This is their 2nd location where the first is in Costa Mesa and the third is in Koreatown. The forth one is opening in Cerritos soon. They are expanding pretty fast. They have a rewards card program where you get points for what you order.
It's my first time at a The Halal Guys joint.
I haven't been to the Costa Mesa location (I don't like standing in long lines for my food, lol) and I haven't tried the original in NYC, so my view is coming from level zero. Nothing to compare it to. I'm glad, because the food here was GOOD!
This Long Beach location is small. A few tables inside and a few outside.
The service is very efficient and fast. I've been here a couple of times and each time, there were a couple of people ahead of me, but the line went very fast.
Each time I had the Combo.
Gyro and chicken were good on their own. But put that white sauce on them and the taste meter goes up a couple of notches higher.
The salad and the orange rice compliments both the meats perfectly.
The red sauce - I love spicy food, but that red sauce is atomic! Whoa!! Use in moderation if it's your first time. That kick will surprise you, it surprised me. Lol.
As a whole, this dish is a perfect 5 stars to me. Yum!
I also tried:
Falafel - you get 2 pcs to an order and they were very good!!
Humus - you get about an 8 oz tub. It's a lot, good for sharing. A whole, warm pita bread accomplished the humus and that was just so good. Yum!!
Service was friendly and helpful.
Tip: you can add onions, jalapeño, etc to your order, make sure to ask.
I haven't tried the NY version, but this LBC location was super good in my book =)
Try them out for yourself and decide!!
Its okay...but definitely OVERHYPED!
I've been hearing about the Halal Guys for years now and I finally decided to venture out to the Long Beach location to try out the infamous street food from NY with hopes that there wouldn't be a long wait.
Luckily, my friend and I decided to stop by on a Monday night and there was no wait or line at all. We walked right up to place our orders for the combo chicken and gyro platter. The way they prepared the food was similiar to a Chipotle style assembling line. The staff were friendly and more than happy to make suggestions for what to order and accommodations (more white sauce, less red, etc). The total for each combo platter was about $11, which in my opinion is a little pricey for the amount of food you get. The ingredients itself is a bit underwhelming and everything is drenched in the sauces which is the highlight of the food. I've also heard that the actual NY version is a lot better so I'll probably give it a try if I visit NY. But my overall impression of Halal Guys is that its good but NOT great, and I would not drive far or wait in line for it.
I've been hearing the hype about the Halal Guys for a long time now. Finally got to try it. Decided to come here since I was in the area and there was no wait at all on a week night! Had their combo plate with the white and red sauce on top.
Red Sauce was a little spicy, but for you spicy lovers, you will love it! I'll have to say, be careful about the white sauce. It can be a bit heavy and you will definitely feel it in your stomach afterwards.
I've never had Halal food before, so this was good in my opinion. It just wasn't as great as how everyone hyped it up to be. But again, people are probably comparing it to the Halal Guys in New York, which is still something that I have yet to try.
Haven't been to the original but this place is similar to it from what I hear. The lines are fairly long but they move quickly. I usually take the food to go since it's usually crowded inside.
Whenever I visited NY, I never wanted to wait hours in line to get my food so never tried it. When they opened the branch here, decided for the experience I would go with my friends. I now get a meal about once a month. Forever changed.
The hype has died down now and it's easier to come here without a huge line waiting for you.
The food, still good. My order is always a plate combo. Extra white sauce and a side of the red sauce (use with caution, it's super hot).
The service here is fast and fast. Lol.
Parking could still be an issue, but just be patient and you will be rewarded.
Though it cost extra do get the extra white sauce if they don't give you enough, it's that good. Hot sauce is really spicy so be warned. Chicken taste whatever so I'm all about that gyro and rice. Wait is quick now that there's multiple locations around.
3.0 star rating 12/29/2016
The hype of this place was crazy. When they first opened lines were constantly out the door! I've had the original one in NYC, and for some reason this place just doesn't compare to it! There's something special about ordering from a food cart at 2 am in the morning. The meats here seem a little bit drier and not as satisfying as the original. I usually order the chicken meal. So I can't comment on the other proteins they have. I would only come here if I'm in the area and was really missing it.
