Canvas has only been on the streets for two weeks. Seeing their initial debut in Long Beach, I checked out their website and was impressed by their ambitious menu. After all, if you’ve seen the inside of a leased food truck, you would see that they don’t have much in the way of appliances.
Executive Chef and owner, Joseph Gotti, is extremely friendly and has an engaging personality. He has an impeccable resume and has worked for Patina, La Toque (Napa Valley), Water Grill, Granita and other notable restaurants. When I asked him why he would want to start a food truck, he replied that he wanted to test his concept and gauge the popularity using a food truck as the vehicle.
I was also introduced to Chef Arturo Hererra. The team of Gotti and Herrera have been working together as a team for the last 10 years in restaurants such as Patina, Brü Grille and Market.
While Chef Gotti isn’t calling it ‘farm to table’, his concept is similar being ‘fresh and seasonal’. From talking to him, it’s quite obvious that he takes great pride in sourcing the best and the freshest ingredients. He sources his produce at the Santa Monica and Hollywood Farmers markets. His pork is from Jimenez Family Farm and his beef is grass fed from Paso Prime.
My wife and I ordered a number of different items so that we could taste as much as possible. If a menu appeals to us, we typically end up ordering anything that looks remotely interesting. Due to the amount, we typically have to store some of the remainders as leftovers in the fridge.
A fellow food truck friend tipped me off on his rib item. Chef Gotti uses baby back ribs, smoking them for 12 hours. He then liberally coats them with a special BBQ sauce. It’s presented with coleslaw underneath followed by a large slice of Hawaiian sweet bread. The ribs were extremely tender and fell off the bone. The sauce was thick and sweet with a bit of tartness.
Two salads caught my attention. The tricolor beet salad with fresh berries, goat cheese croutons with balsamic vinaigrette was ordered. As you can see it is quite colorful. What amazed me was the flavor explosion of the fresh and flavorful berries. It made for a delightful experience when paired with the balsamic vinegar dressing. Small cubes of goat cheese are breaded and fried to create the ‘crouton’.
I also ordered the Crab Nicoise style salad. It was very similar to a classic Nicoise salad except that fresh Dungeness lump meat crab was used instead of salmon. Chef Gotti created a special Meyer lemon dressing that paired quite nicely with the crab. The lettuce, red potatoes and green beans were incredibly fresh and full of flavor.
Canvas is definitely pushing the envelope serving high-end restaurant quality food from a food truck. I strongly encourage you to follow them and give them a try.