Inside U.S. Tacos

Inside U.S. Tacos

U.S. Taco Company, a new fast, casual concept has opened at The Strand in Huntington Beach. It was the brainchild of a small skunkworks group at Taco Bell Corp., dreamt up and executed in just 18 months. The team behind it wanted an upscale menu and dining experience targeted toward foodies.

Its menu draws inspiration from quintessential regional foods from around the country such as the lobster roll, fried chicken, and Philly cheesesteaks, but all wrapped in a tortilla. The tongue-in-cheek menu names such as Wanna Get Lei’d, a grilled mahi-mahi taco with Polynesian sauce, slaw and poblano crema and the Southern Squealer, a pulled pork taco with peach jalapeno BBQ sauce, help depict the playful experience they want to convey.

The 1% ER & Literally Grilled Cheese

The 1% ER & Literally Grilled Cheese

Inspired by dios de las muertos or “day of the dead,” a Mexican holiday that celebrates loved ones that have died, the restaurant’s bright pink and aqua décor and sugar skull logomark aspire to celebrate life and give back. They have partnered with the Best Day foundation; an organization that helps kids with special needs build confidence and self-esteem through safe, fun-filled adventure activities. A portion of their net profit benefits this organization. In addition, the company does its best to be earth friendly; utensils and cups are made from plant starch and bags, boxes and paper are made from 100% recyclable products.

The company is positioning itself as an American taco company, not a Mexican restaurant so you won’t find any rice or beans served there. Instead, tacos can be accompanied by hand scooped potato wedges and specialty milkshakes.

Menu standouts were Winner Winner, Literally Grilled Cheese, papas fritas and Coco loco milkshake.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner; made with fried chicken, jalapeno Southern Gravy, roasted corn, pico de gallo, jalapeno and cilantro

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner; made with fried chicken, jalapeno Southern Gravy, roasted corn, pico de gallo, jalapeno and cilantro

Literally Grilled Cheese: grilled manchego cheese, molcajete salsa, grilled pepeprs and onions, avocado, cotija, cilantro

Literally Grilled Cheese: grilled manchego cheese, molcajete salsa, grilled pepeprs and onions, avocado, cotija, cilantro

Papas Fritas, accompanied by jalapeno ranch and ghost chili ketchup dipping sauces

Papas Fritas, accompanied by jalapeno ranch and ghost chili ketchup dipping sauces

Coco Loco: chocolate ice cream, Mexican spice chocolate sauce, chocolate flakes

Coco Loco: chocolate ice cream, Mexican spice chocolate sauce, chocolate flakes

Check some of the others taco creations we got to sample. (Click to enlarge)

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