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Crabalicious Crab Fries wow at Luchal’s Catering 

click to enlarge MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper

Mobile business, 310-864-0092, facebook.com/luchalsgourmetcatering

While Luchal Lucas was in the Army, serving as a culinary specialist, she also started on an associate degree from the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder, competing at American Culinary Federation events, too.

Once she retired out of the military in 2018, she launched a mobile food trailer that built off a catering business she’d started in 2016. It mostly parks at 1660 S. Circle Drive Tuesdays through Saturdays for lunch, but also deploys to spots like Axe and the Oak for evening service. (She’s aiming for brick-and-mortar around fall.)

Lucas says operating the cart is “second nature” after having run a “CK” (containerized kitchen) in the field. “But we aren’t just a food truck,” she insists, citing her deep culinary background and penchant for keeping her menu diverse and rotating.

She calls her style “CaliFlorida” to honor her Compton roots and her husband’s St. Petersburg upbringing. She doesn’t call it soul food, though there’s touches of that cuisine, and Cajun, as evidenced by my order of Crabalicious Crab Fries ($18; large). The price reflects generous pulled blue crab, which tops a mound of zesty-seasoned fries also capped with melted cheese and an Old Bay-forward, house remoulade spinoff.

There’s a touch of heat to it to balance the crab richness and usually it’s available with shrimp, but they’re already sold out when we arrive. Nevertheless, we devour the heap joyfully, thinking of a seafood version of poutine.

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