MONROVIA (AP) — An organization representing more than 100 gourmet food truckers is suing the city of Monrovia, challenging a recently enacted law that bans rolling restaurants from parking in the Los Angeles suburb’s Old Town shopping district.

When they adopted the law in January, Monrovia officials said they wanted to protect local restaurants and also maintain the ambiance of their town’s core shopping district and other neighborhoods. Thirty-seven thousand people live in Monrovia.

Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association attorney Jeff Dermer said Thursday state law only allows cities to pass ordinances regulating food trucks for safety reasons. He says laws cannot be adopted simply to protect existing businesses from competition.

Dermer says he hopes the lawsuit will set a standard that all cities follow in regulating food trucks in the future.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (18)
  1. Sam says:

    Go away! You make my deli lose money!

    1. benny blanco form the bronx says:

      then lower your prices or serve better food…these trucks still cant compete against ” el matador” truck in hollywood 🙂

      1. Sam says:

        I make nice kebab and pilaf. I have belly dancers a few night a week. What more can I do?

    2. Lee says:

      First: your food needs to be as good as their food. Second: your service needs to be as fast as their service. Third: Your food needs to be as inexpensive as theirs is. What I always tell people when they have your complaint…the competition from food trucks will never put a GOOD restaurant out of business…people will ALWAYS pay for a good meal with good service. But if someone else does it better, then you need to compete or get out of the way.

  2. sandy says:

    I personally would much rather see all of the SoCal cities without food trucks on major streets. Good food can be found in plenty of restaurants and these trucks are nothing but ugly distractions blocking parking spaces in busy areas. Let them set up in an empty lot or something. I think the trucks are a benefit to people such as construction workers, etc. for quick food on the job…but beyond that…I don’t think they should be on busy boulevards in financial districts or old historical towns.

  3. Man vs. Food says:

    Truck food is awesome! Just sucks when they hog all the street parking.

  4. dave says:

    Those trucks should be zoned only for construction sites and not allowed ANYWHERE NEAR RESTAURANTS. How woould you like to have a restaurant worth a minimum several hundred thousand dollars and a full time staff, only to have a $20k roach coach right outside your door taking business. Its a disgrace.

  5. mark says:

    Ambiance down the tubes… Bunch of roach coaches.

  6. swhitS says:

    They are roach coach’s and their clients dump their waste all over the street. What Monrovia should do if they want to get rid of them and make money is fine people for littering.
    Wish parts of downtown would do the same! Ever been down the McArthur Park area SLUM doesn’t even describe it!

  7. King Of Gardena says:

    “Roach coaches”? “Construction sites”? Some of you HAVE NO CLUE what you are talking about. Get out sometime and see what this new wave of food trucks are REALLY like.


  8. CAB says:

    Have you ever driven behind one of these trash trucks? I’d bet good money that’s not just water coming out of those drainage pipes and spewing all over the street.

    Also, don’t get behind one of these beasts in a left turn only lane unless you have time for three or four cycles of the signal. The cars in front of them move quickly through the green light while the roach coach lumbers so far behind that the sensors under the pavement think that there are no more vehicles coming and cyle the light to red..
    They are an eye sore and an impediment to traffic. Get rid of them completely!!

  9. Bike It says:

    “They are an eye sore and an impediment to traffic. ”

    Cars and roads are an eyesore. Get rid of them completely!!

  10. Matty says:

    @KingOfGardena Im sure they are nice. But the do not deserve to be anywhere near a new restaurant. Leave them to parks, construction sites, etc. They are a leeches. It doesnt matter if you own a book truck, coffee truck or a hot dog truck. They do not deserve to sell near real, brick and mortar business.

    1. chula says:

      ooh, you wont catch me in a brick building. too many quakes in this town!

  11. whosefishisthat says:

    Its obvious that most of you know nothing about gourmet food trucks or the culture that has sprung up around them. Hundreds of thousands of people follow these rolling restaurants not only in Los Angeles but around the country. They have 1st rate, sometime big name, chefs at the helms. They are required to follow the same health codes from the County as a restaurant and in some instances are far more rigid about their standards than “regular” restaurants. Having a restaurant on wheels allows them not only lower overhead and the ability to sell gourmet food at prices you wouldn’t see in a regular restaurant, but to bring it to people rather than people having to come to them. Quite often the trucks participate in fundraisers, donating part of their profits for the day and bringing in more people just by their presence. I know a number of owner operators and have found them to be great people who have a passion for food and for what they do.

    1. Lee says:

      Totally agree…the Great Balls on Tires Truck has a chef who is serving as a “chef for hire” for the Next Great American Restaurant show and another who was the season 2 winner of Top Chef…Ludo Bites was started by Michelin Star winner Ludo Lefebvre…Ahn Joo was started by Food Network’s Debbie Lee…Border Grill Truck is an offshoot of the restaurant. These aren’t roach coaches and don’t serve “Heart Attack on a Plate.” Far from it.

  12. Wes says:

    Personally I don’t eat from them, but I do feel for the brick and mortar restaurants that have to get licenses,permits,and comply with all rules and regulations, and jump through the hoops that the city makes them jump through to open a business here…just to have a truck roll up in a truck and open up for business…. I’m just sayin’

    1. Lee says:

      Food trucks have to jump through all of the same hoops….they are driving a restaurant on wheels. In fact, they have to jump through more, as they are viewed as restaurants AND street peddlers, so they have to have all of the applicable licenses and insurance for both businesses and they have to have it for every city/county they do business in…I’m just sayin’…

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