Friday, October 01, 2010

Gourmet Campfire: DinDin-A-GoGo

"It's like a campfire, but better!", my friend told me about South Bay's DinDin-A-GoGo, a food truck meet and eat on Thursday nights, which just recently moved to Alpine Village in Torrance. Being a food truck newbie (I take my lunch to work!), I didn't know what to expect, but after last night, I was sold!

There was something to please every palette. Looking for a new treat? Try Tanota's takoyaki, straight from Osaka, Japan! Want some comfort food? The Grilled Cheese Truck is the way to go. Trying out a new flavor? Something from the White Rabbit (Filipino Fusion) or Lomo Arigato (Peruvian/Japanese Fusion) will hit the spot. Watching your caloric intake? The Mambo Juice Truck is where you're headed. Then finish it off with some Tropical Shave Ice - "better than Matsumoto's on Hawaii's North Shore"! ...or so I've heard, and I don't doubt it! My Tigers Blood-Peach-Guava with light Snow and Mochi Balls on top of Vanilla Ice Cream was the bomb!

But I get ahead of myself! While dessert was the best, I also enjoyed a classic Japanese treat - takoyaki from Tanota's, and it certainly brought back memories of summer festivals in Japan!  With the edge taken off a bit, I found my friend in line waiting for over an hour for the Grilled Cheese Truck's famouse Signature sandwich - Mac & Cheese with barbecued short rib. I fully customized the special  for the day with carmelized onions, brie and a roasted garlic aioli dipping sauce to die for!

Along with the variety of delectable goodies, the people were friendly and open. Kids were playing, strangers were talking to strangers about different foods and cultures. Friends were chatting about their past week and swapping bites of each other's meals. It's definitely a great place to unwind from the day and enjoy some good food with good conversation. A gourmet campfire, without the fire.

I certainly wanted to try more, and with the amazing aromas coming from the Lomo Arigato truck, I was a bit regretful that I didn't try them first. Only just a bit becuase I knew I'd be back... and so would they. Eric Nakata, the owner of Lomo Arigato, organizes the South Bay event with the Tropical Shave Ice truck being the two mainstays and guest trucks changing every week. With such deliciously diverse yummies every week, the only hard part is trying to save your money. My advice to newbies is... to keep going! That way you can try one or two items each week and come back next week for something new! Besides, you might just see the trucks in your area! The Long Beach Street Food Fest, Oct 9th, will be having the Grilled Cheese Truck and Tropical Shave Ice amongst others.

-Tiina Vuorenmaa

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