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New Food Truck Rolls into Lunch Scene

by Katie Pyzyk — January 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm 4,239 35 Comments

(Updated at 2:45 p.m.) It’s only been three days, but already the new Hot People Food truck is gathering a following. The owners are serving up modern Asian food along the Orange line corridor.

With creatively named dishes like “Bikini Beef” and “Hot Girl Salad” it’s obvious the owners like to have fun at work. They’re so confident about their food’s quality that they’re letting customers try free samples.

“No good? No charge. Guarantee!” owner Leopold Liao said.

Liao and his co-owner girlfriend Lauren Liu plan to go to college, but are working to save up money first. They’ve worked in a variety of Asian restaurants for years, and Liao says he’s interested in opening a restaurant in the area. However, he found the market to be unwelcoming at this time.

“I love to cook. I want to open a restaurant,” Liao said. “But with this economy, it’s expensive. You don’t have to pay rent on a food truck.”

The recent H-B Woodlawn graduate has lived in Arlington for about seven years. He loves the area and that’s what prompted the decision to have the food truck based in Arlington. Both Liao and Liu are from China and came to the United States to learn English. Although the dream is still to open a restaurant at some point, right now the focus is on the Hot People Food truck and catering fundraisers and events.

Hot People Food’s website is a work in progress, but does give a menu and daily locations. They’re also relying on twitter to inform followers of where they’ll be. Their first day was last Friday, and they’re spending this week in Rosslyn to get their name out.

And as far as the name? Yes, “hot” does refer to the people in Arlington.

“I thought in this downtown, everybody’s hot,” Liao said. “No matter what you do, everybody’s hot.”

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  • CW

    It really seems like the trucks have discovered Clarendon on the weekends over the past few months. The ice cream truck, Seoul Food, Big Cheese, Bada Bing, and others have become regulars. Makes more than enough sense since the foot traffic there rivals anything in downtown D.C. during the weekdays. And, while the area has plenty of bars and restaurants, it really does lack quick-service places (except faux-mex, of which there is an overabundance), so I welcome it!

    • JamesE

      my food truck Hot Carl should be opening soon.

    • JEB

      . . . . I can’t believe so many people like these ugly contraptions. How many more of these will roll up and line our streets? If I’m sitting in a brick&mortar patio, chosen because it has a pleasant view and instead have to look at a bright pink truck, spewing gas fumes, swarming with throngs of people – that makes me mad. It doesn’t seem fair to the restaurants or to
      the customers who want to enjoy a meal with a pretty streetscape. Am I the only one who feels this way here?? . . . .

      • CW

        Probably.

        The trucks don’t spew gas fumes beyond what the cars driving by do. They run propane cooking equipment and small generators when parked.

        I am not a hook-line-and-sinker buyer of the food truck hype. I will only go to one if it sells a better product than nearby brick-and-mortars, offers a better price, or features items that aren’t available elsewhere nearby. But, that said, in this area, where there is not a lot of choice for quick-service, the trucks have merit.

        • JEB

          . . .if you need quick service how about standing in line at Whole Foods deli – standing in line at Rabbit, etc. There are places already here that are able to get a sandwich (or many other food choices) in front of you pretty quickly without junking up the neighborhood streets. No, I still think they’re ugly, noisy and unfair to the the established restaurants – and they ruin the streetscape. . . .

  • novasteve

    Given the DC area is hollywood for ugly people, wouldn’t an “ugly people” truck do better?

    • Ty

      True! OMG, people in DC and Arlington are fuglyyyyy!

      • drax

        Where are you, Ty?

        • Eric

          hopefully nowhere near you drax!

        • Ty

          Yeah, I hope nowhere near you drax.

          • drax

            If you are seeing ugly people, then rest assured you are nowhere near me. ;)

      • Young Condo Owner

        So true. The hair here is not to be believed. Half the women (and even a lot of the men) seem to be wearing really bad wigs/toupees. Also, good luck finding a natural blonde in Clarendon!!

    • Eric

      Agreed. DC area is home to some ugly people, woof.

    • drax

      You’ll be first in line.

      • Mr T

        pwn

  • Charlton Heston

    Soylent Green is made out of people!!!!!!!!!

    • Charlton II

      You maniacs! You blew it up!

  • Swag

    I hate ordering food with stupid names.

    • novasteve

      In Cologne Germany, there is some what I presume is a gay club called “Dingleberries” that I walked by and took a photo of because I was so dumbfounded by the name. can you imagine what names they have on the menu there?

      • Grateful

        Klingons?

      • Greg

        Samuel Beckett’s in Shirlington has “Dingle Pie” on the menu. Always makes me chuckle.

        • novasteve

          O’Sullivans used to serve “dingle dots” as well.

        • Tom Smart

          And I also ask if they’ll put berries on it for me. That always gets a chuckle from the waiter.

      • Gay guy

        novasteve, why are you such a homophobe? Can you imagine that it was perhaps not a gay bar? Do you realize that by being a single dude with 4-5-6 (I forget how many) cats, you are also liable to be labeled gay? Don’t you think those kinds of judgements and labels are dumb? I sure do.

        • Tabs

          Why did you “walk on by” Steve?

  • Tre

    Do prices vary inversely to how hot the customer is? is that legal?

  • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

    Ha ha ha….. “Bikini Beef”. I’m guessing that’s roast beef.

    • CourthouseChris

      I was waiting for someone to make this comment… thank you.

  • Steve

    I have tried hot people food and I really liked it. it’s a great choise when you are in a hurry and want to grab good food on your way to work.

    • brah

      @Steve:

      Thanks, out of 33 comments here yours was the only useful one.

  • semmie

    Great food,i like !

  • arlmama

    Don’t expect Chinese food like you get at your favorite delivery place. Leo’s cooking is home style, without a lot of deep-fat-fried foods. Just had Hot People’s “Sassay Chicken Hot Box.” It is chicken with potatoes, carrots, cabbage and other fresh veggies in a broth, similar to a stew. Good fresh flavors of ginger and star anise. The Hot Box comes with rice, miso soup, a “golden egg” (hard boiled, cooked with tea and spices). The miso soup has a more delicate flavor than some I’ve had. Their version of egg rolls, called “Fire Rolls” are good, but not great. I suspect they’ve included them on the menu for American expectations. Their steamed chicken dumplings are great!

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