Truck Territory

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Last week, LAist pointed out that boycott signs were posted on “junker” cars parked illegally in front of 5750 Wilshire, the site of recent food truck vs. brick and mortar turf wars (and Los Angeles magazine’s front yard). A little bit of background for those who don’t work along Miracle Mile: the management of Museum Square—the building that houses Marie Callender’s, Johnnie’s New York Pizza, Baja Fresh, and Mixt Greens—has allegedly been paying employees to park at the metered spots along the 5700 block to prevent food trucks from operating there and hurting their businesses. These so called “junker” cars rack up hundreds of dollars in tickets, both for staying at meters beyond the 2-hour limit and parking in an anti-gridlock zone. The battle intensified last week, when boycott signs were posted on the cars that read: “We, the eating public of the 5700 block of Wilshire Blvd., are boycotting Museum Square Restaurants due to Museum Square Building’s incendiary, guerrilla street parking practices with junker cars. We will return after this practice has ended.”

Curious about what new tactics might be used this week, I strolled down Wilshire Boulevard during lunchtime to check out the battlefield today. No boycott signs were posted, but eight junker cars with parking tickets took up all eight spaces along the first stretch of the 5700 block, curiously with the same amount of minutes left in each meter. The 5750 block was lined with food trucks—Bool, The Greasy Wiener, K Manna, No Reservations, and The Place LA—with two ticketed cars sandwiched in between.

According to Sheldon Katz, owner and general manager of the No Reservations truck, the boycott signs were posted by a group of angry employees from the 5700 Wilshire Courtyard building who are upset that the restaurants are attempting to restrict their lunch options. Katz and his truck arrived at 8:30 this morning, along with the other food trucks and junker car-drivers, whom he greeted cordially. “It’s not their fault,” he explained. “It’s the management at Museum Square. How can you, as a business owner, strip people’s right of choice with guerilla tactics? It’s just wrong.”

Nearby, Damion Wiley, a representative from the Mobile Food Vendors Association, polled people on the street about their lunchtime preferences. His preliminary results indicated that some people had come to the area specifically for the trucks, and that others would be more inclined to bring a lunch from home if the trucks were not around.

Who knows what will come next in the Wilshire food truck saga, but in the meantime—here are some lunch options .