Umami Mart Sake
Preface reading: yesterday's sneak preview reader.









jim
:
yo


kayoko: ah, there you are!

jim: here i am

jim (2:44:04 PM): so the taco truck thing

kayoko: yes taco truck


kayoko: tell me a little about it???

kayoko: the only reason i know it's going into effect tonight is cause of Tastespotting

jim: this happened about a month ago

kayoko: right i saw that

kayoko: and then there's this petition going on online

jim: to be honest as much as i love the trucks i understand both sides

jim: its undermining the people who have brick and mortor shops

kayoko: i gotta say that's pretty ridiculous

jim: not really

jim: if there was dude slinging cheap sushi from a truck outside of your dads joint im sure he wouldnt be happy

kayoko: but trucks or morter, it doesn't really matter much

jim: sure it does

jim: people in brick and morter pay taxes that the trucks dont and the overhead is much more

kayoko: that's a good point

jim: all in all i want the trucks to stay but i understand the beef

kayoko: i guess i sort of just think that they are going to put this ban on the trucks, but they are going to find another means of feeding people anyway

kayoko: i think these trucks are really innovative way of looking at the way we eat

kayoko: i don't think that brick and mortar shops should feel so threatened by them

kayoko: it's such a different ballgame

kayoko: i mean, it's just a totally different experience, no?

jim: for the most part you are correct, however this law has gone into affect due to complaints from business owners in east LA where the majority of the surrounding restaurants are serving a VERY similar product to the trucks

jim: but can't compete with them on pricing

jim: due to business taxes and other overhead issues

jim: in other areas id say you are right most people are trying to do mexican street food in this way that the trucks do it but in east LA its literally the same game

kayoko: right

kayoko: i see that

jim: i feel for both sides here

kayoko: i guess it just utterly depresses me cause this is such an AWESOME, historical thing, that is so UNIQUE to LA, you know?

jim: the truck owners probably cant afford to get into the stationary restaurant game and they need these trucks to support their families

kayoko: you just can't find this sort of taco culture anywhere else in the states

kayoko: at least, i don't think so


jim: not even fucking close

jim: however if these trucks are putting traditional restaurants out of business, is that cool?

kayoko: are they really going out of business though?

kayoko: really?

kayoko: i mean, are there any statistics on that?

jim: there are thousands of trucks here

kayoko: which is INCREDIBLE

kayoko: to shut those all down?

kayoko: i think it's detrimental to the dining community, really

jim: they wont

jim : this is all bullshit

jim: nothing will change

kayoko: right

jim: its the city waving their stick

jim: "remember who is in charge"

kayoko: it's just a point in which the government is being brought into it

jim: "dont fuck with us"

jim: the business association funds the city govt

jim: and when they are pissed the govt is forced to react

jim: i was always illegal for the trucks to park somewhere for more than an hour

jim: but it was only a $60 fine

kayoko: i mean, then why doesn't the city then just make all the trucks pay some sort of annual tax or something?

jim: now its $1000 fine

jim: or set a radius

jim: all in all its a reason for white people to get mad about "injustice"

jim: cause somebody is messing with their favorite ethnic eats

jim: people are fucking idiots

kayoko: interesting point

kayoko: it goes both ways, doesn't it

jim: correct

kayoko: but as an outsider, i do think that the LA taco truck scene is pretty phenomenal

kayoko: and unique

jim: its amazing

jim: have you seen the taco hunt blog?

kayoko: yeah i've been looking at that

jim: pretty ill

kayoko: ok so just for the sake of correct information

kayoko: tonight at midnight, this ordinance goes into effect, where the taco trucks will get fined $1000 if they are parked somewhere longer than an hour?

jim: The previous order by the County Board of Supervisors was to force taco trucks to move every hour or face a $60 fine. Most trucks paid it as the cost of doing business. Now the supervisors have upped that fine to as much as $1000 and possibly jail time.

kayoko: so ridic

kayoko: how are they going to fucking enforce that

jim: they wont

jim: kayoko

jim: this is all horseshit

jim: the govt had to "do something" because the restaurant lobby is very powerful in LA

jim: nothing will change

jim: immigrants with still be afforded the chance for upward mobility with these trucks

jim: and the restaurant owners will feel better because "something was done about the problem"


kayoko: so nothing is going to change, is it?

jim: smoking weed is "illegal"

kayoko: it's all hype

kayoko: ha

kayoko: gotcha

jim: im a cynic

jim: so take it for what you want

jim: i guess im also hopeful, cause there is this fucking ill mariscos truck about 5 blocks from my pad

jim: and if it was gone id be bummed

kayoko: of course

kayoko: i think it would all be pretty devastating for a lot of people

jim: ill ceviche and shrimp tostadas

kayoko: ha! which is why people are up in arms about it though!

jim: right

jim: white kids like me who have these trucks come into their neighborhoods from the otherside of town are like "oh no! i hope my favorite shrimp taco isn't ripped out of my hands!" but they dont ever see the face of the dude in east la with a stationary business who is hurting cause these fools are charging a dollar less for a taco cause they aren't paying certain taxes

kayoko: i want to see those statistics though

kayoko: i think it's more than just a white people thing, seriously

jim: stats are bullshit

jim: just use common sense

kayoko: but i mean, all of this is bullshit then

kayoko: i just don't really buy it

kayoko: or at least not all of it

jim: if sushi kuni had truck parked out side called sushi larry and he sold the same set lunch for $3 less

jim: it would hurt business

jim: period

kayoko: right

kayoko: but then my dad would just have to think of something that the truck couldn't offer

kayoko: he would have to up that

kayoko: it's all about staying on top of the game

kayoko: it just seems like a copout to me that these businesses are scared of these trucks

kayoko: they need to use their ingenuity a little more, is how i see it

kayoko: i mean, they have an advantage too

kayoko: they are STATIONARY

jim: word, now that you got me thinking of tacos im going to go hit the truck

kayoko: they have a ROOF over their heads

kayoko: totally different eating experience


jim: i dont think new table cloths is gonna do the trick

kayoko: it's not that

jim: i know

jim: i get it

jim: im being an asswipe

kayoko: no not at all

kayoko: but i think you've just always gotta think big

kayoko: esp in business

kayoko: everything is a competition

kayoko: you can't let a TRUCK ruin your game!

kayoko: fucking please! such a fucking copout.

jim: word


*Jim is an old college friend, born and bred in LA. He is intensely serious about food- I knew that he would be the best person to talk about this issue with. Jim will be opening his own joint very soon (which you know I'll be schilling about, big time).

Video of an East LA taco truck courtesy of Tmonkey.


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