Tropical Food Truck Looks to Succeed Where Kassava Failed
Remember how excited I was to find real jerk chicken, stewed oxtails, and goat stew on the Kassava Truck back in April? Well, apparently Los Angeles wasn’t as excited because the trucks are now gone, pulled off the street months ago. Kassava the restaurant is still open over in Beverly Hills (8600 W. 3rd Street) but the trucks just weren’t making enough money to be worthwhile. But that’s not the end of the story… last month the guy who ran the Kassava Trucks decided to strike out on his own, opening the Tropical Food Truck and parking it near 5858 Wilshire Blvd. He’s also added some Haitian specialties to the menu, and claims that his mom is the chef of Kassava (and helps him cook the food) so the Jamaican stuff should be exactly the same as the original Kassava truck.
Clearly somebody was going to need to test this out.
The menu is pretty much the same… the truck has jerk chicken, curry goat, and oxtails, and each platter comes with rice and beans, fried plantains and a little cabbage. Just like my first visit to the Kassava Truck, I convinced the guy to give me a little taste of all three (I passed on the lemon chicken) and told him he could charge me whatever he wanted.
The jerk chicken was missing that great char that you expect from a good jerk chicken (this was more like a stewed chicken on the bone) but the flavor was still spot on. And the goat curry was perfectly fine… but the oxtails were exactly the same (that is to say, awesome.) Fatty, well caramelized, and super flavorful. And all three meats came falling off the bone. Very nice indeed.
I also couldn’t resist trying the Haitian griot, which is fried chunks of marinated pork. I’ve never had griot, so I’m not sure what’s it’s supposed to taste like, but if you like super salty, fried chunks of pork, you will love this. The meat was surprisingly tender, if not a tad bit dry- and would have been perfect mixed with the rice and beans.
Oh, and if you’re big fan of Tigeorges’ sweet potato pudding, they sell that for $5. (Incidentally, it sounds like Tigeorges should be reopening soon, so that’s good news!)
I can’t see how Tropical Food Truck will do any better than Kassava, but they are parking in the same spot every single day (take that twitter!), so that should help. He says business has been slow, so if you procrastinated with Kassava, and ended up missing out, don’t let the same thing happen with these guys!
- I love me some stewed meats, served on the bone over rice and beans!
- I love Tigeorges’ sweet potato pudding.
- Great home-made Carribean flavors, from a truck. What’s not to like?
- The griot was a bit too dry, and should be spicy too- shouldn’t it?
- The jerk chicken doesn’t have any char! It’s completely stewed… very disappointing
Tropical Food Truck, Wilshire Blvd. btw. Stanley & Spauling