The Bustaurant Pulls into L.A. Traffic

The Bustaurant Pulls into L.A. Traffic

Food & Drink

The Bustaurant Pulls into L.A. Traffic

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By Cari Martens

We’ve been reporting on the gourmet food truck trend since the nomadic Kogi guys out in Los Angeles began offering kimchi tacos and notifying customers of the mobile eatery’s whereabouts via Twitter.

The food truck trend was one of the big topics at last month’s National Restaurant Show. The NRA put a food truck on the show floor and the convention’s Street-Za presentation was packed wall-to-wall with rapt restaurateurs wanting to capitalize on the trend.

Well, looks like there’s a new food cruiser on the road in L.A., and, as McCallister Jimbo said on Salon.com, it’s ‘taking mobile dining to a whole new level—literally.’

Make way for the bustaurant, a double-decker bus-turned-café called World Fare.

Like the mobile gourmet trucks, World Fare keeps its clientele apprised of its varying locations by periodic tweets. Unlike the Kogi trucks and others of its ilk, which offer no dine-in seating, World Fare offers an Alfresco dining area upstairs complete with marble countertops, umbrellas and a view of the street below.

The bustaurant’s upstairs dining area has a cloud hanging over it, however—sometimes literally, but also figuratively. The L.A. County Health Department will hold a hearing later this month to determine whether World Fare’s upstairs dining is permissible under current guidelines.

But that’s not putting the brakes on the development of other bustaurants. World Fare owner Travis Schmidt plans to open a second one soon. Then there’s Diamond Lil, a repurposed 1957 Greyhound bus, that has already hit the streets of San Francisco. Yet another, Le Truc, is also set to open in the Bay Area soon, but it may be stationed more permanently on a private lot, due to the lack of parking space in San Francisco.

It will be fun to follow this new development in the mobile eatery movement. Will the bustaurants accelerate past the smaller gourmet trucks and zoom ahead to other cities? Or will the burgeoning bustaurant trend prove to be a fad and break down before it really gains traction? We’ll keep our eyes on the road.

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