This week we have welcomed a new truck into the South Bay environs: Omininjas, featuring Viet Namese street food. Banh Mi, Spring rolls, and Bún are the main items on the menu, and you can get them with your choice of several kinds of meat or tofu.
I went by the truck a few days ago at about 1 hoping I could just blend in to the crowd and get a good look at them; I was also extra-super-busy with my “day job” and needed to eat on the go. Alas, I was called out (just not that many old, fat veggie guys named “Bill” eating at food trucks in the south bay, I guess – who’da thunk it?), so I feel obligated to report that my cover was blown.
Because of my panic (getting ready for a trip), I also wasn’t able to just hang around and be as friendly as I really (really, really) wanted to be. So let me just publicly apologize to the Omininjas folks for the “hit and run” now.
I got a tofu banh mi (sandwich) with the kumquat limeade to drink. The sandwich is $5, which is relatively expensive for banh mi (Lee’s charges about $3, as I recall), and service was fast and very friendly. Then my sandwich came, I could see why it was a bargain at $5: it’s a BIG banh mi. Sometimes I am left considering whether I should get a second dish at my favorite local eateries; I was instead left wondering if I had bitten off more than I could chew!
As you can see, there are a couple of bites missing from the sandwich – I was encouraged to try the “Ninja” sauce, so I needed to take a bit without the sauce and then try a bite with the sauce. It was really good without the sauce, but I definitely recommend squirting a good quantity of the ninja sauce on the sandwich as I did. It’s got a nice creamy quality along with some spice that actually complements the sliced fresh Jalapenos on the sandwich.
The banh mi is served in the traditional fashion, with pickled carrots and daikon and fresh cilantro on a fresh, beautiful baguette. The tofu, believe it or not, is simply out of this world. Well-cooked and well-seasoned, with nice flavors of mushroom, a little soy sauce, and about a zillion wonderful ingredients I couldn’t identify. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Yes! Delicious tofu – no longer an oxymoron!
And that’s not the end of it! Do you remember me mentioning that “Kumquat Limeade” thing earlier and thinking, “whoa, that could be a train wreck?” Well, even if you didn’t, I did… and it was simply incredible. Sweet, sour, and refreshing, with flavors that dance on the tongue and delight the palate. It’s $2.50 and worth every penny.
I polished off the sandwich driving to Staples (it never had a chance of making it home) and sipped the limeade, thinking, “I love Silicon Valley.”
Now, it’s worth asking, was my lunch made “extra special” because I have such enormous influence as the blogger that all (seven) of you (yes, Mom, I counted you) depend on to bring them the straight dope on food trucks here in Sili Valley? Does my massive clout get me such special treatment that I will have to start going in disguise and call myself “Ralph” in the future? Nah… I think they’re just awesome folks who treat everyone great and make absolutely wonderful food.
The only other place you’d find anything close to this would be the Nom Nom truck in Los Angeles, star of the “Great Food Truck Race” (hence the joke in the title). Nom Nom have just launched in San Francisco, and it will be great if they find their way to the south bay sometime. I think Omininjas will show them how it’s done.