Last year, Paula Hinkel spotlighted a few of L.A.’s finest fast food eateries on the Official SCGS Jamboree Blog. If you missed a trip to Tommy’s, Pink’s or Phillippe’s, you will want to book them into your schedule this year, and leave room for a few more.
Why the interest in fast food? Among Southern California’s many firsts, we hold the dubious distinction of being home to the inaugural “Speedee Service System” restaurant, otherwise known as MacDonald’s Restaurants.. Speedy service soon became even speedier with the drive-thru window; it was a perfect match for the automobile-loving Southern Californian.
Look into any car on a L.A. freeway during rush hour and you will find people eating and drinking from a variety of paper wrappers. Burritos, burgers, bagels, wraps, fries, chips, tall latte sips. Angelenos have a love affair with fast-food, especially Good Fast Food.
The BEST street tacos will come from a truck or corner cart, the juiciest made-to-order hot dogs are served up PDQ, and 10-minute wood-fired pizza is mostly ready when you want it.
And when you can’t get to the food, the food will come to you! Forget the old “Roach Coach” construction site grub; some of the best eats in L.A. come from “the truck.” Fans follow their favorites on Twitter so they know where and when to meet the van. Often the line is around the block even before the truck pulls on site.
Here’s a few to try in 2011 –
In-N-Out is not a hamburger stand, it’s an Institution. It’s the University of Burgers. Fresh, hot, made to order. Burbank In-N-Out is only 10-minutes away from the Marriott, next to the Burbank shopping mall. You might try the Double-Double with grilled onions and Animal Fries (from the “secret menu”: fries with special sauce, grilled onions, and cheese, served with a fork”), or a Neapolitan Shake (you can guess this one!). You can get lunch for under ten bucks and feel like a local. Looking for more In-N-Out locations? There’s an App for that!
Kogi BBQ is one of those “try it to believe it” experiences. Korean BBQ-to-go. Mr. Curator and I stood in line on the sidewalk in Eagle Rock for 45 minutes to try Calamari Tacos and the Kogi Kimchi Quesadilla. They were delicious, especially the sauce. Next time, I’m going for the short rib tacos and spicy pork burrito. Warning; the recent hike in gas prices has prompted the Kogi trucks to economize by eliminating paper napkins. Bring your own. Or wear an old t-shirt. Check out the website and follow Kogi on Twitter if you want to catch the truck.
Zankou Chicken is really MUCH more upscale than eating from a truck or at a burger stand. As In-N-Out is to burgers, Zankou is to Middle Eastern style chicken. Favorites here include the ½ roasted chicken plate with humus, pickled turnips, and pita; spit-grilled chicken Tarna; marinated steak kabob; and crisp tabbouli. The Glendale Zankou location is on the way from the Marriott to In-N-Out, so you could possibly eat both if you are hungry enough!