Street Food Profiles: The Grilled Cheese Truck in Los Angeles

Note: It's time for another edition of Street Food Profiles. This week we scoot to Southern California for melty cheese sandwiches on wheels.


[Art: Misha Nonyabusiness]

Name: The Grilled Cheese Truck
Vendors: CEO (Cheese Executive Officer) Michele Grant and chef Dave Danhi
Twitter: @grlldcheesetruk
What's on the menu? Grilled cheese sandwiches of course! And soup and tater tots. Check out the whole menu here.

Location and hours? All over Los Angeles. Right now we're focusing on lunch with some dinner and late-night service thrown in as well.

How long have you been street fooding? We're brand new—just a month.

How has Twitter affected business? We love Twitter! It's been our main means of getting the word out ever since we were in the planning stages. And now that we're melting through the streets, it's even more invaluable.


Harvest Sandwich: roasted butternut squash with sauteed leeks, balsamic, and agave syrups. [Photographs: Robert Danhi]

Why a mobile business over brick-and-mortar? We believe very strongly in the burgeoning street food scene taking Los Angeles (and the whole country) by storm.

Who are your typical customers? Any special regulars? The nostalgic aspect of our product seems to attract a wide range of customers. We're so new we don't really have regulars yet. But we do have quite the dedicated Twitter following.

Describe a typical day from start to finish. Our day starts with the prepping of soups and sides—and of course the elements for our MELTs—and getting the truck on the road to our lunch service location. Then we head back to homebase. We prep again or load up and head out for dinner or late-night service, then head home again, put the truck and any leftover product to bed—and then do it all again the next day.


Dessert Melt: roasted banana puree, Nutella, and marshmallow.

What are/were you doing before this? Dave Danhi was a chef for years, working in and heading up some of the most notable restaurants in Los Angeles. In addition to starting The Grilled Cheese Truck, he owns a hospitality placement company called DDfactor.

Michele Grant, in addition to grilled cheese-ing, is a private chef and food coach focusing on healthy diets. She has spent the last 10 years working with people coping with various illnesses and teaching individuals how to nourish themselves with the best and freshest foods possible.

What makes your food so special? We're using the best ingredients we can get our hands on to make food that seems to have a universal appeal. We do it with love and a great appreciation for the art of making a really good sandwich.

How would you define "street food"? Any food bought from vendors selling outside of a brick and mortar establishment.

The best street food city and why. Gonna have to say Los Angeles—it's our hometown!

Your comfort food after a long day? Uh, grilled cheese?

Advice for an aspiring vendor? It's lots of hard work and long hours, but if you have a passion for it, do it.