How America Became a Food Truck Nation

Our new food columnist traces the food truck revolution back to its Los Angeles roots

Raul Ortega makes his shrimp tacos, shown here, the same way he did when he lived in San Juan de los Lagos. (Anne Fishbein)
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At night, the truck is driven a dozen miles south to an inspected commissary, as is required by law, where it will be sanitized and restocked with fresh food. Tomorrow morning, as every morning, it will be driven

As if on cue, the truck’s starter clicks twice and dies with a moan. Ortega sighs. The key turns a second time, to no apparent effect. Once more, the key turns and the old truck reluctantly wheezes to life, pulling away from the curb and easing into traffic with the slow majesty of an ocean liner. Ortega straightens his jacket and walks across the street toward home.

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