It took 25 silver years for the NYC-born Halal Guys to finally conquer globally...
From their humbled carts tagged with a long, militant line of voracious customers - whether as a tourist or a busy city resident - Kimberly and I were lucky and grateful to dine at the 1st franchised, brick-and-mortar establishment located in the prestige city of Costa Mesa in the OC for their media preview night last week.
Just like how it’s served from their unassuming carts, they provide only 2 types of meats: chicken and/or gyro. Then they are complemented with lettuce, cubed tomatoes, and these carb choices: sandwich wrap and orange rice - along with 4 triangular morsels of flat bread. Let’s not forget the crème de la crème of Halal Guys: the tantalizing white sauce and the concentrated, not-for-kids spicy red sauce. The main difference from what the OC eatery additionally offers are these food items like fries, hummus, tahini, baba ghanouj, and falafel - so vegetarians, rejoice!
Also, from hearing my friends’ nostalgic experience with the wait time back at NYC, the customer line here also zips through easily. Hopefully this would not just facilitate the small, limited availability of seating, but it would make the tireless search for the parking spot a little less frustrating - blame the other popular, neighboring restaurants for that ounce of chance.
Alright: onto the most exciting part of that moment and my writing - eating! The gyro meat gave off an overly seasoned sensation, which may be attractive to palates longing for a strong, savory flavor profile. The falafel, on the other hand, delivered a milder approach, so a decent bite with the orange rice would nicely assist. Finally, we couldn’t stop reminiscing and simultaneously salivating over the perfectly seasoned and succulent chicken, moreover seeing the cooks carefully pan-grilling the giant mounds of chopped poultry before being placed in the platters. Regardless of the protein, it is a must to request for an absurdly amount of mayo-based, vegetarian-friendly white sauce and cautious drops of red sauce that if either is still inadequate, they blissfully have to-go packets.
Officially opening this Friday, October 2nd (congrats Thomas!), we hope you’ll feel the same euphoria as we did - and we’ll give you a high-20 for your anticipating admiration of the chicken! And from the look of the parking lot, I hope the online ordering option will be finally accessible!
CHECK IT OUT: Halal Guys, 3033 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA