Guy Adams: Twitraunts are no flash in the pan

LA Notebook

Share
Related Topics

On old Route 66 just outside LA, there's a museum marking the spot where, in 1940, two brothers called Dick and Mac McDonald opened the world's first restaurant which made hamburgers on a production line – thereby spawning an entire, artery-clogging global fast-food industry.

Today, Los Angeles is in the early throes of another great culinary revolution which may, in due course, be regarded with a similar brand of lip-licking nostalgia as the one which produced Dick and Mac's golden arches. In recent months, this trend-setting metropolis has given birth to its first wave of Twitter Restaurants. These venues, which we shall, for want of a better word, call "Twitraunts", are in fact small trucks, fitted with rudimentary kitchens, which nip from street corner to street corner, like a traditional burger van. At the same time, they "tweet" their every move on the modish micro-blogging website, prompting vast flash-mobs of iPhone-toting customers to converge wherever they stop.

What makes them a success however, is the food. These vans don't sell old-fashioned junk. Instead, they employ top-notch chefs who produce ranges of high-end, inventive street cuisine which is among the most delicious and sought-after grub available anywhere in Southern California.

Most famous of the new Twitraunts is KogiBBQ, which sells Mexican-Korean "fusion" dishes such as spicy pork tacos and oriental quesadillas – and often boasts 45-minute queues at its serving hatch. Other prominent ones include ItsBentoBaby (Japanese "soul" food), FlyingPigTruck (Asian-French "fusion"), BarbiesQ (Hog Roast), and the self-explanatory BigGayIceCreamTruck. Together they have now become so prodigiously fashionable that several were recently included in LA Weekly's prestigious annual run-down of the city's top 50 places to eat, which is compiled by the newspaper's Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold.

Cynics, or Twitter refuseniks, have of course dubbed them a flash in the pan. But I wouldn't be so sure. In Dick and Mac's day, cheap meat came along, so LA created fast-food; then cars became ubiquitous, so it popularised drive-thrus. Now we have social networks, so LA has responded, in typically confident fashion, with Twitraunts, the latest milestone in a time-honoured tradition of culinary innovation.

Unfriend finds favour

Speaking of social networking, the Oxford American Dictionary made headlines this week by unveiling its "new word" of the year: "unfriend," a verb, meaning to dispense with an acquaintance via Facebook. It beat off competition from "teabagger," a term which supposedly refers to opponents of Obama, but previously appeared (in a different context, wholly unsuitable for a family newspaper) in Viz magazine's Profanisaurus of swear words.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Nai or Oxi: whether Greece says Yes or No today its citizens will continue to struggle  

Greece crisis: Referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its lack of genuine legitimacy

Rupert Cornwell
George Osborne likes to think of himself as the greatest political mind of his generation  

Budget 2015: It takes a lot of hard work to be as lucky as George Osborne

John Rentoul
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test