LA’s Taco Truck War: How Law Cooks Food Culture Contests
Ernesto Hernandez Lopez
Chapman University, The Dale E. Fowler School of Law
October 19, 2010
University of Miami Inter-American Law Review, Vol. 43, No. 1, p. 243, 2011
Chapman University Law Research Paper No. 10-29
This paper examines the Los Angeles “Taco Truck War” (2008-9), when the city of Los Angeles and LA county used parking regulations to restrict “loncheros,” i.e. “taco trucks.” It describes the legal doctrine used by courts to invalidate these local restrictions. The California Vehicle code makes local food truck regulations illegal. Decades of court decisions affirm this. The paper sheds light, legal and cultural, on food truck debates, which will surely expand nationwide. It examines: the cultural and business arguments for food truck regulations; food’s role in migrant, community, and national identities; Mexican food’s influence in California culture; and recent trends in food trucks such as Koggi BBQ.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 36
Keywords: food trucks, local government, food and law, taco trucks
JEL Classification: A13, H10, J15, K20, L66, Z10, R52Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 22, 2010 ; Last revised: May 2, 2012
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