L.A. Food Fest...or Bust?

Saturday marked L.A.'s "first annual" Street Food Fest, an event designed to celebrate one of L.A.'s most prevalent, if not over-saturated, food trends: The Food Truck.

I had heard of the L.A. Street Food Fest via Twitter, Facebook and other foodie blogs. While it was an interesting concept, I've got to admit I was not into the idea of standing in line with (what I thought would be ) a few hundred people in an attempt to get a $3 taco I could get on any given lunch day somewhere else. I mean, I follow almost all the food trucks on Twitter and have eaten at a good number of them – Grilled Cheese, Frysmith, Komodo, Kogi and many others – so I feel like I've got a pretty good grip on the whole scene. LA Food Fest would not be getting my $5 ticket.

Then I got the email about the press pass. I had been put on a list for two press passes and the opportunity to interview the co-founders of the event itself. Granted, this email came at 10:00pm the evening before the event so clearly someone else had cancelled and I got their slot. :)

I asked Bryan if he wanted to go and he reluctantly agreed. Hey, how bad could it be? We consider those our famous last words.

"Don't view this as a line; it's an opportunity to build up an appetite."
We got to L.A. Food Fest around 10:45am, about 15 minutes after the press check-in opened. As we drove closer and closer – I'd say we were three blocks away, we hit a literal wall of people. To say we were shocked by the turnout is a complete understatement. So much so that I shoved my camera into Bryan's hands and said, "Start taking photos of all these people!" And when I say "people," I'm talking about thousands of people. This quote from the L.A. Times pretty much sums up the scene:

"...The line of eager epicures extended for blocks along South Beaudry Avenue, outside the grounds of Los Angeles Center Studios, and the wait to buy a $5 entry ticket was two hours."

The line right outside the LA Food Fest entry gate.

A patron longingly gazing at a food truck before the gates opened.

A quick snapshot as we drove by. Multiply this by about 2,000.

It was at this point that Bryan and I looked at each other, laughed incredulously and said, "Screw this. We're out of here." We went to lunch in downtown instead, agreeing that heading to a lunch truck on our own time was a much better idea.


  1. It kind of sounds like that disaster last year, the Great American Food and Blues festival or something like that, that Serious Eats was promoting. All the vendors were understaffed, the payment system wasn't working, etc. etc.

  2. we were debating whether or not to go. i am glad my instincts paid off and we decided to skip it!

  3. Skipped it! :) Like you mentioned, I catch the trucks on my own time...and without having to pay $5! I'm still gonna check out Art Walk or something like that where there are more trucks around...but without the mad house!


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