10 Great Food Trucks--Luxe Loncheras!--in Orange County

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Photo by Christopher Victorio

I was thinking of making a list that included ALL loncheras, luxe and not, but it'd be a wash: loncheras in a landslide. That said, I've warmed up a bit to the idea of non-Mexis muscling into the food-truck business with gourmet, usually overpriced meals. The one wonderful positive out of this trend is seeing young guns (and some not-so-young) playing with food conventions and succeeding, and we can't wait until more of them open actual restaurants (same as Jason Quinn of Lime Truck fame) and REALLY go nuts.

In the meanwhile, 10 great luxe loncheras in OC. If you recognize some of them because we write about them like every other week . . . then you're a loyal reader, and we salute you!

. SlapFish
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Photo by Meranda Carter
Head Slapper Andrew Gruel

SlapFish's contribution to the local lobster scene is its Lobsticle, which is exactly what it sounds like (a lobster sphere on a stick), but it also gets on this list for two reasons: a commitment to sustainable seafood, and its goofily named Major Crunchy Sandwich, which is truth in advertising thricefold -- big, crunchy and, um, a sandwich. Good fish tacos, too.

Follow on Twitter @slapfishtruck

9. The Burnt Truck
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Meranda Carter's work again

I must admit: I doubted their ability to make a business out of slider interpretations, but the guys (recently profiled by Anne Marie in On the Line) excel in mini-burgers, the more gut-busting, the better. That fried-chicken one? Crunch-tastic!

Follow on Twitter @theburnttruck

8. Crepes Bonaparte

Thumbs up!

One of the pioneers of the luxe lonchera scene, Crepes Bonaparte isn't particularly innovative--crepes? Can get those anywhere. But Crepes Bonaparte sneaks onto this list because its crepes are bueno, its Gallic gimmick not TOO annoying, and its fast service. Garçcon, coffee!

Follow on Twitter @crepesbonaparte

7. Seabirds
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Photo by Kimberly Valenzuela

The gals did us proud during The Great Food Truck Race 2, but unfortunately lost midway through. No problem: that just means we get to enjoy the vegan sorcery more, like fried-avocado tacos and a jackfruit taco that just might be the most inventive dish in Orange County since the taco acorazado.

Follow on Twitter @seabirdstruck

6. Taco María
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Photo from Facebook or by Dave, I can't remember...

Yeah, this luxe lonchera is but months old, and Michelin-starred Carlos Salgado offers a limited menu from his shiny truck--just tacos, burritos, specials and dessert as Salgado learns the trade. But already, Taco María brings alta cocina techniques that marry the best of the lonchera and luxe lonchera scenes. The quesadilla de tuétano has quickly become a cult item among local foodies: bone marrow played against queso oaxaca, creaminess on creaminess for umami overflow. Salgado's take on esquites--the ancient meal of roasted corn, lime, chile and cheese--can please as easily at the Ritz-Carlton as it can from the cart of a Santa Ana peddler.

Follow on Twitter @tacomaria

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