After working in marketing for restaurants and food delivery services, Vegan A.F. founder Chanel Goodson figured she could use her talents to help align two interests: street food and vegan cuisine. Just last week on June 4, Goodson began driving out her bright pink food truck in the streets of Los Angeles, looking for key nightlife-friendly spots and parts of town that would dig into vegan egg rolls and loaded fries. This past Wednesday, Vegan A.F. was parked near the intersection of Melrose and Fairfax, between the ritzier boutiques west of the block and the hipper eastern part of Fairfax District.
“Basically my inspiration was making sure vegan food was not boring. I wanted to bring a different concept because most of the vegan restaurants in LA serve the exact same thing. No one’s doing what I’m doing,” says Goodson, who has been vegan for seven years and comes to food truck ownership without substantial restaurant experience. Despite a stint at McDonald’s early in her work career as her only foray into serving food, Goodson has a terrific sensibility about what people want, especially in plant-based dishes. Instead of vegan pizza or burgers, the gorgeous pink vehicle churns out mainly two dishes: deep golden brown fried egg rolls the size of a small burrito and ultra-loaded fries employing those familiar comfort food flavors. The saucy fries topped with Nashville hot plant-based shrimp and buffalo-fried cauliflower look to be an early favorite.
The Philly deep-fried egg roll comes filled with well-seasoned Beyond meat and plant-based cheese, plus pops of crunch and acid from giardiniera. The cheeseburger egg roll fills in plant-based bacon, cheddar, onions, and pickles while a pizza roll comes with mushrooms, peppers, spinach, and vegan mozzarella with a marinara. Basically, the egg rolls comprise three popular American foods as fillings but use a crispy deep-fried wrapper as the vessel, which seems like a winning approach for gaining fame in the vegan food sphere.
The vegan shrimp comes from a company called Beleaf, which Goodson says has the texture and flavor of real shrimp. Cheese comes from Daiya and Miyoko’s, both highly regarded vegan cheeses that help bring flavor and richness. For sweets, the vegan banana pudding comes with nilla wafers and scoops of pale green vegan cream.
Right now the menu is fairly simple, sticking to popular dishes that will garner Instagram engagement in locales like Melrose and Hollywood. Check Vegan A.F. truck’s Instagram for the latest hours and locations.