Chef Daniel Humm has raised the bar for food trucks in the United States with his latest venture — the NoMad food truck — which has been spotted on the streets of Los Angeles over the past month as recce for the restaurant he aims to open in the city after a successful stint in New York.
“The food truck is a great way to get to know the city and to get to know the chefs here,” said Humm, according to the Los Angeles Times. “We want to really connect with this place before we open the NoMad Los Angeles. Because we don’t want the NoMad to be a carbon copy of what we do in New York.”
The co-owner of New York City restaurants Eleven Madison Park (which boasts of three Michelin stars) and the NoMad, has collaborated with Will Guidara, who is the co-owner of hospitality group Make It Nice that owns and operates Eleven Madison Park, the NoMad, as well as the NoMad Bar to bring NoMad on wheels to L.A. — a fresh twist to burgers, hot dogs, fries and soft serve.
“The idea is a very casual format,” Guidara told L.A. Times. “Just to give people a little taste of who we are and what we’re going to be.”
The fancy comfort food is the child of Humm’s collaborations with different chefs as he moves across the city. During the truck’s time in Koreatown, Humm collaborated with one of Roy Choi’s iconic restaurants for a chicken dumpling burger.
The core menu of the truck, however, has the NoMad burger, a Humm dog, a fried fish sandwich, fries and a dessert called Milk & Honey. The signature burger is based on the restaurant’s signature chicken for two dish made with two patties, which the owners say is inspired by West Coast’s favorite “In-N-Out.” It is made of ground chicken with truffles, some black truffle mayonnaise, tart frisée salad, pickled onions and pieces of crispy chicken skin.
The Humm dog is essentially a bacon-wrapped hot dog, but with a twist and is topped with a Gruyère cheese sauce, black truffle mayonnaise, celery relish and pickled mustard seed. The side dishes change seasonally and the truck is currently serving crispy French fries with rosemary and lemon. The fanciest food truck meal can be finished with the vanilla soft serve sprinkled with honey and crispy bits — the Milk & Honey.
“Earlier in our careers, I don’t think we would have had the confidence or maturity to do this,” said Humm. “Ten years ago I’d have wanted to do a sea urchin cappuccino with cauliflower and crab at a tasting event. Today there are events where we are actually doing a hot dog or something to that effect, because I also know when I'm at one of those events, I know what I would want to eat.”
While the truck is expected to close down once the restaurant officially opens next year, the owners are already wondering if they will be able to “emotionally” let go of their dream food truck.