, you know? I want you to roll up with all your friends and feel at home. And then I want people from elsewhere to feel like they’re getting a good glimpse into what it’s like to live in Los Angeles. We’re very aware that this is gonna be a Vegas restaurant. So we won’t shy away from the big and spectacular. If they can recreate the cities of Paris and Rome in Vegas, I want to recreate Los Angeles, too, with varied levels of nuance.”

Such nuances mean we can expect big speakers and the bombastic sounds of L.A. area hip-hop to fill the space. It means that the Beat Junkies will be deejaying some nights and rapper Dumbfoundead will be on the mic on others. It also means that Choi is eager to fill a void where hip-hop has not succeeded in Las Vegas. “I want this to be a hip-hop restaurant,” he declares. And in a city dominated by the grinding wobble and pulsing thump of EDM, having a spot dedicated to hip-hop would be a fresh and welcome addition to Sin City.

“I’m ready, man. I’m not afraid of anything. I’m not only looking to learn and grow from Vegas, but also offer everything that I can do with where I come from. I want to make an impact. I want to make a change. If I didn’t believe in this project, I would have created just a cookie cutter restaurant. But I’m here to create a feeling, an experience. I could fall flat on my face, but I’m willing to gamble on that.”

Whether or not the pun was intended, the statement is fitting. But from what we’ve seen from Roy Choi and what he can do with his passion for food and community, it’s a safe bet that his 2018 is looking to be one filled with the prosperity he’s craving.

 

Photos: MGM Resorts International
Categories
Food Trucks Sweets

Take Dessert Seriously With This Funnel Cake Sesame Ice Cream Cone Topped With Kit Kats

If you’re one to plan your Saturday around devouring tons of savory items at a food festival, you’ll want to know where you can find some sweet offerings to refresh your palette every so often. Don’t worry we got you.

Created by Drizzle, an Orange County-based dessert truck, this massive Sweet Sesame Cone can only be found in one place, on one day, for foodies looking to chase rare and exclusive desserts.

The Drizzle truck will debut the item at FOODBEAST’s AYCE Asian food Festival NOODS NOODS NOODS presented by Original Cup Noodles. Mark your calendars because the food festival will take place Saturday, Jan. 27 in Santa Ana, CA.

Guests of the event will get to indulge in a funnel cake cone that’s filled with sesame ice cream and stacked with coconut jelly and whipped cream. If that wasn’t enough to pique your interest, the dessert is finished with Matcha-flavored Kit Kats, sprinkles, matcha powder, and condensed milk.

If you’re interested in sinking your teeth into this sweet sesame ice cream cone, or trying tons of other Asian-inspired dishes, you can purchase tickets to NOODS NOODS NOODS here. Ticket options include Marketplace (buy as you go) or VIP (all you can consume for three hours).

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Cravings Food Trucks

We’re Down For The Fire That Are Spicy Bulgogi Dumplings

Every time we see dumplings offered on a menu, we have to order it. Dumplings, for us, is that one dish that everyone can share, bringing a table together and setting the tone for a great dining experience. If you’re a fan of savory, pan-seared dumplings, you’re going to want to check this out.

The Mad Dumplings truck created these exclusive pan-fried bulgogi beef dumplings for this year’s FOODBEAST’s AYCE Asian food Festival NOODS NOODS NOODS presented by Original Cup Noodles, taking place on Saturday, Jan. 27 in Santa Ana, CA.

The dumplings are served over a bed of spicy sesame gochujang noodles and are garnished with scallions, kimchi, and topped with sesame seeds.

Noodle lovers and fans of Asian fusion food should definitely check out this year’s NOODS Festival. You can purchase your tickets here. Ticket types include Marketplace (buy as you go), or VIP (all you can consume for three hours).