Driving down Temescal Canyon Road in the early morning, you might have noticed Galvan’s Catering truck near the playground, just above Pacific Coast Highway. More likely you will have noticed there are long lines of people patiently waiting to place their orders. Many workers stop there on their way to construction and gardening sites, but residents also come by for the tasty food.
Pacific Palisades resident Steve Heineman wrote to Circling the News: “My longtime friend, David Galvan, who owns Galvan’s Catering, which is on Temescal Canyon Road, is offering free breakfast and lunch from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve Day, December 24 for your interested Palisades readers.”
Heineman, a retired Santa Monica police detective, added, “David and family have been feeding me for close to 20 years. I’ve eaten many, many breakfast burritos and had coffee on my way into work and in retirement. The food is awesome.”
Heineman also added, “On several occasions, David and the Galvan crew have provided my brethren at the SMPD free food in thanks to them as First Responders during the Covid Crisis. He’s a very special local hero indeed.”
When CTN spoke with Galvan on December 17, he said he has been serving free food on December 24 for 20 years. This features his regular menu, which includes burritos, breakfast sandwiches and quesadillas. “I want to make it fun,” he said.
“The huevos rancheros are really good,” Galvan said, noting that people also like the huevos Americanos (onion, jalapeno peppers, tomato, eggs and homemade tortillas).
He said he’s reaching out to the community to thank them for all the support this past year.
“The restaurant business has been my whole life,” said Galvan, who now has a crew of 10 that works with him.
He came to Southern California from Jalisco, Mexico, when he was 17. His first job was at Hamptons in Riverside. “They had good food.”
He then worked with friends and started Mama D’s, an Italian restaurant in Manhattan Beach. The restaurant, hugely successful, has now become a chain.
After 10 years of working with that restaurant, Galvan took some time off and thought about “What do I want to do with my life? I’ve been in restaurants all my life.”
He said he was reading the paper and saw a food truck that was for sale, because the owner was going out of business. Galvan had enough savings to purchase the truck in 2000.
Ironically, the truck he purchased had been based in Pacific Palisades, which is how Galvan ended up here.
His restaurant “on wheels” has about 59 items on the menu but doesn’t include any Italian food. Although he always dreamed about having his own restaurant, he just kept getting busier and busier with his food truck and then realized, “I already have a restaurant.”
“We’re there for everybody,” said Galvan, whose nine-year-old daughter is often with him when she doesn’t have school. He also has a son, 28, who is working as a trucker.
If you can visit Galvan’s truck on December 24, he just asks you to leave a tip in the jar for his workers. And if you can’t make it that day, then drive down the canyon, Monday through Friday, and discover for yourself why the food is so good—which is why Galvan’s business is a 20-year success.
(Editor’s note: masks are required, as is social distancing.)