Tomo Seo, owner and chef of the Luckdish Curry trailer, is in the peculiar business of spreading luck. He believes that with every bowl of his signature Japanese-style curry he dishes up from his converted Airstream trailer brings a bit of good fortune along with it. “People have come back to tell me that after eating my food they got the job, married, or something else they were wishing for,” says Seo. It seems Luckdish Curry isn’t merely a catchy name but a business model too.
Seo’s curry is mild and sweet the Japanese way. It requires 48 hours to complete his scratch curry recipe, resulting in curry that is thick and sticky, clinging, as it should, to each grain of steamed rice. According to Seo, curry is Japan’s top-selling food, even over ramen and sushi. This is why he got into the Japanese curry game. There was nobody else doing it in L.A., at least not out of a truck or trailer.
But why does an entrepreneur like Seo with no restaurant or cooking background get into the food service biz? Partly out of a desire to assimilate into a new culture. When he moved to the U.S. from Japan, he settled in Torrance, a community known for its strong Japanese heritage. Still, Seo felt he wasn’t really getting to know the people of L.A.
His eureka moment: open a food trailer. So he scraped together some cash from savings he earned working various Japanese media gigs and soon had a 1968 Airstream trailer converted into a mobile kitchen. So far, Luckdish has been in business for 2 1/2 years and Seo has gotten to know and even befriended many of his loyal customers.
Along with the popular chicken curry bowl, Luckdish slings a seemingly requisite taco. This hard shell taco filled with steamed rice and smothered in chicken curry has pleasant texture contrasts of crunchy and soft. The curry is bolstered with garbanzo beans and tons of onion, which make it thicker. Some cayenne is tossed in for a subtle jolt. If you seek more spice, go for level 5, and you’ll be stung with a blazing habanero sauce.
However, if it’s extra luck you’re seeking, go for the chicken curry burrito. It’s the top seller and proven to be very lucky for Seo.
Luckdish Curry trailer, check website for schedule. 310-890-9860