Cafe Society

Molecular magician Ian Kleinman is launching the Inventing Room street food cart

Let's start with the big question: How many dollar bills are you going to have to part with?

"Nothing on our menu will be more than four bucks," promises Ian Kleinman. Thank Jesus for that, otherwise those of you hyperventilating over the $20 lobster rolls being doled out from the Steuben's Food Truck, might go all bat-shit crazy and pop your arteries.

Kleinman, the former exec chef of O's Steak & Seafood at the Westin Westminster, and the mad genius behind the Inventing Room, his Willa Wonka-like catering company and laboratory of liquid nitrogen, space foams and Pop Rocks, is launching a -- you guessed it -- food cart in mid-August, one, he says, that will keep its price points in line with a cheap fix. "The whole premise behind the street food movement is to make really good food at accessible prices for everyone," insists Kleinman.

His cart, which he bought from the Waffle Brothers, who now have a brick-and-mortar space, will sling ice cream and sorbet with wacky toppings, like chocolate Pop Rocks, crème brûlée, slushies, sweet and savory popcorn, space foam, housemade caramels, marshmallows and fruit dipped in chocolate, and soups and breads. "The menu will change according to the seasons, but we'll always have a sorbet and ice cream of the day, and a selection of both savory and sweet choices," he explains. He'll publish the menu daily on his website, as well as on Twitter @theinventingroom.

Kleinman hasn't secured an exact location for the dessert cart, but he's looking at Washington Park, central downtown and the Children's Museum as possible sites. "We're going through the stages of applying for permits right now, and hope to have a definitive location by next week," he says. "We've been doing a lot of festivals and private parties, and a lot of those people said that they wished we had a location where they could find us, and one of the funnest, and fastest ways to make that happen was doing a food cart," explains Kleinman, adding that he'll offer late-night grubbing, depending upon where the action is.

But wherever he ends up, Kleinman, a molecular magician, will likely be dressed in a lab coat with protective eyeglasses. "I'll be wearing my crazy lab get-up standing there with a big liquid nitrogen tank having a blast with kids and families and anyone else who loves having fun."

By the way, if you'd like to propose a location for Kleinman's cart, he's all ears.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson