Nicole’s post: NomNomTruck, Dinnertime

22 May

After choosing the NomNomTruck from a list of nearby LA food trucks I had found on-line, we set off toward La Crescenta.  It was a bright green truck parked along the road near a small shopping center. It was 7 oclock, right around dinner time, and the sidewalk surrounding the truck was crowded with waiting customers.  As we approached the NomNomTruck from a nearby parking lot, I could see a line of 5 people 3 yards away from the ordering window.  2 people had formed a separate line closer to the ordering window.  Between these two lines, I determined that the longer one further away from the truck was for those awaiting their ordered meals and the shorter one was for ordering.  I quickly queued up in the shorter one.  While awaiting my turn, I observed the people who had already ordered and were waiting for their food.  4 of them, 2 separate couples, began to chat idly amongst each other about their decision to try the food truck.  One of the gentleman exclaimed that he had originally planned to go out for sushi, but happened upon the NomNomTruck and changed his mind.  All 4 expressed their excitement for trying something new.  These people, with little else in common aside from their dinner choice that night, chose to start up a conversation during their wait.  The NomNomTruck served as not only a provider of food, but also as a community for its diners.

As we approached the front of the line, we already had our orders prepared. It seemed that customers in line chose their food beforehand so as to avoid holding up the line.  I too had my order memorized: Grilled port banh mi without jalepenos.  The food truck offered Vietnamese influenced foods with banh mi (Vietnamese style sandwiches) and tacos.  After ordering and paying, we also joined the second line which had formed a few yards back to await our food.

I chose to write my ethnographic account under the themes of space and community.  I at first intended to focus on the relationship of space between the two lines that had formed near the truck, but after overhearing the exchanges between some members in line, I felt inclined to include that it in my account. 

–Nicole Katekura


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