I've heard about their grand opening of this infamous chicken gyro falafel making it's way to the east coast and my curiosity had me yearning to give it a shot. Though I heard it tasted better in NY, I thought it was yummy. Although I have nothing to compare it to, I enjoyed their creamy white sauce so I made sure to ask the staff to add extra! Their hot sauce is crazy hot. I'm usually the type to endure spices but this was at a whole different level of spice - FLAMING HOT! With that said, just get a little of that. If you want more, they have pre-packaged hot sauces laying around the counter top if you think you can handle more than I was able to!
The assembly line process is similar to that of Chipotle's! Turnaround time from ordering to paying went smoothly as I heard they finally worked out their kinks after complaints during grand opening day!
Give it a shot if you enjoy gyros!
Worth the hype!!! I've been dying to come here since it opened, but I didn't want to wait in the ridiculously long line I heard accompanies this place. It's been a few months, so I thought it was safe. I was ready to take on an hour long line on a Friday if I needed to. Surprisingly enough, the wait was only 5 minutes around noon, and when I got there it was not right out the door as I usually see it (30 minutes later it was a different story).
My co-worker and I both ordered the Halal Classic, which comes with chicken & gyro, rice, and lettuce and tomatoes. The regular is $9.95, and the small is $8.95. Sandwiches are $7.95. We were automatically given the regular. It looked and smelled good as we were approaching the cash register. The service was friendly, and the employees were hard at work making the line go by quickly. I'm not a big sauce person, so I decided to get the sauce on the side, which are in packets. If you don't already have sauce on it, you don't have to pay extra for the sauce on the side.
Oh boy, was that some good stuff!!! Totally worth the wait and then some! I even liked the sauce. I only used one of the packets and saved the other white sauce packet and the red sauce if I ever make my own gyro. My taste buds were loving the platter, and my co-worker agreed. He said the red sauce is really spicy. I found the chicken to be tender and not dry like chicken can usually be when you eat at a restaurant. The gyro meat was in small pieces and was also tender. The white sauce went well with both. Even on the rice, which I tend not to eat a lot of. We noticed 20 minutes into our meal that the line got progressively longer, the way I remember it: out the door, past Creamistry, and near the back entrance of the shopping plaza. I guess it's all a matter of timing here.
The food here is bomb! The parking situation...not so much. The parking lot is small and finding a spot is not easy. I'd give you tips, but that would prevent me from getting a good spot the next time I come here.
All credit cards are accepted here.
"We are different" - After my experience dining here, I can't think of a better phrase to describe Halal Guys. I'm sure this slogan was originally coined to emphasize how Halal Guys is "different" from imitation Halal carts in New York, but I also think it's valid to say that their food is "different" from any type of cuisine in this world.
It's tempting to compare Halal Guys with the Shawarma Palaces of Canada or Arabic fast food joints in Anaheim, but after some thought, I realized it's not reasonable to do so. All of these places can sling a ton of Halal food at reasonably low prices, but Halal Guys serves an especially unique type of New York-style street food, with different food preparation, ingredients, and target customers. It's neither true Middle Eastern nor Mediterranean.
I've never been to the original HG food cart in New York, never eaten American Halal platters before, and always wondered why HG was the talk of the town. I came to satisfy my curiosity. What's so special about HG's food outside of their white sauce? It sounds crazy that a condiment can draw so much attention, as I've never heard of anyone obsess over a particular salsa at any taco truck before (taco trucks would be LA's version of NY's halal carts).
Based on my observations, Halal Guys cooked their marinated gyro meat on the vertical broiler, and then transferred the thinly sliced meat to a grill. No other place I know of does that. The meat had deep savory flavor with extra juiciness from the grease that soaked in from the grill. There were crispy edges on some pieces of the chopped beef gyro as advertised. The meat has distinct beef flavor and tasted nothing like lamb, so I was surprised to have heard people in line talk about the lamb they had a few days ago at HG. After some fact digging, I found out Halal Guys had stopped serving lamb gyro about 10 years ago to cut costs.
