Together Sepulveda Boulevard in entrance of the Van Nuys Petco, just one of Los Angeles’s priceless mini foods truck rows gathers on most evenings. It is wherever birria de res expert Birrieria Villalobos, a teppanyaki truck, a Yucatecan taco location, and a cute crimson trailer with blue and yellow signage boasting the three hues of the Colombian flag line up serving clean avenue foods to Valley denizens. The major attraction at the Colombian truck, Vivi’s Gourmet Cuisine, is the arepa rellena, a stuffed arepa. Arepas are an indigenous dish designed from cornmeal (usually precooked corn flour), equivalent to gorditas mexicanas and pupusas. They are necessary to Venezuelan and Colombian cuisines, nevertheless regional variations can be identified in Puerto Rico, Panamá, and the Canary Islands.
At first from Cali, Colombia, Viviana “Vivi” Henriquez opened Vivi’s Gourmet Delicacies five yrs back at the Northridge Farmers Market place. In the months top up to the pandemic, she moved into a trailer, in the beginning gathering a loyal subsequent of Venezuelans and Colombians.
“I had worked as a cook dinner at the Lakeside Cafe in Encino, then the Cheesecake Manufacturing facility wherever I labored very long hours and arrived home fatigued. I imagined to myself, if I’m heading to function this hard I may possibly as effectively be executing it for myself,” claims Henriquez. She enrolled in the culinary arts software at Los Angeles Mission College in Sylmar, and following two a long time in college, a pal experienced an plan. “A Colombian classmate suggested I get started modest, carrying out gatherings for the group, catering, which led me to the Northridge Farmers Sector,” she says. At to start with, Henriquez had to give absent arepas since they are so exceptional in LA. Arepas are foreign even for Latinos who know and enjoy gorditas and pupusas.
Acquiring acquired the belief of hesitant diners, Henriquez and her spouse found a trailer to make their procedure far more mobile, dedicating it to the arepa rellena stuffed with traditional recipes from Cali. The arepa de pollo receives loaded with shredded rooster seasoned with triquisar, a well known Colombian seasoning combine, and will come tinted yellow from a minimal food items coloring (which is common in Colombia). It’s completed with melted cheese and cilantro sauce. The chicharrón arepa is made up of fried diced squares of crackling and cheese, whilst the beef, called carne desmechada in Colombia, is stewed in spices, a very little tomato, onion, and garlic right before becoming overstuffed into split arepas. “I cook dinner the corn myself, and grind the corn into the dough,” claims Henriquez. To consume, check out pairing the arepas with ultra sweet gaseosas, Colombian sodas, these types of as Postobon Manzana and Colombiana.
The trailer operates in Van Nuys, Reseda, Canoga Park, and down in Lengthy Beach front on diverse days with a concise menu of arepa rellenas, Colombian incredibly hot dogs, hamburgers, empanadas, chorizo, and eventually dedo de queso (cheese sticks), an item Venezuelans take pretty seriously in Venezuela, they are known as tequeños. “In Very long Beach we get a ton of Venezuelans for the arepas, but even far more so for the cheese sticks,” says David Muñoz, Vivi’s partner and spouse, who pairs the cheese sticks with a sweet pineapple sauce. There are five sauces on the truck: pineapple, cilantro, salsa rosada (mayo and ketchup), and mustard, all of which are important to Colombian sizzling puppies and hamburgers.
Rather of a Colombian pan perro, which is not obtainable below, Vivi makes use of a regionally made bun for her scorching puppies, and heaps in onions, lettuce, tomato, crispy chopped bacon, and ripio de papa (stick fries) protected in the 5 sauces. The hamburger will come likewise dressed. There are couple areas dedicated to the arepa, and even less heading to the lengths Henriquez goes for her enjoyable arepas rellenas, scorching pet dogs, and Colombian treats, making it very well worthy of it to locate this food items trailer at do the job.
Vivi’s Gourmet Cuisine’s weekly agenda is posted on Fb and Instagram.