MONTEREY PARK, CA – As a college student, Tommy Chu said he finds himself lucky to be able to get an inexpensive hot dinner every night of the week on North Atlantic Boulevard in Monterey Park.
After studying in one of the nearby cafes, Chu said he makes his way to the food trucks in front of Ralph’s supermarket to get one-dollar tacos or foods that fit within his tight budget.
Some find the trucks controversial. Chu sees them as a lifeline. “I know no matter how late I’m out studying, I can ride my bike over here and get something cheap and good,” he said.
The stretch of Atlantic in front of Ralph’s has become a popular spot for food trucks to park over the past few years. Most nights, five or more food trucks offering a variety of cuisines park there from about 7 p.m. until midnight, with some staying even later.
While the trucks are popular among some residents, others have lodged complaints against them with the city, claiming they block the view from driveways in and out of Ralph’s and that they lead to littering. With the city looking at adding new regulations on the trucks, changes may be coming to Monterey Park’s unofficial food truck row.
One of the more significant changes proposed by the City Council at its meeting Wednesday was limiting the times food trucks could operate. Councilmen Peter Chan and Stephen Lam suggested adding a two-hour limit for the trucks to park in any one spot.
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