After many years of planning, The Halal Guys Corporation opened its first West Coast location in Costa Mesa.
Fans of New York City’s famous West 53rd Street and Sixth Avenue street food cart are excited to finally have a location in California, and the huge turnout for their grand opening on Friday proved it.
It seemed like a battleground in the parking lot, but some were lucky enough to score a spot. Immediately after stepping out of the car, the fragrance of cooking meat—smelling spiced to perfection—will bombard your nostrils as if you didn’t know it was coming. Don’t come extremely hungry; otherwise, your patience will be severely tested.
The Halal Guys began in NYC and have been around for 25 years serving their American Halal food to a diverse group of customers. They’re working hard to expand not only nationally but also around the world and are especially known for the chicken and rice platters that are often smothered in their famous and ever-so-popular red and white sauces.
The Arabic term “Halal” means lawful and permissible, and it’s accepted by Islamic law as fit for eating, according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. This means that the preparation and selling of the meat should fall under certain guidelines to be considered halal.
Paul Tran, COO of The Halal Guys SoCal, eagerly joined the team because of his experience in the restaurant industry and expertise in growth strategy. He believes this franchise will do really well in Costa Mesa because he says the city is a big foodie hub, and people come here looking for hot new concepts.
“There’s a lot of corporate control and they’re very, very involved. They visit us often and send their team here to open stores and train the rest of the staff before and after we open,” Tran said.
Rest assured that the SoCal team is dedicated to bringing authenticity to the brand and, of course, to their customers.
“So far, people have mentioned that the food tastes exactly the same as the carts in NYC, and we’re happy with that. We want to maintain that standard,” Tran emphasized in response to the overwhelming support they received during their soft opening.
At the Costa Mesa location, they offer the usual platters such as chicken, gyro, the Halal Special, which is a combination of chicken and gyro, as well as falafel. These platters are all served with rice, pita, lettuce and tomatoes with the option of having the red and white sauces drizzled on top or served on the side. Beware, the red sauce is for those who like that kick.
They’re also offering sandwiches with a choice of chicken, gyro or falafel. In addition to that, new items were added to their sides menu including hummus, tabbouleh and baklava.
Kevin Asprer, who’s been a longtime customer of The Halal Guys carts in NYC, may have waited over three hours in line during the grand opening to get his combo plate, but that beats paying for a long and expensive flight across the country.
“I think it’s great they’re opening a location in Long Beach too. It’s all about that white sauce. I always just get the same thing… combo chicken and lamb, extra drizzle!” Asprer said with excitement.
It’s safe to say that many loyal fans and new customers are coming to get a taste of that white sauce.
The Halal Guys are proud to protect their sauce recipes and rightly so. If everyone knew the secret to creating them, who knows if they’d still be as popular. Customers can never get enough of these guys’ white sauce and leave fully satisfied with their service to please. And at 50 cents a packet, customers can get as many extra packets of sauce as they want. Corporate must know how much people love that white sauce.
If you plan on visiting The Halal Guys within this next month, be advised that there’s a two-plate maximum order per person in an effort to serve as many customers as they can and to help regulate traffic. Also, prepare yourself for an hour wait, at the very least, in a line that teases every passing minute with the smell of halal heaven.
With that said, The Halal Guys will—without a doubt—satisfy and fulfill that salivating mouth once you take the first bite of their addicting chicken, rice and white sauce combination because the hype, as people say, is totally, positively and absolutely real.
Be sure to get a side of meat with your white sauce, and don’t forget to wipe your mouths, people.
The Halal Guys Socal is located at 3033 Bristol St, Suite E, in Costa Mesa.