Tables Turn on Restaurant Owner

Even though trucks are cutting into his business, the owner of Tacos Don Jorge says he can't complain

By Debbie Fischer
|  Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010  |  Updated 7:00 AM PDT
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A restaurant owner that got his start in a taco truck is now in the middle of the taco truck controversy..

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A restaurant owner that got his start in a taco truck is now in the middle of the taco truck controversy..

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The battle between food trucks and traditional brick and mortar restaurants continues in  Los Angeles.

Restaurateurs say the trucks are taking away business but coach kitchen owners say they have every right to sell where they want.

But the owner of Tacos Don Jorge in Palms says that even though the trucks are impeding on his business he can't complain.

After all his business grew from taco truck to restaurant, so he understands both sides of the battle. Jorge Portillo says he made the leap to traditional restaurant because the city continued to raise fees on taco truck owners.

"We were getting hit pretty hard. We had no choice but to get a restaurant location," Portillo said.

Portillo says that although the trucks affect his business, he hopes that as the economy improves, both types of eateries will be able to survive.

Earlier this month, the issue was the subject on a city transportation panel meeting. Motions were introduced by Councilman Tom LaBonge, whose district includes a stretch of Wilshire Boulevard that's usually packed with the catering trucks

Among the items up for discussion: specially designated food truck parking zones.

Another motion calls on city staff to prepare recommendations for "restricting catering trucks from parking at parking meters in commercially zoned areas."

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