Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Save our taco trucks

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So the LA County Board of supervisors wants to end the taco culture in Los Angeles and for the first time ever Mayor Villaraigosa can’t find anyone to take a picture with.

We already know the Los Angeles city government is anti-taco. First it was the LA city Council that passed a law that required taco trucks to move every half hour or face a $60 fine. It was a small but revealing gesture and the message was clear,the government was coming after the taco. Now the LA county board of supervisors has double dipped into the proverbial guacamole sauce with a ridiculous law that requires taco trucks to move every hour or face a $1000 fine and possibly jail time. What’s next? Waterboarding taco reporters to get them to reveal locations of their favorite loncheras?

“But Bandini, a taco truck parks in front of my restaurant and is ruining my business” This is a legitimate concern for some restaurant owners . Noone thinks it’s right for a taco truck to park directly in front of a restaurant. But as usual LA city officials lack any creative solutions to the problem. Maybe implementing a law where a taco truck cannot park within a certain radius of a brick and mortar restaurant would please everyone.

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Saveourtacotrucks.org have started a save the taco trucks petition. Sign the petition! take to the streets in a peaceful manner !Support the taco culture in LA!

60 comments:

  1. Welcome back, Bandini! Not a moment too soon!

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  2. good to have you back in our darkest hour.

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  3. Um, where have you been?.... Welcome back!

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  4. holy shit HE'S ALIVE!!!

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  5. yay! i knew bandini would appear to save us all.

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  6. This is what I wrote and Molina's response below:

    I am a visitor to LA County six times a year. I frequent the taco
    trucks in East Los Angeles. I also frequent restaurants in East LA if
    they are good. Keep the taco trucks as they are, they are a vital link to the community and visitors to Los Angeles. If a law is passed to make the taco trucks move, I will stop visiting LA County and tell my friends and co workers to avoid LA County and East LA especially.


    Thank you for contacting my office to express your views regarding the
    proposed changes to the Los Angeles County peddling ordinance. Please be aware that this ordinance is effective only in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

    The proposed changes to the ordinance allow peddlers to remain in one location in a commercial zone for one hour. The current ordinance permits 30 minutes in one location. For your information, vending from a sidewalk has never been permitted in Los Angeles County. Our ordinance will protect the health and welfare of our residents and respect the
    needs of our business community.

    If you require additional assistance with a County-related matter,
    please do not hesitate to contact my office at (323) 881-4601. Thank
    you.

    Sincerely,

    GLORIA MOLINA
    Supervisor, First District

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  7. I saw this in the paper a few days back and immediately thought, this'll draw Bandini out of his undisclosed location. Glad to see that you're still around, even if only for a moment or post as it were.

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  8. what?! you are back with no explanation? The readers deserve to know.

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  9. LaCountyLawSucksMyBalls4/24/08, 11:04 PM

    Bandini, so good to see you're still alive. i was beginning to wonder if the tacos at El Guero Sexi were what did you in..

    seriously, this is fucked up news. thanks for posting the petition. hope to see more taco journalism from you

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  10. hope youre ready to eat more tacos, im ready to read about it!

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  11. WTF #%^$#! you are back with no explanation? The readers demand to know.

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  12. I am a friend of Pete McFerrin who has written about you. I am working on French documentary on LA and need to speak to you, possibly about appearing in our show.

    Thanks, Andy

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  13. Bandini, you're alive!! Great to have you back. Don't ever leave us like that again.

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  14. Im just glad to see you post something. Ive had your blog in my favorites since waaaay back and check just to see if by chance you post something...like Ice Cube said Today is a Good Day!

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  15. Bandini I thought you'd never come back! I hope you are here to stay (and perhaps to explain where you disappeared to for 8 months!)

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  16. welcome back bandini but im here to say this. roach coaches are just that. a truck that sells items that you or nobody knows were there buying or cooking this food. theres n regulations as in a brick and mortar place. so as a business owner myself i see were the law is coming from. see its like this el korita lunch trucks cook meat once a week. in maywood. but nobody knows that. there out there 7 days a week. the bottom line is this the government cant regulate all lunch trucks specially whne theres more unpermitted trucks the there is permitted. meaning the county or the government doesnt get there tax break. bottom line lunch trucks need to go. if they have that good of a product they have no problem opening up a legit business like most of us big guys in the taco business.

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  17. with the comment above, it makes me not want to go to another East LA restaurant that sells tacos, only taco trucks for this poster.

