HONOLULU (KHON) – Ala’s Mediterranean Kitchen currently sits on Leahi Avenue in Honolulu. The food truck’s owner, Ala Thavata, said he has been parked there for about four months and is paying for parking, but a wooden structure he built on the truck’s roof is drawing attention from neighbors.
Thavata said he built the wooden structure out of desperation, as he is facing eviction from his apartment, on top of health issues with his son.
“I had no other way,” Thavata said. “I have to either live in the parks, sleep, I can’t even have a tent so I am getting evicted and trying to make it.”
The food truck has a food establishment permit from the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH), along with a green placard for his business.
The HDOH said they only focus on the food safety aspect of the business, not the structure.
Thavata said, “I thought this was my truck, I have the right to do whatever I want on my spot, this is a private road this owned by a private lady so I feel like this is my first step to life, so please don’t destroy me, guys.”
The owner of the food truck said the wooden structure just went up on Monday and said he plans on adding a tarp over it.
Thavata has also started a small garden on the hood of the truck.
KHON reached out to the city with questions from neighbors. The city said it is still working to determine jurisdiction over the food truck in question and whether any action is necessary.
In the meantime, Thavata said he has faced harassment for being parked there.
Thavata said, “I love my customers but I don’t know about the rest they really have a lot of haters.”
The city’s Department of Transportation Services Director, Roger Morton said the city plans to acquire Leahi Avenue and remove commercial activity from the street.