Answered Prayers: HALAL GUYS FINALLY IN CALIFORNIA (and Petit Trois)
I would like to preface this post by saying that I am partially (if not, fully) responsible for bringing Halal Guys to California. Below is an e-mail that I sent to the Halal Guys cart on May 18th, 2012.
"Every time I am in NY, I make it a point to visit your cart because your lamb and chicken plate is one of the best things I have ever eaten. I think it would be an incredibly wise decision on your part if you were to open a location in Los Angeles because there is absolutely nothing here like your Halal cart. It would be an excellent opportunity for you to capitalize on this gap in the local marketplace. You have many fans out here on the West Coast and countless New York expatriates who would be thrilled to have you here. Thanks for reading this and keep up the excellent work, you are a truly amazing establishment!"
I received the following response and was starstruck from even having an e-mail from them in my putrid little inbox.
"Thank you for your kind words, they are very much appreciated. As you many imagine, we have fans from all over the world. To maintain our quality and taste we have decided not to expand throughout the country at this point and stay serving our niche market in the NYC area. Please keep visiting us when you do come !"
Rejection had never hurt so good.
The recent opening of it's brick and mortar location in Costa Mesa leads me to believe that I am the one that got away in Halal Guys' eyes. It's around 45 minutes away from LA, but still. I appreciate you being close enough for me to slide up in your parking lot unannounced wearing nothing but a bathrobe and a debit card.
I made the trek on a Friday night and to my dismay, the line wasn't painfully long. You know my Asian ass RUV RONG RINE for food.
10 minute wait...pffft. Everyone knows that the most delicious amuse bouche is a wait of AT LEAST 45 minutes. Preferably outdoors in the sweltering heat or in below zero temperatures.
Once inside, I tried to order two (the maximum order per person) chicken and lamb platters, which is my usual order when I'm ten sheets to the wind in New York. I was told that there was no lamb and they had beef instead. I was taken aback, which is the first time I'd ever had that kind of reaction to beef.
After driving speeding down the interstate at 55 mph (the maximum speed a Prius can reach without exploding), I finally arrived at my local liquor store. My friend, Jessie and I purchased a bottle of Sluricane and retreated back to my place to pregame before eating our halal platters.
After getting sufficiently turnt, we finally unveiled our halal platters and it was BEAUTIFUL. I never thought I would be able to enjoy a fresh platter of halal in California. I don't even know why I bother with the meat and rice, we all know those are just vessels for the sweet Middle Eastern nectar of the mayonnaise flower otherwise known as "White Sauce". This was basically white sauce with a side of meat scraps, garnished with orange rice. JUST HOW I LIKE IT.
Welcome to California, White Sauce Guys. I mean, Halal Guys.
After taking a 24 hour nap, my friends and I hit up Petit Trois, located in a tiny Hollywood plaza next to a Yum Yum Donuts.
That's my cousin, Diane. She reluctantly showed up after I promised her that I would stop telling people we were cousins.
Petit Trois is a French Bistro owned by my favorite angry TV chef with a heart of gold, Chef Ludo Lefebvre. He also owns Trois Mec next door, but that is a space reserved for ballers, so you know our DiGiorno munching asses stuck to having brunch at the bistro.
The place is small, but do not panic. They have a bar that serves excellent cocktails for you to pass around to all of your girlfriends to try until you have a created a cocktail of backwash.
We scored seats at the counter, which is a front row seat to the kitchen. Apologies to the chefs who had to try to go ignore my blank stare and uncontrollable mouth breathing the entire time I sat there. I blinked not once.
Someone that is not me took this gorgeous aerial shot of the starters. I was in the corner eyefucking the kitchen and whispering "send those pictures to the shared file" to my friends. At the top we have steak tartare, below that is escargot and on the right is french onion soup. I cheered every time the kitchen removed a french onion soup from the salamander.
The Croque Monsieur or Madame...I don't know the difference, whichever one is fattest.
The bombest most creamiest most fluffiest most delicate eye mask in all of life. Just kidding, it was an omelet and it was the sexiest variation of an egg that I've had since I swallowed that Cadbury Creme egg whole last Easter.
Did we order the entire menu, you ask? Yes, yes we did.
And alas, we have the Big Mec. I believe that is French for "sandwich for heavy bitches only". This thing has garlic aioli AND bordelaise AND caramelized onions AND American cheese.
DO NOT COME HERE IF YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM.
Or I mean, you can. Just don't order the entire menu and then walk out wondering why you feel fat. But really, that's how every brunch with my friends ends.
Okay, I need to go. Nathan for You is on and I need to get my laugh on.