I didn't enjoy the chicken as much as the beef gyro meat. Halal Guys' chicken was dark thigh meat with similar texture and flavor to boiled chicken. It was less greasy compared to the beef gyro, and the meat was chunky. There was no appreciable aroma that made it special. Without adding sauce over it, the only discernible flavor was smoky char from the grill.
Halal Guy's rice was neon orange. The batch that I received was slightly undercooked and rough. That made the rice dry and not very appetizing, but still edible. The rice wasn't as fluffy as Indian pulao or as flavorful as Lebanese pilaf that I've eaten before. While waiting in line, I had a chance to briefly watch Halal Guy's rice preparation. I noticed that a big burlap of basmati rice was dumped into a giant pot without being rinsed. It's a small detail, but made me wonder if soaking and rinsing the rice would have made a difference in texture.
In addition to the Halal Classic plate, I also ordered a side of falafels, which turned out to be the worst I ever had. They were rock hard, the exterior was extremely crunchy, and the chickpeas had turned semi-stale. There may have been many factors that contributed to this, but I should have known better than to order fried food that's been reheated in a tray.
Overall, my experience at Halal Guys was passable. I thought the value was good and the food was better tasting than most American chain fast-food options. However, I didn't think the experience was worth the 2 hour wait in line.
There were many factors that contributed to the long queue. First, the staff was extremely slow (due to lack of experience, many on their second week on the job) and their casual laid back attitude turned out to be one of the bottlenecks. Second, the cooking system seemed to be disorganized. The efficiency could be improved so that there is always something (chicken, gyro meat, pita) cooking on the grill. The assemblers seemed to always be waiting for meat to be cooked and that prevented platters from moving down the assembly chain. Third, the line would move faster if employees could just give customers a packet of sauce instead of carefully drizzling sauce on every platter like drawing latte art.
This location could really use a bouncer to manage and contain the line. There were too many people who showed up way later than their friends and cut in line. Holding spots for friends isn't really fair to the people standing behind. In addition, there was a bizarre incident that management should be aware of, where two customers pulled up, saw the long line, and then offered to pay 3 people at the front of the line to cut in. It was disrespectful for those 3 people to accept the bribe; they should apologize to the 200 people behind them for adding 10 additional minutes to their queue. We told staff members about this incident, and the employee acknowledged that she was aware of it. She would notify the manager later. The event was captured on surveillance. Too bad she was too powerless to do anything about it when it mattered.
They are here finally in a brick and mortar near you in good ole socal in the costa mesa area. It is darn good and their white sauce with lamb and chicken will make you come back and eat it everyday. Don't put too much red sauce on it because it is spicy as he'll. Make sure to have time cuz wait time is like 20mins. You can also get them to add extra tomatoes, onions and green peppers for free. But if you want extra sauce its $.60cents extra in a packet. I always get my red sauce on the side and out a few drops in and mix with everything else. The meat and rice isn't as chopped up as NY but flavor tastes the same. Good luck.
LIVED UP TO THE HYPE: No
Worth the money (8.95): Debatable
Rating: I think the 3.5 they have now is pretty accurate.
Line: 10 deep
5 tables already occupied
Wait time: 7 mins.
*By 10:52, the line was about 20 deep
REGULAR HALAL CLASSIC (minus the lettuce)
- I carefully took my first bite of what was supposed to be chicken rice heaven. 2, 3, 4, 5 bites later and it had me wondering... Did I receive the South Park Yelp special? Nahhh. What I had in front of me was just a decent rice bowl. Not much more. I then broke the bowl down by trying to eat each of the ingredients alone.
Rice - bland
Chicken - ehh
Gyro - average
Tomatoes - normal
Pita - standard store bought
White sauce - ok
Red sauce - hotter than your standard hot sauce. Not bad.
There is SO much HYPE with HG. Unfortunately, even if I could wait only 7 mins each time in the future, I'd be in no hurry to return.
The first thing I noticed when walking into the shop was the pile of colorless chicken on the grill. It wasn't the pretty golden chicken I'm used to seeing at places like zankou so I was going to write them off as having lower quality protein. Then I realized this place is "Halal" Guys. That's got to have something to do with it right? Haha. I still can't comment on the quality though as I'm not familiar with what Halal food is supposed to be like. But I have to say that they didn't exactly pass the taste test with flying colors.