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  18. This business model is one that has grown out of a real service need for businesses that have employees that did not have the ability to get food with a short break. Fine. This type of mobile catering truck fit those needs. Here is the rub. When these trucks started to roam the streets they have now created a business model for the city that is out of touch with what a brick and mortar restaurateur must contend with. The lower operating costs and the ability to intercept clients before they have a chance to support a traditional restaurant is simply unfair business practice. This law should be expanded and should apply to all parts of the city. Taco trucks are taking valuable business from those that have invested in their community and to have a mobile business operating in the vicinity of their business that has a higher overhead and no ability to move freely is at a disadvantage to a taco truck. This unfairly damages a business owner that has made a substantial investment when the taco truck is simply taking advantage of the lack of laws and low overhead simplicity. Personally I believe that all persons have a right to make a living but it should not be done in such a way that disadvantages a long standing business model that is properly placed. Taco trucks should continue to do what they where designed for, to take food to those that are not able to get it easily due to working or locational considerations. Parked on the side of a major city street causing traffic congestion and litter are only the obvious issues that taco trucks are causing. Community health is not a viable argument people found food in their communities long before these opportunistic taco trucks decided to cross over from mobile catering trucks serving workers to illegal mobile restaurants. This was a created market that is being developed at the expense of properly permitted and correctly placed business establishments.

    NO MORE TACO TRUCKS AS MOBILE RESTARAUNTS! THIS IS UNFAIR BUSINESS!



    PS: I am not in the food business, but rather another business owner in an unrelated field.

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  19. I'll make sure LA City gets my business, not the county with these pro business comments.

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  20. agodcalledpastor5/2/08, 10:40 AM

    argh... I find these restaurant arguments so frustrating.

    Taco trucks are not mobile restaurants! In the unlikely event that someone converted the flatbed of a tractor trailer into a patio with a small kitchen, and offered table service and water and even had a bathroom, then drove the thing and parked in front of restaurants, then yes, THAT is a mobile restaurant. That would maybe, be a little bit unfair.

    But a truck? With no amenities? People are choosing the trucks for a reason, whether convenience or simply better, cheaper food. The restaurant's best response would be to step up it's game. If you can't find a way to draw folks into your INDOOR restaurant WITH A BATHROOM and maybe even AC, and they are choosing to eat standing up, outside at a truck, the market has spoken.

    Why not concentrate on making your restaurant better, rather then legislate other people out of business?

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  21. You are right they don't have bathrooms, so where do they use the bathroom and then wash up after they are done?
    The city of Los Angeles is the only one that use to allow these trucks to operate wherever they pleased. They aren't seen in large numbers anywhere but Downtown Los Angeles. I have never seen one in Torrance, Redondo Beach, Carson, Long Beach, West LA so on and so on. They are always in front of Restaurants, since there is at least one on every block...We have seen them in neighborhoods taking valuable parking spaces and leaving trash or not picking up after the customers! There is obviously a problem because they where allowed to operate, unchecked for this long. Enough people are complaining that now the City Council has to do something.

    Signed " I write the Cites!"

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  22. story is gaining momentum

    http://defamer.com/388298/ny-times-riles-an-already-grumpy-taco+deprived-population

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  23. viva los tacos! viva el bandini!

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  24. Hi There

    I just stumbled upon your blog and think it is an excellent read for foodies and especially like the photos and design of the blog.I started off as a blogger myself and realise the importance of a good clean design like you have here. I have now bookmarked it for myself to read and have added you to our new list of "all the food blogs in the world" on www.ifoods.tv which we have been compiling for the last month! Hopefully it will send you some traffic in the long run. Looking forward to reading your thoughts on food so keep up the good work and talk soon. Cheers

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  25. tommorrow is dooms day May 15, 2009 when the law will take effect. everyone hope for the best.

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  26. I read an article in the L.A. Times where they actually interviewd Jesus Huerta who owns Gallo Giro. He said " If that truck wasn't parked right there, i'd be selling right now."
    Lie Lie Lie!!! He doesn't sell anything at La Tia Tamales cause of his poor business choices when Liliana wanted to establish a bigger business. Plus his food isn't good.He thinks putting the blame on the taqueros will justify his poor marketing skills.

    He should stick to selling bread instead of trying to own all of businesses on Cesar Chavez just to say he owns it.

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  27. oops...i meant to say he owns Gallo Bakery not Gallo Giro.

