Soma Str’eat’ Food Park:  Food Truck Central in San Francisco

So this is normal life?  Tuesday trivia night.

I didn’t plan on going to the food truck lot in SOMA.  My friend and I pretty much stumbled passed it on our way to Little Italy in SF on our way out of the Mission.  On our left we could see orange string lighting and large brightly painted food trucks parked around the perimeter of a lot.  Above the trucks hung a sign advertising Str’eat’ food.

My first food truck lot was in Portland Oregon.  They also have them on Friday evenings in Oakland.  From what I’ve heard they have one in Los Angeles.  There’s also one in Daly City on occasion.  Food truck events have become quite popular.  I assume it’s because of the rise in social media and the ability to inform people of their current location.

At the SOMA food truck lot there’s a variety of food, however it seems predominated by Latin American and Asian cultures.  There’s definitely pizza and burgers.  The burger place is called Nonoburger and the name of the place that serves Italian escapes me right now.  For the Latin American food hubs there’s a truck that sells papusas, a truck that sells pitchers of Sangria, and a truck for empanadas.  From Asia, there’s a Vietnamese truck, a Filipino truck (Sarap Shop), and a Korean truck (Kokio), however I wouldn’t say it’s conventional Korean food.  I ordered a Happy Hour pitcher of Sangria for my friend and I.  I thought the happy hour price was exceptional: 10 dollars.  It also turned out to be pretty good.  My friend ordered from the empanada truck.

At these food truck festivals, I seem to always gravitate towards Korean food.  I guess there’s something about food trucks that makes me want kimchi rice and spare ribs.  The ‘Korean’ food truck was named Kokio.  I was somewhat disappointed to find that they didn’t have the usual spare ribs.  They only had chicken.  However, they also had something that seemed interesting for a Korean food venue: fried rice balls.  Not only that, it was fried rice balls with bacon; definitely not what one would label as traditional Korean food.  Then I noticed someone walking back with their open take out box.  In his box was fries, crispy fried chicken, and crispy chicken tenders with a bright red complexion.

The food truck definitely began to make sense when I noticed that the truck was being operated by two black guys, not Koreans.  The food wasn’t traditional Korean food; it was fried chicken and bacon deep fried rice with Korean flavors.  Although it was not what I expected, I thought the renegade idea was excellent.

I took my food and its larger than typical portion, food truck-wise, to a small enclosed canopy within the lot where they were screening highlights of the Warriors game on large flat screen TVs.  They had already started on Trivia night.  My friend had already finished her empanada.  I placed my food down and pierced my fork through the rice ball.  I’m a big fan of kimchi rice.  To have kimchi rice rolled into a ball and then deep fried: it’s pretty exciting.  The flavors were very well put together.  I had a piece of the fried chicken; the texture was still warm and crispy.  The red glaze over the chicken had a spice to it that left a warmth on my lips, yet a sweetness over my tongue.  Again, the flavors were very well put together.  I offered some to my friend and she declined.  She doesn’t like Asian food. . . or pizza.  I had to explain to her how the dish broke from Asian traditions, and when she finally tried it, responded in a very positive way.

The night went on with trivia.  I had no idea why my friend was so bent on answering questions on pop culture and when she implied my participation in the sport by asking me for input on a team name, I declined to be of any use to her.  Trivia night didn’t seem like my thing.  I look around the table and see people who look like they work together, forced to feel obligated to agree to a happy hour to appease the natural camaraderie between coworkers.  There are several couples who I assume aren’t doing the whole couple thing very correctly if their extracurricular activity consist of answering questions in an academically inclined fashion utilizing elementary school booklets and pencils.  After hearing questions about the personal lives of popular celebrities and rap music references, my interest changed when the host asked a question about the technique used by Mohammad Ali when he fought against George Foreman.

“That’s a rope a-dope,” I said.  I was right.

After that, trivia night turned out to be kind of fun.

I still find it kind of interesting: what normal people do on a typical Tuesday evening.  I think scheduled events like this seem forced.  But, I guess people like routine.  My friend and I stayed for 3 rounds and 3 mini handout rounds in between.  During the lulls, my friend caught me up on her mildly exciting dating life.

“You know I’m not exactly the guy you talk to about your boyfriend problems, right?” I told her, just to make sure she caught on that my attention to what she was talking about was ever dwindling.

“That’s okay, I just want someone to listen,” she said.

Great!  I guess this is normal life.

Follow Kokio on Facebook.

Follow Kokio on Instagram.

Follow Soma Str’eat’ Food Park on Facebook.

Follow Soma Str’eat’ Food Park on Twitter.

Follow Soma Str’eat’ Food Park on their website.

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