• mandoline grill launches in los angeles!

    February 6th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, mandoline grill

    the wait is finally over, and the vegan-friendly vietnamese food truck mandoline grill is ready to hit the streets of los angeles. we were at their launch party today at the verdugo, and although they are still working out some of the kinks, the food was overall bomb!

    mandoline grill was supposed to start serving at 3pm today, but sadly they didn’t start taking orders until around 3:40. thankfully, the verdugo is a great bar with plenty of beers on tap and a comfortable atmosphere where you can easily lose yourself. when the truck finally began taking orders, it turned into a bit of a clusterfuck. we waited in line for awhile, placed our orders, and stood waiting about 50 minutes for our food to be ready. oh well, considering it’s mandoline grill’s first day on the job, we were definitely willing to cut them some slack.

    i was with a grip of hungry peeps, so we literally ordered everything vegan on the menu. here’s a rundown of our haul (in descending menu order of course…)

    vegan cha gio. $4

    first up, my dining companions sitting opposite me ordered the cha gio, some fried spring rolls stuffed with fake meat and vegetables. since our last visit, mandoline grill has upped the portion size of the cha gio. this stuff is tasty, huge, fried, and cheap…win/win/win/win.

    lemongrass tofu banh mi. $6

    next up, my husband and i shared a lemongrass tofu banh mi. at 6 bucks, this sandwich cost a dollar more than the mandoline grill banh mi we had last time, but was a full 6 inches longer as well! the sandwich was massive, hearty, fresh, and full of some of the most amazing marinated tofu i’ve ever eaten.

    rice vermicelli lemongrass tofu bowl. $6

    we also got a lemongrass tofu noodle bowl, which tasted good… but not nearly as good as the banh mi. it came with the same perfect tofu that the sandwich did, but on a bed of thin cold noodles to be eaten w/ chop sticks.

    cha gio noodle bowl. $6

    lastly, my friend sitting beside me ordered the cha gio noodle bowl which was basically like the tofu noodle bowl, but w/ spring rolls plopped on top rather than tofu. she agreed that it was tasty, but the banh mi was better.

    although we waited ages for our food today, i really want to encourage y’all to check out mandoline grill asap. they are a small food truck and almost half the menu is vegan…that alone deserves our support.

    today they may have been a bit overwhelmed by the long lines…

    and the spotty rain on their launch day.

    best of luck, mandoline grill!!!! we can’t wait to eat more of your food.

    be sure to follow mandoline grill on twitter and check out their website regularly.

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9 responses to “mandoline grill launches in los angeles!” RSS icon

  • i was there around 4pm, and two of the feet in that picture belong to me. can’t believe quarrygirl was right there as well. thanks for tweeting about this yesterday, am very glad I went along, despite the wait.

  • The food was amazing! Absolutely an A+. Honestly one of the best spring rolls i’ve ever had and the vegan banh mi was so good I’ll be craving another one in the morning.

    The wait times desperately need to be sorted out. There was a huge line at the truck when I arrived at 5pm and after getting a couple of beers I started hearing that people had been waiting well over an hour to receive their food orders. So, though I was hungry, I waited until after 7pm to place my order. At that time there was no line to order at all; I just walked up to the window and asked for the vegan banh mi and spring rolls. It then took 80 minutes to get my food. That’s way too long by any restaurant’s standards.

    Hopefully they don’t have to shortcut the quality of the food to cut that wait time from 80 to 8 minutes.

    But a note to the guy ahead of me who laid into the Mando crew out of frustration: Everything you said was true (he had simply ordered one sandwich and waited almost 90min to get it, having been told “20 more minutes” each time he went up to inquire about it) and it is a mystery that any kitchen crew would be so overwhelmed even after the initial rush had died down, but you should have known that it was their 1st day out in the public; you gotta show up at a truck launch with a “c’est la vie” attitude. Hell, they gave us all free buttons, which is particularly cool b/c the Mandoline Grill logo/art is awesome.

    I’d say Mando has more than “a few kinks” to work out in getting their service speed up to a viable level (they simply can not show up in a business district at lunch time with wait-times of over an hour). But I really hope they succeed; their food is truly spectacular.

    Also, everyone in the truck was super nice and I hope that isn’t one of the things that gets sacrificed in the course of cutting their cook times down.

  • Wow I am actually kind of glad I didn’t go. I’d be pissed if I had to wait that long for my food. I will wait until they’ve smoothed things out to try the food.

  • that banh mi was the fucking shit. so glad i got one to go! although, i was envious of it’s size while i was eating it. 😉

  • Hello. I am not a 14 year old girl. What does ‘overall bomb’ mean?

  • 15 year old girl

    As a linguistic expert, my opinion is that “overall bomb” translates to “overall very exceptional.”

  • more important, with this post you show readers what ‘not’ to wear and that the fashion police are ‘everywhere.’ the broad in the ugg boots should have been pulled out of line and given a citation of leaving the house looking like a cunt

  • Breaking Glass:

    Dear Grandpa,

    You might want to check out urbandictionary.com to keep up with Those Damn Kids Today, or at least the ones from the early to mid 90s.


    ~*A 14 year old girl*~
    (in the early to mid 90s)

  • i showed up at 6:30pm. since there were only two people in line when i got there, there wasn’t much of a wait to place my order. but c’mon, it shouldn’t take almost an hour to make one tofu banh mi and one order of spring rolls! and this is NOT the first time they’ve ever served food to anyone; i’ve seen them tweeting their gigs at the verdugo bar for many weeks now. so by their having an official launch party, they were basically implying that they had a handle on what they were doing and were ready to serve a mob of people (which is what they hoped to get, i’m sure, with all the PR that went into promoting the event).

    by the time i got there, half the menu was sold out. and that i totally expected. so while i would’ve wanted to try the noodles, i couldn’t. at least they still had some veggie options, because neither my friend nor i eat beef, pork, nor chicken.

    as for the quality of the food, i wasn’t impressed at all. sorry, but the bread used in my banh mi was soggy, the filling was skimpy, and my spring rolls were greasy. honestly, i’ve had much better at the other banh mi trucks on the road today…

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