Where, Oh Where, Has My Falafel Truck Gone?

Where are all the food trucks?  Food trucks are turning away from Oakland to cities like Emeryville and Alameda because Oakland doesn’t have its SH*T together.  The Liba Falafel Truck got booted out of Oakland because of a complaint from a restaurant.  The permit process is not very clear for food trucks in Oakland.  I had the opportunity to try the Liba Falafel Truck before it disappeared from Oakland.

What is a falafel?  A falafel is a fried ball made of ground chickpeas that is served on  pita bread and topped with salad and sauce.  It is a food of the Middle East.

To tell the truth, I’ve never really been a big fan of the falafel.  It’s a vegetarian dish that I have always thought of as somewhat “dull and boring.”

Liba is operated by a woman named Gail.  Liba means “love” and you can tell that Gail puts a lot of love into her business as she happily greets and takes orders outside her truck. 

This is how it works.   You order your falafel (comes in two sizes).  Once you get your falafel made to order, you take it to the “falafel bar” to top it off.  Liba has over a dozen toppings and dressings.  She uses mostly organic and local ingredients.  Here’s the list of toppings available:

  • Roasted Eggplant in Tomato Sauce
  • Tomato Cucumber Salad with mint
  • Red Cabbage Ribbons
  • Red Beets with Lemon and Thyme
  • Olive-Orange Relish with Thyme
  • Rosemary Peanuts
  • Pickled Onion
  • Tomato Ginger Chutney
  • Dill & Cardamom Pickle
  • Lemon Wedge
  • Feta Cheese
  • Hummus
  • Harissa Hot Sauce
  • Yogurt Raita


I think I went a little topping crazy.  I piled on what I thought looked good and interesting, which was most of them.  This was not like any other falafel I’ve had and definitely not “dull and boring”.  This was a Liba Falafel with flavors bursting all over.  The toppings were all very tasty and when I got to the falafel itself, it was a really nice surprise.  The falafel stayed crisp even with all the toppings overflowing. 

I also ordered a side of their sweet potato fries with cilantro, garlic, and lime.  They were delicious. 

I already miss Liba and guess I’ll have to travel to Emeryville to get my fix.  You can follow her on twitter at http://twitter.com/libasf