Daniel Shemtob’s career as a restaurateur literally began on the road.
After The Lime Truck won season two of “The Great Food Truck Race,” he and partner Murray Wishengrad in 2014 opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant at Irvine Spectrum Center, known simply as TLT.
Shemtob, who grew up in the Village of Turtle Rock, jokes that one of the best things about running a restaurant vs. a food truck is having a refrigerator that isn’t constantly moving around.
What’s TLT’s backstory?
The backstory is pretty simple: I moved home (to my twin bed) to chase my dream of being in hospitality, and started a truck. Lots of time and hard work went into creating what you see today.
How did you come up with dishes like chimichurri noodle bowls?
Our inspiration literally comes from the streets. O.C. is a melting pot of such amazing cultures, and our food is definitely derived from our surroundings.
When did you realize you wanted to make a living creating delicious food?
I owned a real estate services company when I was 20 and realized I wasn’t happy just trying to make money and needed to go into something I am passionate about, which is food.
Best part about preparing and serving food from a truck?
Typically as chefs you don’t get to interact with the customers and see their reactions. With the truck, it’s the exact opposite: You get feedback and have fun with the people you work so hard to feed.
Brussels Sprouts and Short Rib Taco.
What’s next for TLT?
Just continuing to sharpen our craft and offering new inventive specials, like our orange chicken tacos that were available in July only.
Want to go? It’s opposite Johnny Rockets at Spectrum Center.