Introducing the Latest LA Food Truck "Crawling" to a Street Near You! The LA Roach Coach. They Serve Bugs Dead!
Ha, Yum Bug!
It was only a matter of time before entomophagy hit the mainstream. Entomophagy, for those of you who aren't cool, is the practice of eating insects as a form of nutrition and, I would add, pleasure.
And since I am the Deep End Diner, I got the absolute privilege of being invited to the first ever tasting at LA's first food truck that on purpose serves up bugs as food. For those of us entomophagists who have been desperate all these years struggling and searching to find a food truck for "our kind", we've only run into dead ends like a housefly stuck on fly paper. Then out of the clear blue, riding on a fresh spring breeze, leaving the distinct odor of insect cuisine on its trail is the one and only LA Roach Coach.
The LA Roach Coach, owned and operated by North Hollywood resident and former porno movie industry caterer, Jimmy Ricketts, is a one of kind meals on wheels operation where the meals could also be mealworms if, that is, you wake up early enough to take advantage of their breakfast burrito, essentially a classic breakfast burrito gut bomb mixed with mealworms. "It's really popular with the construction workers," says Ricketts, "At 5 in the AM, I don't think they even care what they're eating."
Chef Ricketts with his crew and some really fancy "grub".
It's definitely not all blue collar grub, although the grubs are really tasty too, pan-fried with garlic and thai chilis. "But we make 'em into a bruschetta appetizer too and put 'em on some crusty bread. People love it when the innards kinda squirt on to the bread. It's like a tasty spread," claims Ricketts.
As far as his inspiration to start cooking bugs, Ricketts credits his many years of catering to both lusty luminaries and horny hacks in the San Fernando Valley adult film capital, he learned that "they (porn stars) will put anything in their mouths."
To prove his theory, Ricketts placed a Madagascar hissing cockroach into an enchilada ordered by the "stunt cock" on set. "The guy ate the whole enchilada," Ricketts recalls through tears and a hearty chuckle.
About a decade after serving up his first creepy crawly cuisine, he sniffed an opportunity when he noticed the food truck craze in LA. "It was spreading like wildfire. All the way to New York and up to Frisco! A truck rolls out every other day, selling the most random crap! Grilled cheese? Dim sum? Dosas? What the hell's a dosa?" Ricketts ponders.
"If a taco made with Korean meat is a hit, then a taco made with Oaxacan grasshoppers is a goddam grand slam!"
Yes, the LA Roach Coach has a specialty taco. And, Ricketts will put into it any kind of bug the customer wants. "I mean, that's what the taco trucks do. They put whatever the hell you want in there. Sometimes it is a roach but that's by accident, and the difference is I do it by choice," he laughs.
Regarding the on-the-nose name, Ricketts says proudly he's "really lucky" nobody else used it for a food truck. "It's funny, you hear the term 'roach coach' all the time, it's become like Xerox or Band-Aid or something generic." But, he has claimed the name as his own and now his truck is a literal coach of roaches, crickets, grubs and a menagerie of all kinds of insect critters made for human consumption.
When asked what the Los Angeles Health Department thinks of his truck, Ricketts explains, "They won't see bugs the same way again after they taste mine. I think they'll love 'em! Now, as far as rats, forget it! They can shut me down if they find one of those. I don't do vermin. I hate 'em!"
Of course, like the rest of the food trucks, you can follow the LA Roach Coach on Twitter. Good luck!