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  28. Viva los tacos pero no en las trocas pulgosas que se ponen en las calles como la de la estrella en la lorena. that truck looks like it went to hell and back. my great great great grandpa ate at that truck

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  29. SBS TV in Australia is doing it's bit to save the taco trucks (http://home.sbs.com.au/blogarticle/107853/the-taco-truck-wars), or at least their food blogger is.

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  30. Bandini! Welcome back! I've got a more fleshed out list of Ventura County tacos if you're interested. If you come up to this neck of the woods, contact me, the pastor's on me.

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  31. im' originaly from east los angeles (city terrace) and while i didnt' have a chance to sample the tacos from the trucks, it's part of the culture and i cannot believe they are banning them... that is crazy! hope it doesnt' come to pass...

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  32. they're trying to destroy one of LA's most valuable natural resources?

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  33. great to have you back!
    Where have you been!?

    Cheers,
    Kaja

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  34. According to the County Department of Health, taco trucks - per capita - have far less complaints about unhealthy conditions or food poisoning than restaurants. This is because:

    a) the trucks are owner-operated, and the owners have more pride of place than any minimum-wage employee would;
    b) they are health inspected;
    c) the food is healthier than at many restaurants;
    d) the lack of sitting trash, clogged drains, etc makes conditions much better;
    e) with visible kitchen areas, customers can see what they're getting before it's done.

    The California Vehicle Code doesn't allow municipalities to put any regulations on mobile vendors parked on public streets except for time limits, as the LA City Council recently learned. And short limits that don't take into account the 20 minute propane lock-down, heat up & cook time, or the 30-minute break-down, cool-off and clean-up period, essentially put the trucks out of business and thus discriminate against poor working people and third-shift employees like the cops, firefighters, hospital workers and sanitation workers who rely on these trucks.

    I hope the city and county realize that the restaurants have the ability to alter their business model if they can't compete, but stifling competition is a protectionist, anti-capitalist move that simply shows people who came here looking for a better life that they're screwed wherever they go.

    let's reward culinary diversity, hard work & business acumen, not punish it!

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  35. Wow! Loved the big bus on this site. Lots of fun.

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  36. Anybody who says the taco trucks aren't harming anybody needs to have one parked outside their own business for a while. For us, they attract drunks; the drunks attract hookers; when they're done, they leave their beer bottles and condoms everywhere, not to mention taking up parking spaces that your own customers could have used.

    God, I wish we could get a law like this one in Fort Worth.

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  37. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  38. I know you specialize in LA, but we have a great taco truck north of Bellingham WA. They have a permanent parking spot on The Guide half way between Bellingham and Lynden. It's hard to get good Mexican food here in the restaurants, but Tacos Tecalitan helps fill the gap. - Margy

    http://powellriverbooks.blogspot.com/2007/04/tacos-tecalitlan.html

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  39. I wish you would review some of Las Vegas...we are a suburb of LA

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    http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/shortorder/2009/02/video_-_paula_deens_pants_fall.php

    Video courtesy of Miami New Times
    Short Order Food Blog


    http://www.blogs.miaminewtimes.com/shortorder/

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  41. whoa! taco trucks... i only saw that here on the internet.. i wonder if when i see it in actual...

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  42. Your posting is very thrilled......
    thanks

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  43. I used to love the hot food truck. We had one at our college campus and it was great at 1 am or so for a hot snack and such. Bring back the hot lunch truck.

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  44. Bandini, Hang in there, I'll buy at Keen and Telegraph
    RWub
    May1

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  45. I didn't think such a thing existed! ie. Taco Trucks. We don't see anything like that down here.best of luck with the cause!

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  46. I didn't think such a thing existed! ie. Taco Trucks. We don't see anything like that down here.best of luck with the cause!

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  47. I used to love the hot food truck. We had one at our college campus and it was great at 1 am or so for a hot snack and such. Bring back the hot lunch truck.

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  48. I wish you would review some of Las Vegas...we are a suburb of LA

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  49. WTF #%^$#! you are back with no explanation? The readers demand to know.

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  50. LaCountyLawSucksMyBalls5/18/11, 9:27 PM

    Bandini, so good to see you're still alive. i was beginning to wonder if the tacos at El Guero Sexi were what did you in..

    seriously, this is fucked up news. thanks for posting the petition. hope to see more taco journalism from you

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  51. great to have you back!
    Where have you been!?

    Cheers,
    Kaja

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  52. Um, where have you been?.... Welcome back!

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  53. whoa! taco trucks... i only saw that here on the internet.. i wonder if when i see it in actual...

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  56. Anuj Dwivedi9/20/11, 1:53 AM

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