Today, the food truck business is a $1.2 billion industry in America: A steep and rapid change from life before Kogi. In the decade since these first trucks came on the scene, though, Ortega says the loncheros business has completely changed for him, too.
“I never saw myself in the position where I am now,” Ortega says. “We are very well known, nowadays, not just from LA but from all the parts of the country. And not only that, people from outside the United States come to check out Mariscos Jalisco. Any big chef that comes to LA, they want to try Mariscos Jaliscos. It’s amazing, it’s very, very rewarding. I see new faces every day in my business, and that rarely happened in the [lonchero] business.”