What better way to raise money for the relief efforts in Haiti than through the novelty of 21 of LA’s food trucks? Maybe a Celine Dion benefit concert and free steak.
Last month, my friends (Andrea, Janelle, Jon and Derek) met up at the fundraiser (located on Tennessee and Butler Ave). As we parked and left the parking garage, the colorful food-filled mobiles lined up along the sidewalks and crowds of people were waiting patiently to savor the unique and delicious cuisine each one had to offer. From Dainty Cakes to Flying Pig to Get Shaved to The NomNom Truck, people were stuffing their faces and plotting their next tasty truck target.
I was able to stuff my own face with Get Shaved, LA Fusion, The Buttermilk Truck, Fishlips Sushi, and nibbles of other’s foods. The fundraiser was absolutely genius, combining a local trend with a good cause. It was indeed a happenin’ place and the turnout was well worth the efforts of each food mobile.
While ordering some Korean-Mexican fusion tacos, the young man at the counter asked me for my name. I thought nothing of it, as people get their named called out to retrieve their food quite frequently. But the 16 year-old looking chap proceeded to then ask me my age, and I was indeed caught off-guard. I answered him to not just feed into his curiosity, but also my own. It went something like this:
Really now? Someone else? Yes, I look like I’m sixteen. I forgive you. You hit on an older lady, it happens man. My curiosity had speculated it could possibly be a survey with free gifts and pretty rainbows for little ol’ me. Nope. And sure enough, when they were calling out orders, it was by our receipt numbers, not our names. Andrea had quite the laugh as I blushed and felt violated for some reason.
When we had just about fulfilled our cravings and appetite with the amazing variety of foods, we were ready to throw in our napkins and call it a day. The food truck buffet had burned quite a hole in my pocket (though most of pants already have holes from cell phone wear and tear), and Mr. Food Coma was putting up quite a fight with me. He was already throwing the punches and I was taking them like a little pansy.
So Derek, Andrea and I headed to the parking garage to retrieve my loyal steed. But upon arriving, something wasn’t right. Every door was locked and the large metal gates were down. Uh oh.
Defaulting to flustered gestures and Woody-Allen-type mumbling, I ran around the place wondering why I can be such a numb skull at times. Derek and Andrea calmed me down and tried to find a way. We eventually found a sign that explained it all: “Sat. and Sun. Parking Hours 9am-3pm.” It was 330pm.
But the Lord is full of grace and is one of power beyond petty mechanical barriers and parking restrictions. A middle-aged Asian woman angel drove up to the gate with access that we had oh-so longed for for the last fifteen minutes. We followed closely behind her car and ran in like a bunch of hoodlums.
I rushed to my car (who is possibly dealing with abandonment issues now) and we huddled to think about the next step. So we got in, but how to get out? Derek ran to an info booth and pressed for “Help” and a kind woman from the intercom world beyond told us to just drive up to the exit on the second floor. Just like that, I drove up and put my ticket in expecting to pay for overnight parking. But by a miracle and only one, I didn’t have to pay a dime. Not even for my two hours.
I drove out of their thankful for such a wonderful afternoon and able to laugh at how funny life is.
This is Amy Hu signing off for February 26th, 2010.