Banh Mi For You? Getting to Know Know the Nom Nom Truck
Say what you will about fusion food (and you will, we know) but Banh Mi happens to be one of the oldest forms of cultural collision cuisine on the books. These east-meets-west eats are now roaming the streets of Los Angeles in a rubber-meets-the road kind of way, thanks to the folks behind the Nom Nom Truck, who launched their mobile eatery this summer to fill the void of Banh Mi on the Westside.
On a recent sunny afternoon we headed over to Brentwood where the Nom Nom Truck had hooked up with Compartes Chocolatier for a lunchtime pairing. The sun was pretty brutal, and the line a little slow-going, and unfortunately they'd run out of the char siu pork we'd been hungering for by the time we made it up to the window. We ended up ordering one of the three combos offered on their menu, opting to pair a 6" grilled pork sandwich with two Lemongrass Chicken tacos and a soda for $7. This lunch marked our first venture into Banh Mi territory, actually, and it turned out to be a pleasant one. The meat was tender and flavorful, and played nicely into the melange of chewy, crusty bread and crisp, cool accoutrement like the slivers of carrot and tangy cilantro. The taco was comprised of a tortilla a little more like one of those low-carb herb-flavored tortillas that you get at the store or in a "wrap" style sandwich, which brought a surprising texture to the table; the chicken, however, had the perfect texture and flavor, and made a light but satisfying bite.
After our Banh Mi initiation, LAist got the chance to toss a few questions in the direction of David Stankunas, a UCLA grad and one of Nom Nom's three very busy entrepreneurial minds. See what he has to say about their food, their fans, the learning curve, and the whole food truck craze.