While many people believe that gourmet food trucks are passé, I’m not finding that to be the case. Perhaps the movie Chef has something to do with it, but I’m finding that many of the newer trucks have chefs that have graduated from culinary schools and have worked at highly regarded restaurants.
One such example is the gourmet food truck, Carb & Nation. It is co-owned by Fata Wijaya and Kevin Micheli. Both Fata and Kevin were classically trained and worked in highly regarded restaurants. They met while working as sous chefs at Church and State in Downtown LA.
Carb & Nation’s mission is to create “chef-inspired sandwiches” and craft sodas. In achieving this goal, they don’t take shortcuts to sacrifice freshness and quality. For example, the flat bread for their sandwiches is pressed and baked to order.
They recently announced that they would do a pop-up event at the Tested LA Kitchen near Downtown LA. While it may seem silly for a person to drive to downtown LA to sample something, I felt that it was the chef’s opportunity to present something that he really thought was worth the effort.
The drive wasn’t bad because my Metro FasTrak allows me to travel in the car pool lane without an additional passenger. Carb & Nation was parked in front of the Tested LA kitchen at 3329 Division St., just south of the Glendale Freeway.
Composed of cubes of Indonesian fried chicken blended with the coconut kaffir syrup and housemade sambal chili, the Indonesian Cone did not disappoint. Beneath the chicken, I experienced slivered pickled carrots and cucumbers layered on top of coconut rice. While it was fun eating it like an ice cream cone, I got greater satisfaction by scooping out the insides. It was one surprise after another!
The other offering was the “American Cone” or buttermilk fried chicken. A goat cheese fondue sauce was drizzed over the top. It was combined with a fig Guinness (beer) reduction, figs & toasted walnuts. Underneath was a butternut squash puree and an apple-corriander coleslaw. The green apples were sliced in slivers and were extremely crisp. In my opinion, the apples really made the slaw special.
Since their menu is derived from French, Italian, modern American and Asian backgrounds, I look forward to visiting them again! Their truck schedule is posted weekly on their website.
- Carb & Nation