Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Outlaw Food in L.A.

[EDIT: I removed the embedded player because it was fuckin' it up for everyone. Click on the link below to watch.]

Drew Carrey explores the underground economy of the bacon-wrapped hotdog. (Linked in case the embedded player doesn't work, which I suspect it won't.) I'm not sure where I fall on this. From reading the L.A. Weekly piece on this a few weeks ago, it sounds like the city has some good reasons to regulate the carts, but then you get to this part:

You see, the typical bacon-wrapped hot-dog enthusiast, as Palacios points out, isn't likely to notice that there are two tiers in L.A.'s hot-dog-vendor community. On top are licensed vendors who sell dogs and snacks from motorized Cushman carts that are often modified (sometimes outside of code), depending on what the vendor is hawking. Their vehicles are registered, their fees paid. Every day, their carts return to commissaries, where the vehicles must be cleared, scrubbed and stored...Below the legal vendors are the more ubiquitous operators of homemade carts, which usually consist of propane tanks strapped to modified baby strollers, Target shopping carts or, in most cases, tool carts. They operate completely outside of codes and regulations, their particular rules and organizational methods a mystery to outsiders...Palacios says she sees a double standard.

"[An inspector] came to check me, and the piratas were there, in front of us, and I said, 'Hey, why don't they move them? What happened?'" Palacios recalls. "She said, 'Oh, they get aggressive,' and I said, 'Oh, you want me to get aggressive?' [The inspector] says, 'You know what? I have your ID. If you get aggressive, I put you in jail, and I can't do that to them, because I don't know who they are.'"


And the woman they talk to actually spent 45 days in jail for selling heart attack dogs! Well, it's typical gummint bullshit, but not nearly as bad as the current War on Taco Trucks. Oh, you didn't know?

Led by District 1 County Supervisor Gloria Molina, the L.A. Board of Supervisors has passed new restrictions that will effectively eliminate taco trucks from our streets. Under Supervisor Molina’s new rules, taco trucks will have to change location every hour, or face a misdemeanor charge carrying a $1000 fine and/or jail. Yes, jail.

You can click on the above link to sign a petition. The ban seems to have stemmed from businesses complaining about taco trucks parking outside of their restaurants, which must be a very aggrivating thing. I know it's hard as hell to keep a business afloat, but stomping on the people a rung below you on the ladder isn't the way. Bandini observes, "Noone thinks it’s right for a taco truck to park directly in front of a restaurant. But as usual LA city officials lack any creative solutions to the problem. Maybe implementing a law where a taco truck cannot park within a certain radius of a brick and mortar restaurant would please everyone."

3 Comments:

Blogger Chest said...

God, please don't ban the trucks! Some of the best fish tacos and chicken quesadillas I've ever had have come from these babies. One down in San Diego on a rundown corner very close to the border, and another in Hollywood on Western just south of Sunset.

And now I'm fiending. Thanks a lot, Chris!

4/29/2008 4:39 PM  
Blogger Chris Oliver said...

I had a really good one a few weeks ago on Eagle Rock Blvd., down near the 2. Tacos El Dorado, I think? It had two big scorpions painted on the back, and the al pastor was spicy and greasy and awesomey.

4/30/2008 1:15 PM  
Blogger Chest said...

Hmmm, don't think I've ever seen it. Scorpions, huh?

Al pastor... goddamn... I'm salivating.

4/30/2008 11:49 PM  

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