By on May 5, 2008

roach-coach.jpgFile this under "News That Effects Me Personally." As in, "Those city hall pricks are taking tacos out of my mouth." Where I live in North Eastern LA, there are– or rather were– six taco trucks with a one mile stretch along the same road. As The New York Time rightly reports, each one offers uniquely delicious fare. Except for that one up on 51st — their tacos suck. But the other five, man… So here's the dirt straight from the hungry horse's mouth. Restaurants are complaining (and have been complaining) that the "roach coaches" are stealing customers because their food is so cheap. My new mortal enemy, county supervisor Gloria Molina, is pushing through the ordinance that will require taco trucks to move every hour. Effectively putting them out of business. Why? Henchman Gerry Hertzberg claims the trucks represent a "big quality of life issue." Whatever that means. Taco truck owner Jose Naranjo puts it best, "We are poor people feeding other poor people." Yeah, and me! The ordinance goes into effect today. This is a total tragedy as one truck in particular serves-up the best carne asada tacos in all of Los Angeles. And trust me, I've looked. Anyhow, I wrote Molina a letter and signed the save our taco trucks petition. Though I fear you can't fight city hall. Tasteless jerks. 

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21 Comments on “LA Pencil Pushers Tells Taco Trucks to FO&D...”


  • avatar
    foolish

    Well, obviously Hertzberg is far more concerned with the quality of restaurant owners’ lives than he is with roach coach owners’ lives.

    I wonder which one there are more of, and who pays more taxes…

    …Oh, wait. No I don’t.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    i hope that the taco truck drivers all band together and go on a rotating schedule. i hope they’re well-enough organized to keep a tight schedule like buses are supposed to. and change at 17 minutes past the hour (or another weird time when people aren’t just leaving for lunch (like 11:00 or 12:00 or 1:00)).

    one taco truck leaves, another takes its place. and if you know the schedule, you know where to go.
    or maybe the taco truck drivers will have to double up on trucks and just rotate them out every hour. same spot, same people–different truck. that would be my favorite–compliance with a dumb law that effectively doubles the number of taco trucks!

    unintended consequences always show up. that’s why even a “benevolent monarchy” will always fail the citizenry.

  • avatar
    Hank

    I notice Molina is a Dem who has endorsed Hillary. Maybe you need to write her since she claims to champion the cause of the little man.

    And Bill really like tacos. Maybe you should call him, too.

  • avatar
    jaje

    How far do they have to move and how do you prove they moved or didn’t?

    I say move 20 feet foward each hour and take pictures of immovable objects or video showing it. That should upset them too much until that law gets overturned. Don’t mention this idea to that 6th truck though.

  • avatar
    blautens

    Because in this day and age of the war that never should have been, a mortgage crisis where the bad guys are actually making out, homelessness, poverty, and hunger in the wealthiest nation in the world, no national healthcare plan, inner city education infrastrucure is a failure – taco trucks – that’s where the focus of government officials should be. Taco trucks.

  • avatar
    N85523

    Yep, when I was still living in Houston, roach coaches were very popular around jobsites I worked on and they’d often come and visit manufacturing and industrial facilities. Great fare at great prices, delivered.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    Gotta love those big government politicians, no matter what party they call home. This is a bit like the non-smoking bans in cities around the country. Using the mantra of public health concerns, they tell restaurant owners what they can and cannot do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there shouldn’t be regulation, but sometimes it goes too far.

    If I want to eat from a taco truck, then I should have that option. If I want to open a restaurant where people are allowed to smoke, then I should have that option. No one has to eat there…

    Next thing you know, they’ll ban chicken fried steak because it’s not healthy.

  • avatar
    Busbodger

    Plato: The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.

  • avatar
    Edward Niedermeyer

    More L.A. street food being shouldered out by mindless bureaucrats here, from Reason.tv

    And this time it’s bacon dogs!

  • avatar
    BuckD

    I feel your pain, Johnny. Up here in Li’l Rhody a taco truck is as hard to find as a friendly local. I have to get my tacos from a trailer by the flea market. Damn tasty, though.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Nieder — we call ‘em bank dogs — cause they sell ‘em next to banks.

    And they are delicious…

    er, were delicious

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    I say, a place without delicious pleb food isn’t really worth visiting. New York became less attractive after Rudi pushed out so many food carts. (Good) bratwurst rules here in Germany. I sure hope the pollo asada trucks never get kicked out of Puerto Rico.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    We had somethng similar, though on a smaller scale, happen in my town. A local businessman started operating a hot dog cart in the near vicinity of City Hall. No surprise, but the cafeteria in City Hall went from low to basically no customers. Solution: outlaw hot dog carts using the health code. Many people complained and actually got City Hall to back down.

    A similar encroachement of rights in the name of protecting public safety occurred when the City outlawed the placing of “For Sale” signs in the windows of cars. (I can’t imagine there was any involvement of local dealerships in that law.) It seems that these cars for sale create a destraction to people driving down the road thereby causing accidents. Of course large billboard signs, balloons, etc. at dealerships don’t cause any destraction. Unfortunately, this was an instance where the public couldn’t get the local politicians to back down.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    I have had a few truck tacos in my day. Mostly good ones, and some great tacos.

    OTOH, I will play devils advocate here.

    Let’s say you bought a place of business, went through the byzantine bureaucratic jungle to get all the licenses and certifications, and paid all your taxes, and then some guy with no overhead but a truck drives up in front of your property you pay $20,000 a year in property taxes for and starts selling a competing product to your customers. How would you like it?

    Nobody cares about the taco truck on the construction site, or other place where there is no restaurant around to meet the needs. If these trucks had only been parking at those places, this likely would not have happened.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    Let’s say you bought a place of business, went through the byzantine bureaucratic jungle to get all the licenses and certifications, and paid all your taxes, and then some guy with no overhead but a truck drives up in front of your property you pay $20,000 a year in property taxes for and starts selling a competing product to your customers. How would you like it?

    Nobody cares about the taco truck on the construction site, or other place where there is no restaurant around to meet the needs. If these trucks had only been parking at those places, this likely would not have happened.

    If that were the case, then I would see it a bit differently. I haven’t seen anything in this story to suggest that is the case. I also have never seen a “taco truck” park in front of another restaurant or even a convenience store.

  • avatar
    mel23

    The truck people may well not have the money, but this seems like a case begging for challenge. What does quality of life mean in terms that are not arbitrary and capricious? Given the truck product seems to have lots of market support, an argument could be made that they added to the quality of life. But money and influence talk. Inconvenient to the customers; devastating to the owner/operators.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    County Supervisor Gloria Molina. Oh yes, I remember her. She was the one whose campaign pictures were all taken 20+ plus years ago, before… (well, that would be flaming).

  • avatar
    Wolven

    As long as we all just whine and DO NOTHING, the politburo will just keep on dictating…

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Sounded to me like these guys had staked out their regular places. I doubt they pulled up in front of other food places, but I said that so that people would understand that there is some merit to the idea. I have found that people have a really hard time seeing the perspectives of others until it is thrown in their face pretty hard.

    Perhaps these guys were indeed serving underserved markets with no other services nearby and the local restuarant owners went after them for no good reason at all; however, being the devil’s advocate, I have to keep that info as privileged.

    ;D

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Say what you will, but this is probably good news for the local pet population. Burritos perros, anyone?


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