There might not be a more auspicious place to launch a food-related business than in the VIP lounge at the LA Street Food Fest, what might be the biggest food event in L.A. history. That’s where Alex Chu was handing out samples from his upcoming DIMSUM TRUCK, which rolls across Los Angeles for the first time on February 21, with an official launch the following week.
“Dim sum has been always been a part of my life,” says Chu. “It’s something that’s brought my family together on weekends, and I think about it even now when I have dim sum with friends. Also, my first job in restaurants was a dim sum server at Sino Restaurant in San Jose.”
Chu majored in Entrepreneurship and International Relations at USC, completed a management internship with BLT Steak partner Brad Johnson and worked on the opening team for Kitchen 24 before following his entrepreneurial leanings with THE DIMSUM TRUCK. After all, dim sum is “basically an old-school version of meals on wheels.”
“I want to make dim sum more accessible to everyone in LA.,” says Chu. “Distance has always been one thing that’s kept me from enjoying dim sum as often as I’d like, since I live by the Westside and really good dim sum is only in the San Gabriel Valley. If my truck can reach from the Valley to Silver Lake to Venice, everyone can enjoy my traditional and fusion style dim sum items whenever it’s near.”
Chu hired a team of cooks to make dim sum fresh each morning, including pork and shrimp shu mai, shrimp har gow, pan fried pork spare rib buns, baked BBQ pork buns, egg tarts and lotus sesame balls.
He’s also developed recipes for a number of fusion items, combining Chinese flavors with his favorite Mexican fast food options. Spicy Tofu Mulita was inspired by the mulitas he used to eat at La Taquiza, near USC. It’s tofu and Monterey Jack cheese, sandwiched with chile black bean sauce in a pair of grilled tortillas and topped with slaw. Peking Duck Taco includes roasted duck topped with a blend of green onion and both sweet and pickled cucumber.
You should also expect dim sum specials like pan fried turnip cakes, black bean spare ribs, chicken feet, shrimp/beef/BBQ pork rice noodle rolls, mango pudding and sweet tofu pudding.
THE DIMSUM TRUCK will frequent Santa Monica, West LA, Miracle Mile, USC, UCLA, Silver Lake and Echo Park. Of course you’ll have the option to find the truck’s exact location via Twitter @dimsumtruck.