Road Food: Carb & Nation

Gastropub grub, curbside

Here at Los Angeles magazine we are lucky enough to have a fleet of food trucks waiting to feed us just outside our Miracle Mile offices. Here we highlight the city’s grub on wheels.

The Truck: Carb & Nation’s faded blue mobile kitchen has a vintage theme and a chalkboard menu.

The Lowdown: The menu offers cheffy buns and sandwiches similiar to those you’d see on any good gastropub menu.

The Peeps: Former Church & State sous chefs Fata Wijaya and Kevin Micheli may be new on the food truck scene, but don’t let that fool you. What started out as experimenting with burgers and soda combos quickly turned into a chef-driven truck with homemade bread and fancy pop.

The Loot: Cash and cards accepted.

The Goods: It’s always nice to hit a truck with a simple menu of a few items done really well. They have two sandwiches (short rib and chicken) for $9.50 each, two buns (pork belly and shrimp) for $3.50 each, and a few sides like bacon-wrapped dates ($6). Most everything is made from scratch including the interesting soda mixes like papaya with lime and passionfruit with habanero ($4).

The Verdict: With such reasonable prices, the chefs make it easy to sample more than one item on the menu. We decided to try something from every category: one shrimp bun, one short rib sandwich, and a side order of the Medjool dates. BOOM! Everything was loaded with flavor and smacked of the seasoned chefs behind the preparation. The shrimp bun was made with sweet Oregon shrimp, Indonesian curry, mango, and shrimp crackers. The bun was fluffy and obviously hand-rolled. Next up, the Yo Shorty sandwich. Made with short rib, C&N flatbread, Sriracha aioli, pepper relish, Korean pear, and arugula, the hoagie had a bit of everything from salty to sweet to sour. Our favorite, though, was the dates. They were packed with spicy chorizo and paired with a roasted red pepper dipping sauce. Crispy, rich, sweet, and spicy with just the right amount of kick. We almost went back for a second order but the line was too long! We hear the pork belly bun is the next thing to try, so we’ll definitely be back. Carb&Nation, 626-675-6499,