Louks to Go is Lacking
Part one of our promise to OC's non-wab mobile food trucks that we will review those who visit the Weekly's world headquarters in Costa Mesa every Monday. Next week: Taco Dawg.
A great gyro is epic: pita bread stretching with meat, tangy with tzatziki sauce dribbling out from time to time to make the foil or the paper that holds in the meal moist enough that you can lick it with justification. A great gyro refreshes the palate every time you take a bite due to verdant lettuce, springy tomatoes, red onions that sizzle on the tongue with their bitter beauty, and cucumbers that snap on the molars. And the pita that accompanies it? Well-cooked just before it crisps up.
The Louks to Go taco truck does not make this type of gyro.
Louks is a play on Greek sausage and a dessert, so it wasn't surprising that its cooks might overlook the preparation of a good gyro. Maybe I ordered the wrong meal--kind of like bothering with a burrito at Alebrije's when the reason to visit is the taco acorazado. But Louks' boast is that it hawks Greek "gourmet" food--it follows, then, that all its offerings should best the pedestrian offerings that its mortar-and-bricks competitors offer, no?
I would've settled for a good gyro in absence of any gourmet pretensions, but Louks couldn't even offer that. Their beef gyro was small; the meat okay but not too plentiful. The cooks powdered too much of a seasoning--was it a pepper-salt combination, or plain ol' meat powder?--on the gyro, meaning my fingers were dust-covered afterward. And there was a cardinal error, one Dave noted in his review--the inclusion of French fries in the gyro. Not only were they limper than wet cardboard, but their flavor overwhelmed everything else in the gyro--the meat, the tzatziki, the pita bread. And its consistency--and the lack of veggies other than a couple of onions on all selections save the veggie version--meant Louks' gyro sandwich felt like a mush created for folks with dentures.
The loukomades dessert seem to be what gets those crazy Yelp kids worked up about the truck, but they really weren't too special. Sure, I ate almost my entire order of the doughnut ball-esque pastry, a large order worth the $4 price. But the golf-ball sized treats were covered in Nutella; you can slather a cinder block with the spread, and you'd be happily picking out the grit afterward just for a fix of that hazelnut, Kobe Bryant-endorsed product. On its own, the loukomades tasted like an unflavored mochi ball, and featured that same pasty consistency.
Final dig against Louks? Please don't blast Coldplay's "Clocks" while serving food. I like that song, but it's the Intro to Also Spake Zarathustra of our times: meant for moments when you're trying to make yourself seem more epic than you are. A Freudian slip, perhaps?