Takosher: The Chosen Taco food truck rolls into the 818

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BY KAREN YOUNG

New food trucks seem to be hitting the street daily as the revolution continues.  The latest truck to roll in just last week is the first glatt kosher truck in the Los Angeles — Takosher  (Taco + Kosher) which serves up five tacos with a twist.

Takosher co-owner and originator of the idea, Lowell Bernstein. Photos: Karen Young

Let me preface this story by saying that I’m not kosher and my preference is cheese with everything  (as many of you know from my Grilled Cheese Truck story), but I’m enjoying this new food truck culture, the spirit of entrepreneurism, and of course, finding good (and fun)  foo.

I found Takosher on Ventura near Hazeltine in Sherman Oaks last Wednesday (just hours before Rosh Hashana eve) with “The Chosen Taco” emblazoned across the back.  Fortunately, co-owner Lowell Bernstein was in the truck and graciously stepped out to chat. (Note: It’s back today, Tuesday, September 14 noon to 3pm).

A tall, soft-spoken, thoughtful former educator who helped found a charter school with a culinary program which he headed, Bernstein had lived in Mexico for a few years in the 90s and always had an affinity for tacos, but his kosher lifestyle made it difficult to consume what was available. However, once back in his native Los Angeles, he would throw taco parties for friends and experimented with making different salsas.

Chosen Chicken Taco, Carne LeBeefTaco and Brisketaco.

Nearly two years  ago, he presented an idea of a  kosher taco truck to friends Chris Martin and Moises Baqueiro who had joined in on  these parties.  Martin has a entrepreneurial background, while Baqueiro is a professional musician.  All three share  taco love and agreed that they wanted a truck that  stressed the importance of building community around the truck — by attracting  those who are kosher, as well as those who just like good, quality food.

Becoming certified glatt kosher is a lengthy process, so it took one and a half years to get the truck rolling — literally. It’s not just about rabbis praying over food or separating milk and meat products.  It’s the food itself,  the handling, washing, cooking and preparation of the food, and all the equipment and utensils all has to be kosher.  Food has to be prepared on the truck and cannot be transported in cooked form.   The meat itself comes form Doheny Kosher Meats — one of the top butchers in the Los Angeles.

The Original Latketaco

I shared all five tacos with my teenage daughter.  We ordered a three taco combo plate ($9) and a two combo taco plate ($6.50).  The plate comes with chips and a tart, refreshing side salad made with shredded jicama, carrots and cucumbers, dressed with olive oil, lemon and salt.  Combos are also available with a drink — and fitting the theme is Dr. Brown’s sodas — a deli favorite.  Tacos are $3.50 each individually.

The base of the taco is two small soft corn tortillas and filling of choice is then generously scooped  on top.  We started off with the Carne Le Beef Taco which had tender beef, but was a little bland for our taste.  But what happened next changed that thinking in an instant. Enter the BriskeTaco — it is braised and slow cooked with chili sauce, sauerkraut and raisins, topped with cilantro and perfectly tender with a spicy sweet flavor.  The Chosen Chicken Taco has a kick of smoky chipolte combined with chili and roasted pumpkin seeds.  The Fujutas was a big surprise because it is made of marinated tofu with sauteed red pepper and onions. Tasty for veggie.  Last but not least is The Original LatkeTaco, named after the potato pancakes made at Hannukah — it’s made with three types of potato (fried), cilantro, onions and roasted chipotle chiles  and topped with a sweet and spicy apple jalapeño chutney. More please.

Find Takosher at Ventura near Hazeltine today, September 14, from 12-3.

Comparing Takosher to Kogi, the original gourmet taco truck,  is an unfair comparison because the seasonings are so different.  Both are fusion food — Mexican/Korean and Mexican/Jewish.  Take each on their own.

Check out Takosher schedule at www.takosher.com

Karen Young is the Founder/Editor of My Daily Find.  Got ideas? Email karen@mydailyfind.com

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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