If you see a bright teal-colored food truck cruising around Los Angeles with a picture of a man in a sombrero next to a hasidic Jewish man, don't be alarmed. It is, of course, the latest L.A. food truck.
The El Nosh Latin Delicatessen food truck is the brain child of chef Eric Greenspan (The Foundry, The Roof) and Robert Trevino (owner of five restaurants in Puerto Rico), and they plan on serving Latin-Jewish fusion food.
If you're wondering what a Latin-Jewish menu looks like, it's a little bit of both worlds stuffed into a mini burrito, grilled in a quesadilla and sandwiched between two pieces of hallah.
"He's Latin, I'm Jewish... it just makes sense," said Greenspan, standing beside his food truck, wearing a black El Nosh t-shirt. The truck held a preview event at the Ace Museum parking lot Thursday. "We were like let's just do Latin-Jewish food, it will be fun."
"But that's classic of how we think," interjected Trevino, also dressed in a black El Nosh shirt and an apron tied around his waist. "We want to present the world with something totally new and outrageous."
The menu includes yucca latkes with a mango crema ($3.50), pastrami and dill pickle croquetas with mustard sauce ($5), lishka mofongo nuggets with corned beef and green mole ($5), a mole brisket burrito made with carrot tzimmis and crushed peanuts ($4.50), a whitefish torta with lime crema, fried plantain, cucumber and radish on a hallah roll ($5), smoked salmon and cream cheese quesadilla with red onion and caper salad ($6), a falafel taco with guacamole tahini, cabbage and roasted peppers ($3) and for dessert, a guava cream cheese blintz ($4) and churros with poppy seed and sesame crust served with prune and melted gelt dip ($4).
People waiting for food at the preview event chuckled as they read the menu items, but according to Greenspan, that's the point.
"This is literally like the first vaudevillian cooking concept because people read the menu and the concept and they laugh before they ever taste the food," said Greenspan. "It's meant to be funny, it's mean to be sort of like a character itself. We take the food seriously, but it's meant to not be serious."
The two friends, who met while competing on the show "Next Iron Chef America," started the El Nosh concept as a pop-up. They did a tasting menu dinner in San Juan, cooked for sold out pop up events in New York City, launched a truck there, and are now bringing the concept to L.A. with the help of Mobi Munch, a company that acts as a one-stop shop for everything you need to launch a food truck.
"Obviously in New York City, L.A., Miami, there's a huge population of Latin and Jewish people and it seemed very interesting," said Josh Tang, founder and CEO of Mobi Munch. It's different, not like any other fusion concept out there."
The people working on the truck will be a mixture of Mobi Munch employees and some that have worked with Greenspan for years at The Foundry on Melrose. The truck is slated to hit the streets of L.A. in a couple weeks and will have locations up on its website, Twitter and Facebook.
The menu will pretty much stay the same, but the two chefs do plan on bringing some specials they served on a truck in New York to L.A.
"We plan on doing these Jewben sliders," said Greenspan with a laugh. "Can we call it Jewben?"
"We can," said Trevino. "Or we'll do it until somebody stops us."
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