Saturday, July 6, 2013

Foodie Adventuring // Abbot Kinney First Fridays

Abbot Kinney First Fridays // Sidewalk View

While on our impromptu excursion to Sprinkles Cupcakes Wednesday, Maria suggested that I hit up an Abbot Kinney First Friday since I love foodie adventuring so much. I'd heard about it in passing before, but hadn't taken the time to look up the details since school was still in session. But now it's summer. Which means time to play...

Abbot Kinney First Fridays // The Bun Truck

One thing you should know about Abbot Kinney First Fridays: there's no address given online and there isn't really a set time either. Which meant that Matt, Ethan, and I were just guessing as to where and when this foodie street fest started. Which resulted in us driving randomly around Venice at 6 PM in the evening, looking for a large gathering of food trucks.

We finally ended up hitting Main Street, which I know quite well from my Winter/Spring quarter internship {*sigh* I love Venice}, so I got to show the guys where I worked. That detour had the added bonus of finding a parking spot right across the street that we decided to take since (1) we hadn't had any luck finding parking so far and (2) it was still pretty bright out, so we thought we'd just walk the rest of the way... however long that was.

Abbot Kinney First Fridays // The Bun Truck Menu

After walking for about three short blocks, we happened across the main event. Since we apparently got there a little early, the sidewalks weren't as crowded as all the Yelp reviews had complained it would be by around 8 PM. We were grateful since we got the chance to look at all the menus and choices before going back and making our decisions.

Round One: The Bun Truck. Funnily enough, out of the many choices on the menu, the three of us ended up getting the same exact thing-- the Kalbi Bun {kalbi marinated sirloin, tempura onion, mixed greens, and aioli}. That deep fried onion was ahmazing. The aioli was surprisingly hot {like SPICY hot}. The bun overall actually quite filling. The guy behind the counter really cute. *laughs*

Abbot Kinney First Fridays // The Bun Truck Kalbi Bun

The guys had seen another truck they wanted to try, so we headed over there. Related sidenote, I have a tendency to read whatever's in front of me, so when I saw this sign on the sidewalk, I burst out laughing. Matt happened to be game enough to take a picture with it.

Abbot Kinney First Fridays // Nerds with Social Skills

Mom, this next one is for you!

Round Two: Flying Pig {motto: heavenly taste}. I didn't see anything I absolutely had to have at this stop, plus I had just finished the Kalbi bun, so I decided to skip this round. Besides, several of their tacos included the ingredient "death sauce" in them, which sounds kind of scary, no?

Abbot Kinney First Fridays // Flying Pig Truck

To your left is Matt's Carne Asada taco {marinated skirt steak with shiitake mushroom, cilantro, scallion, and death sauce}. To your right is Ethan's Tamarind Duck {duck confit with pickled red beets, toasted almonds, radish sprouts, mandarin orange, and tamarind gravy}.

The tacos weren't actually very substantial... if you look at the size of the tortilla compared to the size of the hands holding the paper container, you'll see what I mean. I actually have a picture of Matt's face once he saw how small his food was. Not happeh. Although they may not have loved the portions, the guys did admit the tacos tasted good. And I asked. The "death sauce" wasn't actually as killer as implied.

Abbot Kinney First Fridays // Flying Pig Truck Tacos

This was definitely a fun event. My inner foodie was completely geeking out over the more well-known food trucks that showed up: Coolhaus, Kogi, The Grilled Cheese Truck, and a bunch of others.

Matt and I joked that there was definitely a hierarchy going on-- all the "popular kids" grouped together in this one little parking lot where the long lines meant crazy confusion and insane crowds {but also major hype}. Think exclusive. The loners and new kids lingered amidst the small side streets, where they were easily ignored and seldom seen. The nerds arrived early and saved the best seats right on Abbot Kinney, thinking ahead and looking at the bottom line. Abbot Kinney is definitely a food truck version of high school.

Abbot Kinney First Fridays // Group Picture

That being said, while I enjoyed myself and would return to wander around... First Fridays aren't the place to go if you're actually hungry. The prices are set at food truck rates {which tend to run higher than normal fare and I totally understand, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a tad expensive to make this a regular thing}, so if you're going for novelty's sake or because you like the atmosphere, then yes, it's perfect. If you're going to actually eat a meal... not the best. Definitely a "try it at least once" type thing though.

The three of us went out for dinner in Sawtelle after checking out all the trucks and reading their menus. A few concoctions caught our eye and had the lines been shorter, we might have tried them, but the guys were getting hungry, so it was time to go.

Awkward story of the night: As we were walking down the sidewalk, pausing every now and then to read a menu or let me take a picture, Matt suddenly stops and asks, "Wait. Was that Phil?" Ethan and I were like, "What? Phil? *confused*" Apparently, Matt had indeed seen Phil from Wong Fu Productions wander past us, but wasn't willing to ask for a photo. So I had to take a slightly stalker picture to satisfy his curiosity {"Was that really Phil? It is, isn't it?! Zoom in"}. *sigh* Sorry for the creeper pic, Phil.


Things crossed off Summer 2013 List: eat at a food truck & explore First Fridays on Abbot Kinney Blvd.

1 comment:

  1. Yay! I love the Flying Pig logo, especially the rear view! Thanx!