On the Line: Rashad Moumneh of Falasophy, Part Two

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Jennifer Fedrizzi
Shiny, happy lonchera owner

Falasophy owner Rashad Moumneh and I met years ago while working with the same personal trainer. We never discussed work, but knew the other was hardworking (at least when it came to our gym sessions). Our acquaintance is a perfect example of 'it's who you know', with his mobile meals gaining momentum and my ongoing search for subjects to interview. I've been fortunate enough to meet Rashad's loving wife and son on multiple occasions, making this week's On the Line less formal and more coffeehouse casual.

Our interview with luxe lonchera owner Rashad starts here,
but the rest of his interview can be read below . . .

What's your favorite childhood memory?
Going out for Sunday lunch (more like an all-day eating activity) with my extended family. We would go into the woods in the mountains of Lebanon and barbecue. We would bring our tables and chairs, charcoal, drinks. Everything, really. I remember very well sitting under these very high pine trees, and there would be a small stream flowing right by us. The stream was very cold, so we would put watermelons and drinks in there to cool them. It was surreal.

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On the Line: Rashad Moumneh of Falasophy, Part One

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Jennifer Fedrizzi
If you overthink Falasophy, you're missing the point

I thought luxe loncheras were starting to die down around here, until an acquaintance informed me he was about to launch one. Rashad's investment in Falasophy was a result of years of following a career path he wasn't particularly passionate about. His desire to provide a flavorful option to vegetarians (vegans, too!) leads us to this week's Q & A.

Why falafels and hummus?
I wanted to do a vegetarian concept because I felt that as a society, we eat too much meat. I also wanted to do something delicious that people would crave. Falafel and hummus were the perfect intersection of those two goals. Historically, falafel was invented more than a thousand years ago by the Copts of Egypt to eat during Lent. Falafel is now consumed all over the world, not necessarily because they are vegetarian, but because they taste amazing. It also helped that I knew these two items well, and honestly felt that we did not have good options for them in Southern California.

What is your beverage of choice?
Morning beverage: Turkish latte from Kean. Evenings: A good Belgian-style craft beer (which goes great with a falafel sandwich, by the way.)

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New Luxe Lonchera Alert: Falasophy

Categories: Mobile Meals

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Anne Marie Panoringan
Now that's a bowl!

When Seabirds went all brick-and-mortar, it left a void for those who spend their time trying to find a meatless meal. Sure, most loncheras had a salad or could serve a dish without meat. Yet diners were now missing a dedicated vegetarian/vegan option. This is where Falasophy steps in.

They officially kicked off a couple of weeks ago, and are slowly making the rounds. Their concept: falafels and hummus bowls topped with whatever you're in the mood for. Or you could be like yours truly and put both in one vessel to chow down.

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Paninoteca Maggio Launches Temporary Luxe Lonchera

Categories: Mobile Meals

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Dustin Ames
Sharron is not one to sit still.

You're likely reading this for one of two reasons. Either you are a fan of Sharron Barshishat's cuisine, or his restaurant name makes you want to bust a move. Those of the former can cheer a small victory. Despite delays in his new address around the corner from Little Sparrow, Sharron intends to give the people what they want-- LUNCH!

Starting today, Barshishat is launching a panini truck to feed the neighborhood he recently moved into. When I reached out for more intel, he also hinted there would be new menu items. These would ultimately be featured at the brick-and-mortar.

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Tamarindo Truck To Be Featured On Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Categories: Mobile Meals, News

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Photo by Meranda Carter
Pedro Resendiz of Tamarindo Truck
We got a message from the good people at Tamarindo Truck informing us that they will be featured on Guy Fieri's show, Diners, Drive-In and Dives, at the end of the month. We featured Pedro Resendiz and his luxe lonchera on our On The Line column three years ago, and it's due time more people gave them props.

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A Duo of Food Fundraisers To Keep You Busy All Weekend

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Aloha Plate website
Did someone say plate lunch?

UPDATE: (Friday, 10:52 a.m.) Per the event organizer for Saturday's event, Dogzilla will no longer be serving on that day. Aloha Plate will be the only lonchera on site.

What's your weekend looking like (besides a whole lotta sleep)? If you're in a giving mood, and have no particular lunch or dinner plans, stop by one of these local events to support a cause and fill your belly! Saturday is all about the luxe loncheras (including a winner from The Great Food Truck Race). If Sunday is what you're thinking, then cruise to Downtown Fullerton for a former On the Line subject. Details after the jump.

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Dogzilla Ranks In Buzzfeed's "25 Most Popular Food Trucks of 2013" Listicle!

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Photo by Josue Rivas
Son Thai and Martin Tse: Social media studs

While zoning out on BuzzFeed, I came across a story featuring previous On the Line subject, Martin Tse (Actually, it was his luxe lonchera, Dogzilla-- but close enough.) As I perused the list, it occurred to me that they were the only true Orange County food truck representation to make it on there. So as far as I'm concerned, congratulations are in order.

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Roy Choi Book Signing At Diamond Jamboree This Saturday

Categories: Mobile Meals

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Luxe lonchera cult celeb Roy Choi will be hawking his memoir, L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food this weekend in the forever-busy Asian food court that is Diamond Jamboree. Released last week, Choi believes the essence of his dozen chapters, " ...feels and smells like LA and OC." We see what you did there, Roy.

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Amazon Fresh Begins OC Service; Pants No Longer Needed for Groceries

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Photo by Atomic Taco.
Now on the 405.

Some people in Orange County no longer have to wear pants while grocery shopping, as AmazonFresh, Amazon's home grocery delivery service, is now active in parts of the county. AmazonFresh debuted in Los Angeles earlier this summer and has been operating in the Seattle metro since 2007.

"Since we launched AmazonFresh in Los Angeles in June, we have been steadily expanding our service area, which now includes communities in Orange County," said Amazon PR Rep Nell Rona by email.


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On The Line: Brian Fast Of Waff-N-Roll, Part Two

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Photo by Christina Bryson

"While my sense of humor may be South Park-ian, I am a dead serious hospitality guy. I wish all humans had to pass a course on the subject. The process of realizing and relishing the infinite range of customer needs, and developing the desire, empathy and ability to satisfy customer expectations is a gift that improves all relationships. I've seen hospitality enhance many celebrations and heal many wounds. Hospitality rocks!" -- Brian Fast
Well said, Brian.

Read our interview with Brian Fast of Waff-N-Roll, Part One.
And now, on to Part Two . . .

What's your favorite childhood memory?
So many to choose from, but the one that comes to mind is seeing Peter Frampton open for Black Sabbath in 1974. I definitely need therapy.

When you're not in the kitchen, what are you doing?
Anything that keeps me from doing the accounting for both of my food concepts.

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