Los Angeles District-1 County Supervisor Gloria Molina is not on great terms with her cilantro-loving community right now—they've rallied against her proposed elimination of taco trucks. New rules require mobile taquerias to actually be mobile, moving at least every hour, or else they'll run the risk of a $1,000 fine and six-month jail sentence. No more walking up to the same street corner to sniff the same meaty smoke clouds. Your friendly carne asada dealer might be a few blocks away. Why all the hate for a vehicle hawking folded maize pockets of deliciousness?
We asked Taco Bandini of the popular L.A.-based blog The Great Taco Hunt, who has been documenting and scoring taco experiences on his five-point scale since 2005, for his opinion on the street food mood swings.
"The heat has been on taco trucks for awhile now...some of the restaurant owners have a legitimate gripe when a taco truck parks in front of their restaurant, but that's really the rare instance." Instead of attempting to create a solution addressing this taqueria tussle, the county board of supervisors has implemented "a blanket policy," says Bandini, that could kill Los Angeles taco culture as we know it.
Fired-up taco zealots have responded with webby grassroots movements, such as the Save Our Taco Trucks Facebook group, which spiked from eight to 90 since yesterday, and saveourtacotrucks.org, pushing readers to sign a petition. There are already almost 1,000 on board. Taco Bandini is one of them, and for the love of tacos, you should too. To contact Gloria Molina directly about this cultural disaster, send e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author: Erin Zimmer, our Washington, D.C., correspondent, is a new media analyst and frequently writes for Washingtonian, DCist, and other local publications. While Georgetown's food columnist, she investigated the cafeteria's omelet station, Hoya coffeeshop's cultish pumpkin muffins, and what exactly the basketball players ate.