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.