The first Friday of every month is festival ritual in the heart of Venice. Shops, galleries, and bars open late to slow walking crowds. But unfortunately for the restaurants on Abbot Kinney Road, the roaches come out on this special night. More specifically the Roach Coaches. We saw several different Taco Trucks including – Border Grill Truck, Marked5, Dosa, Barbie Q’s, Baby Badass Burger’s, Fishlips Sushi. India Jones, and one or two others that I don’t remember. I was only able to try the Marked5, Barbie Q’s, and Fishlips Sushi.
I’ve tried Marked5 before, except I haven’t had the their latest creation the Salmon. I’ve had the pork katsu, the beef, and the chicken curry, but this new Salmon was different. With a some cucumber, it poses as something refreshing from the deep fried and oily selections from other taco trucks. And it tasted light as well. The salmon could be a light meal in itself. I also had the chance to have the pork again. I must agree, whole-heartedly, that it is much better with the Sriracha sauce. Marked5 particular spot was quite good. They didn’t have a restaurant to compete with. There were great crowds in front of the gallery and close to a neighborhood bar/lounge. I think they had one of the best spots on the street.
The next taco truck that we tried was the Barbie Q truck. They featured pulled pork, bbq chicken, and beef sandwiches. I choose to have the sampler sliders and a couple of the baby back ribs. I immediately knew that there truck didn’t have a large smoking apparatus or bbq grill, since I didn’t see any smoke. I assumed that they cooked or bbq their meats prior and used the truck as a large warming tray. The baby back ribs were quite tender and sweet – as they should be. The sliders were a different story. The pulled pork was quite good and had good texture. The beef, unfortunately, was a bit tough. The chicken was ok as well. Though, I did wish the chick pieces were a bit bigger. I think there truck is quite creative. Nice staff and menu. They probably had the best location – right smack dab in the middle of Abbot Kinney Road.
Lastly, we tried Fishlips, the sushi taco truck. I really didn’t want to try it, since I was a bit apprehensive about having sushi from a place I am familiar with. But I was drawn to the the decorated truck and plus my friends wanted to check it out as well. I was expecting a similar configuration with displays or a menu of sushi to pick from. But once I came toward the open side of the truck, I was quite surprised. This truck was probably the most creative of the ones I have seen. They had a brightly lit area where you could see 2 sushi chefs in the back preparing sushi with a large glass refrigerator case, like the ones you see in sushi restaurants. Then, you could see the color pictures of the different sushi they had. They had little boxes for the different sushi combinations – mostly varied by the number of sushi’s. They had a unique sushi called the Temari sushi that was ball shaped. These ball shaped sushi were bite sized sushi with the fish rolled onto a small ball of rice. It is cute and something I have never seen before. I had to try it. Sushi requires at least two hands or more. You need the prepare the soy sauce with or without the wasabi with a place to dip it. Unlike other taco trucks where you can use your hands to eat, Fishlips is a bit difficult to prepare and eat- you would need a table at the very least. The truck and concept is great, but execution might be a challenge.
Two other trucks I was looking for weren’t there – Kogi and Don Chow. I hope to try Border Grill, Dosa/India Jones, and Baby Badass Burger’s next time. We were so full by the time we pasted by the crowded Border Grill Truck. They had a great spot on the Brig’s parking lot with the Dosa truck right close by.
The 1st Friday event on Abbot Kinney is a great event. Parking is a major concern for the area. In addition, the crowded sidewalks are filled with locals and families with strollers. I suggest you get there early or late for parking concerns. If all else fails, I suggest that you go with valet parking-anywhere you can find it. I also want to try the pizza on this street as well. I hear a lot of good things about it.