Edgy eyewear, crisp lines aplenty, sustainable materials up the yin yang, and the many other components that created the Dwell on Design gestalt were within tangible grasp of Los Angeles aesthetes. Of the panels and discussions, perhaps the most anticipated event was Saturday night's movie event hosted at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Docs about Julius Shulman and environmental activism in Boston were part of the draw, but food on wheels proved to be the main attraction to the sold-out event. This was a Restaurant Row absent of any trace of Lawry's, the Stinking Rose, and Benihana.
Roach coaches from Sprinkles, Coolhaus (debuting its newest flavor, Louis Kahntaloupe; I struck out, alas), the Green Truck, Barbie's Q, Let's Be Frank and Locali's "Icycle" frozen dessert tricycle did brisk business. I was quite the permissive mom and James got INSANELY messy, between the cupcake and mint choco chip ice cream sandwich. NEVER underestimate the appeal a "truck with cupcakes" has to a toddler.
The trucks and customers activated the hardscape beneath the steel structure in an exciting way. But it also provided some fodder for geeky urban planning-type debate.
This latest craze makes perfect sense in our mobility-obsessed city, offers a big convenience factor, and can get people to experience public life and know sidewalks they might otherwise never see. And yet I wonder. Is it a hipster/bourgie fetish of something that's already existed for decades mostly in lower income communities out of necessity? Does this phenomenon celebrate or ultimately belittle food trucks, co-opting and turning it into a flash-in-the-pan trend?
Or will more eateries jump on the bandwagon, making it a permanent addition to the city landscape and a rare tool that manages to cut across socio-economic lines?
Anyway, getting back to what I actually saw, food-oriented highlights from the convention hall included the eye-popping green -- literally and figuratively -- recyclable kitchen by Valcucine, displayed with a fabulously practical plant wall that momentarily took me back to the Casa Camper in Barcelona. And after seeing the Zyliss SmartTouch salad spinner included in designboom's Kitchen Ecology exhibition, I might have to ditch my old trusty, beat up Oxo.