By Juliana Appenrodt
One of the first trucks I’ve tried that isn’t striving to take customers on a road trip to the culinary corners of the earth, The Place Los Angeles is quintessentially Californian. Housed in a bright orange and yellow truck boasting a black silhouette of the Los Angeles skyline along the bottom, its menu consists of burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, burritos and multiple variations on the French fry. The common thread throughout the entire selection: pastrami.
Under every sub-section of the extensive menu, at least one or two of the items are topped with pastrami. Yes, this means they offer a pastrami cheeseburger, and yes, I did dare to order it. Burgers being one of my all-time favorite foods, I was beyond excited to have my first burger-from-a-truck experience, and even more excited that it was a burger topped with something you don’t often see between the patty and the bun.
My first thought was that meat topped with meat might be a bit much, but I reconsidered, envisioning the bacon cheeseburgers in which I so often indulge. As it turned out, the pastrami cheeseburger closely resembled a bacon cheeseburger—both in appearance and taste—but with a little more emphasis on the meaty topping. The pastrami was rather delicious; the burger, on the other hand, was only sub-par. And the combo? Just plain filling.
The pastrami-smothered cheeseburger left little room for the side that I ordered: the bacon and cheese fries. Hot pastrami cheese fries were an option, too, of course, but I just wasn’t sure how much pastrami I could handle in one sitting. With bacon bits melted into the cheese that had been drizzled over the skinny fries, they were rather heavenly, but again, extremely filling.
Though the truck didn’t serve up the best burger I’ve ever had, it is definitely a mobile eatery I would give a second chance, mainly because I am intrigued by a few of the other pastrami-themed menu items that I didn’t get to try. Where else can you get a pastrami hot dog, a pastrami quesadilla or a pastrami and egg burrito? And although the menu does include a veggie burger, I’d urge vegetarians to stay a considerable distance away from any curb where this truck is parked; The Place is no place for the non-meat lover.