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!

10
. 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

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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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23 comments
Bobhansen
Bobhansen

Compared to Kogi, Dos Chinos is flavorless garbage.

René Bruce
René Bruce

Wait you forgot Chomp Chomp Singapore, when the OC register had there gig Lime and many others were there and Chomp always had a line.. hummmm...  

mommytoalittleman
mommytoalittleman

Yup. The Burnt Truck is mighty bomb!! Their new Carne Asada fries are to die for!!

Dee Breakofdawn
Dee Breakofdawn

I think chef joe youkhan's tasting spoon deserves a second look.

MikeHs
MikeHs

"Crunch-tastic????"  Oh no, you're channeling the spikey-haired "guy." 

TheRefriedMexican
TheRefriedMexican

Does anybody know if The Lime Truck makes it it out to Loara High on Wednesdays?

OC Roller Girls
OC Roller Girls

OC Roller Girls, OC Weekly's Best Amateur Sports Team for 2011, has hosted five of those trucks at our games in Huntington Beach this year.  Congratulations to The Lime Truck, Dos Chinos, Piaggio on Wheels, Seabirds, and The Burnt Truck for being featured!  We're looking forward to having you and many other delicious eats at our games in 2012.

Andrew Gruel
Andrew Gruel

SlapFish will be opening their Bricks and Mortar in Huntington Beach, February 2011. More to come. Thanks for the article!

Newportblue65
Newportblue65

Great article Gustavo and great food on wheels out there !!.......

Cunning Stunts
Cunning Stunts

Does anyone else feel that the food at most of the luxe loncheras is over priced? Regular Loncheras are a great deal, lots of the brick and mortar places the OC Weekly writes about are great deals, etc.

I just find it interesting that many tout Luxe Loncheras as anti establishment; this is one of the "only ways we could serve people with the lowered costs vs brick & mortar" yet they become as "establishment" as any other business with the prices they charge. Why not pass on the lower costs to your consumers like the regular Loncheras do?

I admire the regular Loncheras so much, Luxe Loncheras to me still seem like they play off an image that they don't actively develop, live,  or move towards.

Mr. Rosewater
Mr. Rosewater

According to Pulp Fiction, "garçon" means "boy"; according to the French language, it has only one "c."

Other than that, keep on trucking.

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Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Only if the flavor you're seeking is salt. I much prefer Dos Chinos to Kogi.

DanGarion
DanGarion

I disagree. Kogi has been pretty boring both times I've had it. While Dos Chinos actually was good.

cBc
cBc

amen...their pizzas are pretty eff'n amazing

EriKa Pettite
EriKa Pettite

Still operating their gourmet food truck?  I wonder if they will be in Downtown Huntington Beach...shrug.

Thank you Andrew

Newportblue65
Newportblue65

If you want a deal make it yourself at home !!......

Andrew Gruel
Andrew Gruel

Yes, still operating the truck. Off Beach and Atlanta in HB.

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