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The Daily Dish Going Off the Menu

Which Food Truck is So Exclusive, TV Stars Have to Beg for Their Dinner?

As one celebrity discovers, these off-the-menu, charcoal-grilled dishes are definitely the new black.

By The Feast Staff
Hungry to Hangry

There’s a food truck in L.A. that’s so in-demand for its insanely delicious off-the-menu dishes, food-obsessed types who want to check it out have to go to crazy lengths for the chance to try it. Recently, chef Russell Jackson and food documentarian Liza DeGuia took up the challenge and set out to track down the truck.

Joining them on the adventure was actor and dedicated food-lover Lea DeLaria, aka Big Boo on Orange is the New Black. But as the trio quickly discovered, finding the truck is only half the battle. When Russell, Liza and Lea finally got hold of the truck’s 21-year-old chef and owner Luther Chen—thanks to a contact at a secret underground bar where they stopped by for some sips of rare whiskeyLuther sent them off on a wild-goose chase. The mission? To bring him a rare kind of Japanese charcoal that he needs so he can make magic on the truck’s state-of-the-art grill.

There was just one catch: Finding the charcoal would involve a frenzied road trip around Southern California, but the trio just couldn’t say no to the chance to taste chef Chen’s exquisite Chinese and French-influenced dishes, which have earned him a cult following among in-the-know L.A. foodies. At one point Lea, totally determined to have an underground food experience she’d never forget—“an experience that not even celebrities have the ability to achieve,” as Russell puts it—found herself practically begging chef Chen to feed her.

What happened next? We won’t give it away, but let’s just say it involves unbelievable food, and some tantalizingly racy comments from Lea that we’re just too modest (blush) to repeat here. Hint: Angelina Jolie is involved. 

For the full reveal, watch the first episode of the new digital series Going Off the Menu. In this six-part series, hosted by Russell and Liza, the pair sets out to uncover the hidden gems of the L.A. underground food scene, and team up with various celebrities along the way. Hooked? Stick around for the second and third episodes, also live now, and tune in for the remaining three episodes starting April 25.

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