Introduction to the book:
When we first conceived the idea for Twenty-Eight Taco Trucks in April 2006, we assigned ourselves a daunting, yet fun task: documenting the taco trucks with the best tacos in Los Angeles. We tackled the project head-on, once a week from April through September, one taco, sometimes two at each truck, with five stops each trip.
These taco trucks were the owners’ pride and joy. We would eat a taco and with the first bite of juicy, yet crispy carne asada or other specialty, we would know whether we were among masters. When the food was simply perfect, we asked to take photographs— the owners would beam with pride. At the end of each outing, our bellies would burst and our eyes would marvel at the skills of these chefs.
Even though these pictures celebrate the joy of good food and hard work, we also were struck by the awkwardness that occurred on rare occasions. We never feared for our safety. Instead, we remember the few instances a taco stand owner would courteously decline to have a photograph taken for fear of reprisal from a government agency. Once a taco stand owner speculated that we were health department inspectors masquerading as photographers. Putting the uncomfortable moments aside, the project demonstrates the ability of good food to encourage interaction.
Hopefully, we have enticed your appetite and encouraged you to explore the wonderful food available in the taco trucks of Los Angeles.
Amy Oliver & Vi Thuc Ha