More often than not we see new entrepreneurs start a food truck in the hopes that one day they will be successful enough to become a successful brick and mortar. But it is pretty rare we see a successful brick and mortar restaurant owner take the streets in a food truck. Well chef Daniel Humm co-owner of two successful New York City restaurants NoMad and Eleven Madison Park (which has 3 Michelin stars by the way) is taking to the street of Los Angeles, where the food truck revolution all began.
Chef Humm and Will Guidera (co-owner of the hospitality group Make it Nice) have partnered up to hit the streets of L.A. You may ask yourself, why would two very successful chefs and restaurant owners go to the streets? In short, the answer seems to be market research. “The food truck is a great way to get to know the city and to get to know the chefs here,” said Humm. “We want to really connect with this place before we open the NoMad Los Angeles. Because we don’t want the NoMad to be a carbon copy of what we do in New York,” says Humm. The NoMad truck will not be found in random locations on the L.A. streets, the idea is to collaborate with local L.A. chefs that will get to have a say on the truck’s menu. The NoMad Truck just finished its first collaboration with Roy Choi, a food truck god if you will. The NoMad Truck spent the first month outside the Line Hotel where Choi is in charge. But Choi didn’t just house the truck for a month, but also was challenged to collaborate on the truck’s menu presenting the “Roy Choi” chicken dumpling burger, this mouthwatering sandwich includes a chicken patty with shrimp, chili, and ginger. As the NoMad Truck collaborates with more iconic chefs (Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal) they challenge each collaborator with coming up with their own unique chicken burger. In addition they are seeing what L.A. residents respond to and are taking notes in preparation to open NoMad Los Angeles next fall in the Giannini Place in downtown L.A.
So far the menu is about what you would expect (in a good way). It is gourmet meets street eats, offering people on the go more than your average burger, dog, or grilled cheese. The core menu consists of the NoMad burger, the Humm dog, fried fish sandwich, fries, and a Milk & Honey dessert. Again, these are not your average burgers and dogs. The Humm dog is a Hebrew National hot dog wrapped in bacon and topped Gruyère cheese sauce, black truffle mayonnaise, celery relish and pickled mustard seed so yes it does cost a little more than your average dollar dog. But the price matches the dish, even with the truffle mayonnaise (truffles costs thousands of dollars for just a few caps) the prices on all the dishes remain around $10, which is not much more than you’d pay for an average meal from McDonalds. The menu will also see some changes as the seasons change as many food trucks do to keep things interesting for their customers and to take advantage of produce that is in-season.
The sad news? Don’t get too attached to this food truck, when the restaurant is established they plan on focusing on the restaurant and closing the doors on the truck. The good news? Humm and Guidiera hope to integrate some of the menu items from the truck into their restaurant, so even if you missed them on the road you’ll have a chance to taste their Michelin starred creations in NoMad Los Angeles.