Tasting Table

The newly launched Flatiron truck has given L.A.'s somewhat stagnant mobile dining scene a jump start. Chef Timothy Mark Abell is bringing the dominant brick-and-mortar philosophy of farm-to-table to the streets.

Abell shops at farmers' markets two or three times a week, buying produce from such market favorites as Coleman Family Farm and Rutiz Family Farms.

Part of what drives Abell to the markets is his conviction that the fewer hands touching the vegetables, the better the flavor.

The result is an unfussy menu anchored by the truck's namesake steak ($9), served with parsley-thyme-rosemary butter, roasted potatoes and arugula salad. Flatiron also features a burger ($7) made with a potent porcine equation of chorizo, ground pork and bacon-tomato jam. Specials are dictated not only by the season, but also by the neighborhood in which Flatiron will be parked: stuffed piquillo peppers for West Hollywood, or grilled octopus with green-garlic polenta for Glassell Park.

Another testament to Abell's meticulous pursuit of quality: He visited 40 shops before finding his ideal glazed doughnut holes at Panorama City's U.S.A. Donuts & Croissants. Abell chars the doughnuts (pictured; $3) to caramelize the exterior and tempers their sweetness with crème fraîche, accented by his wife Heather's warming mix of molcajete-ground spices.



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