Friday, April 2, 2010

Behind the Wheel of LA's New Comfort Truck

“Oh man, I’m so glad you guys are here,” a breathless skateboarder wheezes excitedly as he arrives at the corner of Beverly and Ogden where the late afternoon sun is glinting off the shiny red siding of LA’s newly launched Comfort Truck. Just two days after their soft roll-out and the newest addition to LA’s favorite food craze is already earning devoted fans.

Overseen by Chef Brian Hill, best known from his tenure on the first season of Top Chef but who I have the pleasure of calling my co-star on Food Network’s new series, The Private Chefs of Beverly Hills, Comfort Truck is all about low prices (most menu items are $4 bucks) and delectable fried goodness, evidenced by their biggest seller to date, the Golden Fried Slider.

To begin the GFS, chicken tenders are marinated overnight in garlic and “Chef B’s secret seasoning,” Hills says with a glint in his eye. The breast pieces are then dipped in a top secret batter and seasoned flour mix before being deep fried in canola oil, which is lower in saturated fat, until golden brown. Plucked from the oil while the breast meat is still succulent and juicy but the crust is rapturously crisp, the chicken is laid on a mini sweet Hawaiian bun and topped with roasted garlic aioli and a few pepperoncini rings to keep your mouth guessing. Each bite is so delightfully salty, sweet, creamy, crispy, tangy and rich, the only problem might be the sliders four-bite size. Luckily, each $4 order comes with two.

For those looking to kick their chicken up a notch, you have the option to go spicy or with BBQ sauce. The hot sauce doused on top of the spicy slider is filled with heat and vinegar, recalling a classic Louisiana wing sauce. Long after your bites have been savored, a mellow, licking fire lingers pleasurably at the back of your throat. But Comfort Truck’s BBQ sauce is the real revelation. Thick and smoky, each mouthful bursts with layers of molasses, brown sugar, celery salt and tomato.

Wings, Jerk Beef Sliders, and “Chef Brian’s Crack Chips,” which are basically everything you love about a Tostada without the fuss of beans, meat or anything else getting in the way, are also served to the newly addicted masses.

These are tough times we live in. Who doesn’t need a little comfort?

Comfort Truck (comforttruck/twitter) can be found:

Monday-Wednesday, 11am-6pm, Beverly Blvd at Ogden
Thursday and Friday, 8pm-the line stops, 8418 Sunset Boulevard (in front of Saffore's) Saturday, 11am-6pm, Temescal Canyon

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