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LA’s Taco Truck War: How Law Cooks Food Culture Contests

36 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2010 Last revised: 2 May 2012

Ernesto Hernandez Lopez

Chapman University, The Dale E. Fowler School of Law

Date Written: October 19, 2010

Abstract

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.

Keywords: food trucks, local government, food and law, taco trucks

JEL Classification: A13, H10, J15, K20, L66, Z10, R52

Suggested Citation

Hernandez Lopez, Ernesto, LA’s Taco Truck War: How Law Cooks Food Culture Contests (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. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1694747 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1694747

Ernesto Hernandez Lopez (Contact Author)

Chapman University, The Dale E. Fowler School of Law ( email )

One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866-1099
United States

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