On the trail of the Kogi truck: Coming to terms with Twitter

Like thinking people everywhere, I see little use for the social networking site Twitter. My life is complicated; can it really be summed up in 150 characters or less? Do the people who depend on me for guidance and moral leadership deserve to only know part of my brain? Furthermore, what can they glean from

Mavervorl Killing our fish and ducks. less than 20 seconds ago from web

But I’ve found the one use of Twitter that is neither narcissistic nor extraneous: Tracking the Kogi trucks as they make their lonely journey across Los Angeles.

Deployed exactly six months ago, the two Kogi trucks, which serve a blend of Korean food in traditional Mexican enclosures – like kimchi tacos – “tweet” their locations for their nightly stops, which regularly draw hundreds of people.

Taco trucks, or loncheros, are a cultural institution in Los Angeles. But last year the L.A. County Board of Supervisors passed a law that would make it a misdemeanor to park for more than one hour in one location. And this law has teeth: supported by stationary restaurateurs who claimed the loncheros were unfair competition, it levies fines of up to $1000 for any truck overstaying its limit.

Since the Kogi trucks cannot say for sure where they will be or when (the website gives approximate times and locations), the “Roja” and “Verde” trucks will tweet their coordinates only when their destinations are certain. Then crowds gather.

Thus the clientele at a recent Kogi stop in Eagle Rock all seemed to have smartphones. Scheduled to arrive at 10 p.m., the truck rolled in around 10:15 to a crowd of about 110 and applause. I might have been the oldest person in line. I texted a few people (I AM AT THE KGI TSUCK) but the lack of a QWERTY keyboard and an Internet connection made me feel like an imposter.

Because of my age, I became their leader. Tiny UCLA and USC students sat at my feet and listened, rapt, to my stories of a time when mixing Korean food with Mexican food was known as a Mistake.

But the line was long. From my arrival to the time the food arrived ($5 burritos, sliders, and quesadillas, $2 tacos) was almost two hours. My suggestion? Drink.

The Kogi truck staff is friendly and, by the time we drew closer to the truck, there was a festive atmosphere. But by now we had gone beyond curious and were now hungry, so we needed the eventual food to be exceptional.

And it was. I ordered the sliders, some tacos, and the quesadilla. The sliders were unlike anything I’d ever tasted. I can see becoming addicted to this food. The quesadillas were too concentrated, the tacos too dissipated, but the sliders were a perfect combination of spicy exotic and tastes more to my limited understanding.

So I’ll be back, and I suppose Twitter has won this round.

See also: Kogi BBQ

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