Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dosa Truck, Los Angeles, Restaurant Review

Indian food roams the LA streets via several different food trucks, and in the case of the Dosa Truck, the best dishes are the Indian-Mexican fusion ones.

7 out of 10 Peppers = Spicy

I should be in charge of naming things. Sure, I write plenty of headlines that I think are pretty clever for articles at my magazine job, I once nicknamed a high school classmate "cowboy" (because he was from Kentucky and for some reason that is the only association I had with the state) and it actually spread and stuck for years (Sorry, Heath!), and I briefly tried to get Nick to call the 5-Freeway the "Panch" (the Bengali word for "five") because I thought it would be cute (he didn't). But I mean it would be great if people would hire me to solely to name random things: movies, inventions, books, etc. I would be so great at it.

And if I got to name the Dosa Truck, I would name it something having to do with amazing Indian fusion food truck cuisine. Because that is where it excels. The Mexican-Indian fusion dishes are amazing. But the dosas aren't very good (Sorry, Dosa Truck!), plus I don't think most folks here, even those familiar with Indian cuisine, actually know what a dosa is. (It's a savory South Indian lentil-rice crepe, generally stuffed with potatoes, in case you were wondering.) And the Dosa Truck doesn't include Sambar, the typical soup/dipping sauce served with dosas. Which is like serving a hot dog without ketchup.


The Dosa Truck roams the streets of LA. The first time I caught it was at an Indian event (the annual Indian Film Festival, if I remember correctly). More recently, it happened to be outside a wine bar in Pasadena, where a dear friend (blogger Rhonda at Shine Beauty Beacon) was throwing a girls' night out party to celebrate her birthday.


Rhonda was so thrilled because she can't eat gluten, and this was the first food truck the bar had partnered with in weeks that wasn't a gluten-fest (i.e., one of the grilled cheese trucks had been there earlier that month), and she had a lot of options. If you want vegan options, the truck has those too. (It doesn't use ghee so there's no dairy there, and it was very willing to take custom orders.)

So...I don't know if the food truck purposely has a "secret menu" (a la In-N-Out Burger) or if the employees simply forgot to post one or more of the menu boards this particular night, but I found that the best dishes were the ones that were not on the posted menu. But here's what I would order, in order (Did I mention Rhonda's friends were amazing and let me sample all of their food? This is why I love girls' night out. Wine and so much food):

One of the girls asked the employee taking food orders what her favorite dish was, and she responded that it's the Chicken Tostada. I definitely agree. It's fried roti topped with an assortment of sauteed veggies and chicken in Indian seasonings.  

Masala Fries were on the menu, but AHH for Sweet Potato Masala Fries. WHICH NO ONE SHOULD KEEP FROM ME! One of the girls somehow found out that sweet potatoes were on the truck and got these amazing bites of deliciousness.

Here are the standard Masala Fries. Despite the fact that I don't generally like non-sweet potatoes, I have to hand it to the Dosa Truck that the chunky tomato sauce was really delicious, and the fries' spice level was perfect.

I believe this was the "Tandoori Chicken Tacos" order, although it clearly looks like a quesadilla. But regardless, it was great and all of the Mex-Indian fusion dishes are great options.

The one traditional Indian item that I thought was perfect was the Mango Lassi. It was $4, so not cheap, but it's the most delicious lassi I've had to date. It tasted like it incorporated the flavors of rose, cardamom, and pistachio in with the mango and the yogurt.

These were the Samosas. They were crispy and well-flavored. I appreciated that they were served with two chutneys.

This was my actual order. The Goa Goodness, AKA spinach-mushroom-cheese dosa. It had a good mix of flavors but the dosa itself was soggy. And I couldn't blame that on the sambar since there wasn't any. In the Dosa Truck's defense, one of the girls got this dosa as a custom order without cheese (substituting caramelized onions instead) and hers wasn't soggy.

And here's the most traditional dosa, what the Dosa Truck has dubbed its Mumbai Madness. It's stuffed with curried potatoes. It's OK, but if you really want a good dosa, I'd recommend Annapurna Cuisine in Culver City.

I hope to catch this truck again in my excursions around LA. And next time, I'll know to order.

Dosa Truck, Los Angeles (location varies), dosatruck[at]


  1. I remember trying them out. Their portions were huge!

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