Peter writes to let us know that taco trucks in Los Angeles county now have to move to a new position every hour: “The county of Los Angeles has enacted some new legislation to prevent taco truck owners from staying in one spot, with penalties of a fine of up to $1000 or jail for failures to comply.” Why such a weird law? Because area restaurants say they’re stealing away customers. If you like your carne asada from the side of a truck, be prepared to start chasing them down as they circle through L.A. county in a weird Mexican-food carousel.
The L.A. Times says the move is driven by pure greed on the part of brick-and-mortar restaurants, and that the new legislation attacks an L.A. institution:
Forget the Getty — it’s the taco trucks, and their crowds, that are the true culture of L.A. Attacking the trucks is like New York going after its hot dog stands or Memphis banning barbecue pits.
And other than raw greed, I can’t see any reason for it. Ron Mukai, an East L.A. developer, says the trucks are unfair competition, edging out the “legitimate brick-and-mortar businesses.” But the county’s 14,000 registered catering trucks seem just as legitimate as restaurants—they’re just providing a different service. Restaurants provide meals, and a table to eat them at, and walls to eat them within. Taco trucks provide food, pure and simple. They charge less because they’re selling less.
One website, saveourtracotrucks.org, even has an online petition—although we suspect Angelinos will have better luck voting with their dollars than with an online signature.
“In defense of the great taco truck” [L.A. Times]