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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Vietnamese Food Truck Little Green Cyclo Poised to Be Newest Addition to S.F. Streets

Posted By on Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 2:49 PM

click to enlarge The truck's chef, co-owner Quynh Nguyen, also owns San Jose's Gumbo Jumbo. - JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
  • The truck's chef, co-owner Quynh Nguyen, also owns San Jose's Gumbo Jumbo.
The city's Asian-fusion street offerings are about to expand big, pending one final inspection ― Vietnamese food truck startup Little Green Cyclo hopes to hit Off the Grid McCoppin Hub this Saturday, Sept 25. The pandan-green truck parked briefly on Second Street in SOMA this morning, as a fire inspector moved through with a clipboard. The truck had its soft launch at Sunnyvale's Planet Granite last night ― it's already been cleared to sell in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. All that's left? San Francisco.

Little Green Cyclo's Monica Wong fled investment banking to become a mobile vendor. Her partner, Cyclo chef Quynh Nguyen, is also owner of San Jose Vietnamese Cajun place Gumbo Jumbo. A third partner, Timmy Perez, is Cyclo's graphic designer ― she collaborated with Huey Nguyen on designs for the truck's juicy-looking wrap, and its Flickr-page Vietnam collage, with pics supplied by friends and family.

click to enlarge JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
The organic-leaning menu: banh mi (lemongrass grilled pork, five-spice chicken, organic tofu, house-made pate spiked with truffle oil) on traditional rice-flour rolls from San Jose Viet bakery L'Amour des Baguettes ($5). Also gỏi cuốn ($5), fresh spring rolls with grilled pork patty (chá) and chives, or rice vermicelli and either of the aforementioned meats, or tamarind tofu. In the evenings, says Wong, they'll offer what she calls Little Green Cyclo's broken rice box: Vietnamese broken rice, with shredded pork and salted egg patty served with steamed pork and skin.

Fans of Asian-fusion junk food, don't despair. LGC also has fries, including sweet potato ones, tossed with mint, cilantro, basil, and chives, served up with four optional dips (mango-mint, chipotle, honey-mustard, spicy garlic). Drinks, too: Vietnamese iced coffee (pre-extracted) with mint, salty lemonade (made with preserved limes), and hot or cold chrysanthemum tea with goji berries and dried longans.

To see if Little Green Cyclo will have the green light to sell at OTG McCoppin Hub on Saturday? Check its status on Twitter at @lilgreencyclo. And Cyclo plans to make weekly appearances at Edgewood Eats, the Monday night street-food pod in Palo Alto.

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