Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Last month, I set up a tasting with the Frysmith Food Truck for my dining group and we got to sample 6 items from their menu. Before we get into the food itself, let's talk a little about the family and it truly is a family behind Frysmith. Frysmith is the brain child of Eric Cho, a native Angeleno who having exposed his palate to the diverse ethnic dining scene, used to dream up of how those flavors could be translated as french fry toppings; hence, the birth of Frysmith.
Along with what's currently on the menu, he'll also dream up specials to ensure that there's always variety for Frysmith customers. With his wife, Brooke, who came aboard to handle the business side of things, to bake delectable cookies as well being the head driver and his father, Ed, who maintains the truck and ensures that they never run out of canola oil, this family really knows how to get things done in the fry world.
One thing that I also like to point out about this truck is while they do sell canned sodas, they also have bottled craft sodas available. I'm not sure if these sodas change every week but for our tasting event, I enjoyed sips from both a Squamsco Sarsaparilla and an Original China Cola made with Chinese Herbs. I tend to think that bottled soda actually tastes better than the canned version and smaller distributors usually have more interesting flavored sodas anyway.
Ok, now let's start with our tasting. First off, we had the Chili Cheese, which is regular fries topped with Angus all-beef chili made with beer and chocolate along with cheddar cheese and onion. At my first bite, I already knew this was a good start. No, it was a great start. This is the first time I've had beer and chocolate chili and the flavors were amazing. I could easily eat that chili in a bowl by itself and pronounce myself a very happy woman.
Our next sample were off menu Poutine fries, which were basically fries topped with Ballard family farms cheese curds and smothered in a porcini gravy. That gravy was rich and I could really taste those mushrooms. Even though this was just the second dish we tried, it was already my favorite. The combination of the semi-soft curds, the crispy fries and that gravy was a perfect example of fry heaven.
Third up were the Rajas, which were fries topped with fire-roasted poblano chiles, caramelized onions, marinated Angus skirt steak and Jack cheese. I enjoyed the smokiness of the poblano chilies and how the steak had a nice little char to the meat's surface.
What came our way next was their Kimchi fries with Kurobuta pork belly, onions and cheddar. Cheese and kimchi would seem an odd coupling, but it works and when you add the pork belly, you have a triad of spicy, cheesy, meaty goodness.
Only two more french fry creations left and the next item was the second off menu item of our tasting. The fries came with calamari, burrata, shredded basil (I think) topped with a ponzu dressing. I think our group was the first ever to try this dish. Unfortunately, this wasn't a hit for me. I did like the tartness of the ponzu dressing, but the burrata didn't really melt and part of the joy of cheese and fries is having the cheese be at least a little gooey. As for the calamari with the long tentacles, I felt like I was eating seafood spaghetti. I think calamari rings may have been a better option. Regardless, while I liked the components separately, I didn't care much for them together.
Last, but not least, was the SweetPo, which was free-range chicken in tomatillo-tamarind sauce over sweet potato fries and topped with mixed nuts. I was actually already getting full by this point, so I just had a little of the SweetPo. Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling this dish either. The sweetness of the potatoes pairing with the slightly tart/sour tomatillo-tamarind sauce was a disconnect for me. It didn't quite jive; however, I'd like to replace the sweet potato fries with just regular fries and I have feeling that I'd like it much better.
Our tasting included dessert, so everyone got 3 different cookies baked by Brooke. Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos but they were: Green Tea Cranberry (green tea cookies with cranberries and white chocolate chunks, Oatmeal Cranberry (dark chocolate, cranberries and pecan) and Apricot Curry (apricots, almonds, white chocolate and a touch of curry). My favorite were the Apricot Curry cookies. The curry just added a different flavor nuance and ensured that the white chocolate wouldn't be too sweet. I wish I had a cookie jar full of them right now, but then, they probably wouldn't last long.
Overall, this was a great sampling of menu items from the Frysmith Food Truck. I really loved the crispy fries. Soggy fries are a no-no for me. The various toppings were delicious and while a couple of them wouldn't be considered faves of mine, they were at least interesting and unique. So the next time you see the Frysmith Truck parked close to you, be sure to check them out for some of the best gourmet fries in LA.
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