What is "5 Ton Friendly?"
I work in movies and TV as a Set Dresser. We are driven around Los Angeles by our Teamster Brothers in large, usually white trucks, called 5 Tons. Come lunch time we are always looking for a good place to eat but usually we have one main concern, where can we we park the truck? Anytime a place is suggested the inevitable question is, "Is it 5 Ton friendly?”
This is a personal review website of the "5 Ton Friendly" restaurants in the Greater Los Angeles Area.
Who is 5 Ton Friendly?
I'm a Set Dresser with 25 years of experience riding around LA in big trucks finding places to eat. I have a personal rule of avoiding chain food, but the occasional In-n-Out or Popeyes Chicken will make an appearance. I was born and raised in New Orleans, (thus explaining the awesome hood ornament on our logo) to a long line of home chefs and food lovers. I have always enjoyed sharing my food experiences and truly love hearing about yours. You can follow me on Facebook and or Instagram to get daily updates and share your dining experiences as well.
What makes a spot 5 Ton Friendly?
First, it has to be good food. From there our main criteria is how easy is it to park a big truck. We have to look out for our Drivers and LA isn't the easiest place to maneuver in a SmartCar, no less a 28' long truck. The next thing we care about is price. Many times we have our lunches reimbursed by the production company and generally there is a $12 cap so we try to stay in that range. (TIP: always order water. A drink can add $2-4 to you meal for cost + tip.). And lastly, most productions want what they call a "Good Receipt," a register printed receipt with the restaurant name clearly printed on top. (Yes, it's completely ridiculous and totally annoying.) It's a rare occasion now that a company will pick up the hand written check with a stamp or business card stapled to it.
Are all the places 5 Ton Friendly?
No. The reason is that sometimes we have a set to dress in an area that while it might not normally be "Truck Friendly," we're close enough to walk. Or when you are really nice to the Teamsters, you can get a Passenger Van to take you to lunch. So, not all are 5 Ton Friendly, but in my opinion, they're all good places to eat.
Who can use 5 Ton Friendly?
Anyone living or visiting Los Angeles who likes to eat really good food. While this is geared for people who are riding around in big trucks, how you get to these places is irrelevant. I've even taken the train to Chichen Itza. Tasted just as great as when I got there in a 5 Ton.
How do you come up with the ratings?
With this 5 "Star" rating system a restaurants earns one "Star" for good food, a second "Star" if it's great food and a "Star" each for our "5 Ton Friendly" requirements; one "Star" for Good Parking, one "Star" for at or Under $12 and one more "Star" for Good Receipts. But it is a case by case basis. Some 5 star places miss one of the 3 "5 Ton Friendly" criteria but the food is so good anything under 5 "Stars" would just be wrong.
With that in mind, even a 3-star spot is worth hitting. If it's on "The List" then I personally recommend it. If you don't see your favorites place you can email me, or leave a post on the Facebook page. As of now, these restaurants are ones that I personally recommend. I will keep adding to "The List" as I visit more places or revisit places that I haven't been to in a long time.
What do the symbols mean?
Is it "Truck Friendly?" These are to let you know at a glance how the truck parking is at a particular restaurant. Can you just park on the street, is there a big parking lot nearby or are there parking meters? Some actually have two or even all three at your disposal, which I will mention in the review itself. The "PV" is for your Personal Vehicle and that's the best, if not only way to get to that particular spot. In each review I will give you more detailed info, like which streets to park on, about how some places are easier to park before noon, or maybe the parking isn't as obvious and it's two blocks away.
Good Receipt, Bad Receipt. As I mentioned earlier, some production companies reimburse our lunch receipts and some of them make it as difficult as possible on us by requiring we only go to places that offer a computer generated receipts. A hand written slip with a stamp just won't do for some "accountants." Some go as far as only excepting those that have the actual dishes ordered printed clearly on the receipt. True story. In each review I will try my best to offer specifics on the receipts for our fellow set dressers.
Under $12 or Over $12. Usually if we are being reimbursed we have a limit of $12. Sometimes it's as low as $10 and rarely it's as high as $15. This is a way to quickly see if you are going to go "over the cap" or only have to throw in a tip. And set dressers, if you are getting your lunches paid for, please at least have $2 cash on you every day so you can throw in a tip. It's the right thing to do. This rating only applies to food and does not include tip. I have a rule of only ordering water at restaurants because it will add $2-$4 to your total bill, so keep that in mind.
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The "5 Ton Friendly" name, design, logo and "The 'Industry Standard' Restaurant Guide" are trademarks and/or service marks of 5 Ton Friendly, LLC. The names and logos of other companies and products and services mentioned herein may be the trademarks and/or service marks of their respective owners.