I had a pretty big food truck week last week. It actually took me a while to remember what I ate on Tuesday, which is pretty sad. Dim Sum on Saturday, Nom Nom on Monday, Vesuvio on Tuesday, Border Grill on Friday. I don’t have pictures of all of it though. I keep forgetting to take photos of the Border Grill tacos, but oh my gosh that fish taco is divine. So, here is what I do have:
I have never had authentic Vietnamese banh mi, so I don’t know how this sandwich holds up in comparison. I only know that I love this sandwich. I had it a couple of times and passed it up a couple of times at the Century Blvd truck lot because I thought it would always be there. Then they went off the road for a couple of months, which was rough. But, now they’re back!
There are a variety of meats you can get on your banh mi, but I always go with grilled pork. It also includes: cilantro, marinated carrots/daikon radish, cucumbers, jalapenos (which I leave off), and some sort of mayonnaise spread. I don’t even like cilantro, but I don’t mind it on this sandwich for some reason. The marinated vegetables are amazingly tangy, the grilled pork is to die for, the baguette is perfect. I really do adore this sandwich.
As a side note, I got curious about the origins of banh mi – turns out it’s a remnant of French colonialism in Indochina. Hence the baguette!
Also last week, I finally found the Dim Sum Truck at Santa Monica College. From left to right above, there is a peking duck taco, shrimp har gow dumplings, and steamed chicken and mushroom buns. The dumplings were amazing. The taco was really good too (but not as good as the duck taco from the Flying Pig truck). The buns were okay too but not my favorite. However, the problem here could be more that I don’t love buns than that they weren’t good. A bit too starchy for my taste, I definitely prefer dumplings.
Again, I haven’t really had authentic dim sum (I find the ordering process overwhelming), so I don’t know how this truck compares. However, I have heard that it is really good dim sum (particularly for Westside Los Angeles).
Since we got an origin story for banh mi, here’s one for dim sum as well. Did you know that dim sum originated from tea houses that opened along the Silk Road to provide food to travelers? It’s true.