We’ve put together a long-overdue update of our classic guide to LA food trucks and the many different cuisines they occupy, from tacos to pizza to artisan coffee. While some old favorites still stand (Kogi, The Urban Oven, Coolhaus), there’s a healthy group of new additions to the list, including Guerrilla Tacos and the new NoMad truck, which is teasing the debut of the beloved New York hotel in Los Angeles (they’re scheduled to open in late 2017).
The chefs behind Pico House are all roommates, and the truck gets its name from the moniker they’ve lent to their LA pad. Born of a desire to find healthful, satisfying food, their mobile collaboration serves up whole grain bowls made with meats, veggies, house-made pickles, and fresh herbs. If that sounds uninspired, consider their Robertson Short Rib bowl: sautéed broccoli stems, Swiss chard, pickled red onion, and tomato chutney—plus, of course, the short rib and a pasilla pepper and broccoli purée—sit atop their mix of ancient grains, which includes farro, barley, wheat berries, and rye.
When the chefs behind the popular Pico House food truck include experience at some of LA’s top restaurants including Blue Hill, Bestie and others, you know the food has to be delicious. The idea for the food is not a new one though. In fact, Chris, Phil, and Qudoe began cooking together years ago in the backyard at Chris’ house. Over time, their BBQ food became something great, and a love for cooking was discovered as well. Over time, Gemma and Mavis J joined the team, and today they’re cooking up delicious meat and grain bowls for Angelenos throughout the city. The bowls here are a healthy approach to satisfying food and they focus on whole grain bowls that use a blend of grains that will have you fill without feeling stuffed. Inside the bowls, you’ll find flavorful meats and veggies, and more. Favorites here include their Union Lamb, with harissa braised lamb, carrot puree, sautéed onions and peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and mint with a tasty red wine vinaigrette and goat cheese. But, really whatever you order, you’re bound to be completely satisfied with!
Only in LA can three young chefs with amazing culinary pedigrees turn out inspiring cuisine from a food truck. Moses and Chi went to high school together; Chi and Matsuyama met while cooking at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York; and all three worked at Bestia. Could any of them be superstars and any top restaurant in town? Yes. But with the truck, they have the independence to create healthy and addictive grain bowls and “ugly fruit” sodas, which puts skipped-over produce from the farmers markets to great use. Via her sweets company Heavy Cream, Matsuyama raises the food-truck pastry bar with things like cardamom beignets and seasonal cream puffs. And it’s not just a truck: Pico House is the name of the house where they all live, along with other PH partners and chefs Qudoe Lee and Mavis J. Sanders.
The chefs behind Pico House’s meat & grain bowls have resumés that include moderately famous restaurants like Bestia and Blue Hill, so it's no surprise that they’re killer. The top order is the Union Lamb, with harissa braised lamb, sautéed onions and peppers, carrot puree, mint, tomato, cucumber, with red wine vinaigrette and goat cheese (every bowl comes on top of their specially chosen/insanely delicious grain mix).
Loaded carne asada fries, excellent tacos, bacon ice cream sandwiches, fried chicken: These are the reasons why you typically spendconsiderable time tracking down your favorite food truck. But four business partners, who have worked at some of the best restaurants in the country, are hoping you’ll apply that same food-fan approach to a couple of grain bowls.
Pico House, a food truck specializing in grain bowls that launched a few weeks ago, is brought to you by Chris Chi, who cooked at Blue Hill in New York City; Phil Moses, a veteran of Ray’s, Stark Bar and Bestia in Los Angeles; Gemma Matsuyama, who was a sous chef at Blue Hill at Stone Barns; and Mavis J. Sanders, who also cooked at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Blue Hill.
“Grains are such a great vehicle,” Chi said. “These grains come straight from the field to our bowls. It is a blend of soft and hard grains that really stand up to all the ingredients we put in the bowl.”
The friends behind the Pico House food truck, whose culinary pedigree runs the gamut of Bestia to the world-renowned Blue Hill, are not just changing up the scene with their seriously good gourmet grain bowls. They've also done something we wish we could do with our childhood best friends — move in together under the same roof as adults.
Best Cheap Eats - Benjamin Chi of F.C. Dorsum
I wouldn’t say cheap ‘cause that sounds like it’s like all dirty and sh*t, but there’s a really good food truck that just started called Pico House. They use whole grains to make these bowls that are like super fire flames with really fresh ingredients. The chefs there worked for Bestia and some crazy place in New York that probably yells at their chefs all the time.
Looking for more grain bowls? Get onboard with the new Pico House truck, which launches for service today at Stumptown Coffee in the Arts District. The truck is the work of a trio of Bestia and Blue Hill at Stone Barns vets like Philip Moses and Christopher Chi, and serves everything from meatball and short rib grain bowls to desserts from partner Gemma Matsuyama.