15. The Gastrobus

It seems like it’s been awhile since my last food truck. I realized though, that I had better hop back into it as I have less than two months (with holidays sprinkled throughout) to complete my mission. I have been extremely fortunate in the past 24 hours; two of the trucks I have been pining away for have both been in my hood! Yesterday I was able to try the Gastrobus for lunch, and today I finally checked out Mattie’s Southern Kitchen (review coming very soon). Happy days, I tell you.

The Gastrobus was set up on Sunset at Cole, yesterday for lunch. Perfect. I can park in the Staples parking lot, recycle my old ink cartridges and grab lunch. A friend met me so I could try a few different things, which is always appreciated.

The Gastrobus hit the streets this past July, run by husband and wife, Antonio (former chef for Wolfgang Puck) and Lana Medina. They serve up classic gastropub fare (obviously, minus the booze), pulled pork, skirt steak and BLT sandwiches, sweet potato (which are rumored to be phenomenal) and regular fries with homemade aioli, along with a constantly changing menu of specials. And they do something very impressive in my opinion - all of their produce is from the Sunday, Los Feliz farmer’s market and they do a special Sunday menu at the market, as well.

I sidled up to the bright yellow bus, all a flutter, to order the wild mushroom soup ($4) advertised via tweet. Yep - no asking for suggestions today, folks. I also ordered another special, the roasted turkey and cranberry chutney sandwich ($6). Had I ordered the special soup and grilled cheese together it would have only totaled $6, just so you know.

Okay. This soup was FANTASTIC. I consider myself somewhat of a soup aficionado (and I make a super mushroom soup as well) and really, this was a show-stopper. Served in a Styrofoam cup, with a plastic spoon and a drizzle of basil oil on top, this piping hot, rich, elegant soup was probably the best thing I have ordered from a truck to date, and would rival most soups I’ve had in a bowl with linens, in the finer establishments in town. I thought there was sherry in it, but apparently no (I asked). They used milk instead of cream and beyond that perhaps we can thank the market-fresh, wild mushrooms. I actually wanted to race home with it to pour into a bowl, dip crusty bread into it, and pour a glass of Margeaux.

The sandwich was pretty impressive as well. The turkey was plentiful and cooked perfectly, retaining its moisture. Their homemade cranberry chutney was a beautiful, and timely, accompaniment, but I found its ratio to other elements in the sandwich a bit much. That being said, I am normally not one to order things with jams, chutneys or really, with any gooey, fruit related items involved. So I can’t really speak to that. The caramelized onions were a wonderful surprise and the warm brioche was a perfect choice for the bread. And it was all Thanksgiving-y!

My friend ordered the BLT ($6), which was damn good, and sizeable considering it’s a BLT. The bacon was nice, thick, smokey, and soft-cooked. The stand out element, though, was the homemade herb aioli. God is in the details in this beautifully simple sandwich classic. Nicely played, Gastrobus.

Fantastic fare, enormous portions, good prices, and big smiles from the Medinas in the van… The Gastrobus gets mad accolades from F for Food. I will, without a doubt, return. Hopefully they will share that soup recipe with me… 

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