Something Inside of Us Sleeps, The Sleeper Must Awaken

The Valley’s Colombian Road Food items Star Does Fresh new Arepas and Saucy Incredibly hot Dogs

Along Sepulveda Boulevard in entrance of the Van Nuys Petco, a person of Los Angeles’s invaluable mini food items truck rows gathers on most evenings. It’s the place birria de res professional Birrieria Villalobos, a teppanyaki truck, a Yucatecan taco place, and a lovable red trailer with blue and yellow signage boasting the three colors of the Colombian flag line up serving fresh new street foodstuff to Valley denizens. The key attraction at the Colombian truck, Vivi’s Gourmet Delicacies, is the arepa rellena, a stuffed arepa. Arepas are an indigenous dish created from cornmeal (usually precooked corn flour), equivalent to gorditas mexicanas and pupusas. They are crucial to Venezuelan and Colombian cuisines, however regional variations can be found in Puerto Rico, Panamá, and the Canary Islands.

Originally from Cali, Colombia, Viviana “Vivi” Henriquez opened Vivi’s Connoisseur Delicacies 5 yrs back at the Northridge Farmers Sector. In the months top up to the pandemic, she moved into a trailer, initially gathering a faithful next of Venezuelans and Colombians.

“I had labored as a cook at the Lakeside Cafe in Encino, then the Cheesecake Manufacturing facility wherever I worked extended several hours and came household exhausted. I imagined to myself, if I’m likely to function this tricky I may as effectively be accomplishing it for myself,” suggests Henriquez. She enrolled in the culinary arts system at Los Angeles Mission School in Sylmar, and immediately after two several years in faculty, a good friend had an plan. “A Colombian classmate recommended I get started compact, carrying out activities for the neighborhood, catering, which led me to the Northridge Farmers Marketplace,” she suggests. At initial, Henriquez experienced to give absent arepas mainly because they are so unusual in LA. Arepas are foreign even for Latinos who know and enjoy gorditas and pupusas.

Vivi’s Gourmet Cuisine truck in Van Nuys.

Vivi’s Connoisseur Cuisine truck in Van Nuys.
Matthew Kang

Obtaining earned the belief of hesitant diners, Henriquez and her partner discovered a trailer to make their operation more cell, dedicating it to the arepa rellena crammed with regular recipes from Cali. The arepa de pollo receives filled with shredded rooster seasoned with triquisar, a well-known Colombian seasoning mix, and comes tinted yellow from a little food stuff coloring (which is prevalent in Colombia). It is concluded with melted cheese and cilantro sauce. The chicharrón arepa consists of fried diced squares of crackling and cheese, while the beef, identified as carne desmechada in Colombia, is stewed in spices, a little tomato, onion, and garlic right before staying overstuffed into break up arepas. “I cook the corn myself, and grind the corn into the dough,” says Henriquez. To consume, test pairing the arepas with extremely sweet gaseosas, Colombian sodas, this sort of as Postobon Manzana and Colombiana.

The trailer operates in Van Nuys, Reseda, Canoga Park, and down in Extensive Beach on distinctive days with a concise menu of arepa rellenas, Colombian very hot canine, hamburgers, empanadas, chorizo, and at last dedo de queso (cheese sticks), an item Venezuelans get quite critically in Venezuela, they are called tequeños. “In Very long Seashore we get a great deal of Venezuelans for the arepas, but even extra so for the cheese sticks,” states David Muñoz, Vivi’s spouse and spouse, who pairs the cheese sticks with a sweet pineapple sauce. There are five sauces on the truck: pineapple, cilantro, salsa rosada (mayo and ketchup), and mustard, all of which are vital to Colombian incredibly hot puppies and hamburgers.

As a substitute of a Colombian pan perro, which is not accessible in this article, Vivi takes advantage of a regionally made bun for her scorching dogs, and heaps in onions, lettuce, tomato, crispy chopped bacon, and ripio de papa (adhere fries) protected in the five sauces. The hamburger will come in the same way dressed. There are several places devoted to the arepa, and even much less likely to the lengths Henriquez goes for her gratifying arepas rellenas, sizzling canine, and Colombian treats, creating it very well truly worth it to obtain this food trailer at do the job.

Vivi’s Gourmet Cuisine’s weekly timetable is posted on Facebook and Instagram.

Trio of arepas from Vivi’s Gourmet in Van Nuys.

Trio of arepas from Vivi’s Gourmet in Van Nuys.
Matthew Kang

Dedos de queso, or fried cheese sticks, which Venezuelans also call tequeños.

Dedos de queso, or fried cheese sticks, which Venezuelans also connect with tequeños.
Matthew Kang

Vivi’s Gourmet Cuisine trailer with menu.

Vivi’s Gourmand Delicacies trailer with menu.
Matthew Kang