There is a shared parking lot that fills up during peak hours. It was pretty empty when I was here but it fills up as quickly as the Halal line grows.
The Halal Guys are starting their invasion of Southern California with their first location in Costa Mesa. They opened early in October with 3+ hour lines around the block. Their second location will be opening soon in Long Beach. If you didn't know, the Halal Guys originated in New York City and have been feeding the masses for years. People wax poetic about their food. The line took about 10-15 minutes before I was paying so it was not bad for me at all. Your experience may vary. I ordered 2 regular classic platters at $9.95 each.
The classic platter comes with both beef gyro, chicken, rice, chopped lettuce and tomatoes, along with that classic white sauce and spicy red sauce. The red sauce you should use at your own discretion. The sauces are piled on with your approval. Extra sauce costs an extra $0.50 per packet. The food is piled on along an assembly line and it looks like they have an efficient system in place. Once I paid, I grabbed a seat at one of the tables. Grace C. arrived shortly after me but since I made it through the line first, she had my second classic platter to avoid the 15 minute wait.
Everyone has a different way of eating their platters. I tried it with just the sauce and the meat. Then I started mixing everything together. The red sauce has a kick to it but I could have probably used more. They have someone stopping by the tables asking how everything was and whether or not we wanted more sauce. They had two squeeze bottles in hand ready to accommodate. We had a great meal catching up and the restaurant was consistently busy.
My friends didn't have to wait in a long line compared to what they've heard about before (as long as a 3 hour wait?? Can't be worth it) they waited maybe 30 minutes and they were out of hummus. They were more excited about the backstory but in the end it's really about the food. It was good, not great. The gyro meat was chopped into baby pieces, not long slices, and sauce came in little plastic packs. Rice was just ok. The other food is what I picked up from another competitor...
The Halal Guys is located down the street from South Coast Plaza in a pretty busy shopping plaza with several other restaurants.
Came on Saturday afternoon during prime time for lunch and the wait was about 40 minutes. I heard the lines were insane so I was expecting madhouse but there were employees from Halal manning the lines and crowd controlling into the restaurant.
Ordered 3 Halal Classics (chicken and gyro) and 1 chicken platter. We had to pay extra ($0.50-$0.60) for the extra sauces. I had the Halal Classic and it was good. I am sure it’s all in the sauce. The meat was cooked just right and between the red and the white sauce, the white sauce was my favorite. Personally, the red sauce was too spicy and too much for me. I had to add extra white sauce to minimize the red sauce. They should give more lettuce, tomatoes, and pita. I even had some left over for the next day and it was still tasty!
Would I come back, yes! Would I want over 15 minutes next time, no!
Great halal food, I recommend it.
So the lines for this place has been a deterrent for me to go, especially since I have to drive quite a distance before I get there. I needed to meet up with Trina D. so we decided to meet up and try this place out after hearing that the lines were dying down. We also figured it being a Thursday evening it shouldn't be too bad.
I got there about 7, parking was awful, but not surprising. It's a strip mall with quite a few restaurants and it's dinner time so of course no spaces. I drove around for a few minutes trying to find parking.
Trina had already told me that there was practically no line, so I already knew that there probably was a good chance that there still wouldn't be a real line when I got there.
I got in line, and saw that Trina had already taken a seat. She offered me up her second classic platter so I wouldn't have to stand in line (at least 10 mins) and we could just enjoy some food and the company.
The red sauce is quite spicy. If you like spicy you'll like it. It's definitely a slow burn that just continues. I had to stop eating because not only was my mouth on fire but my stomach started to hurt. **full disclosure - Trina did put a lot of extra red sauce because she likes it spicy**
The classic platter regular size was just fine for a meal. Beef gyro, chicken, rice with a little bit of chopped lettuce and tomatoes with a white sauce and spicy red sauce. I'll probably get a little bit of spicy with a lot more white. Very tasty, definitely worth a trip back, but not if the line is ridiculously long again. 10-15 mins is definitely worth the wait.
Wow I really miss this place! One of my favorite places in NY to eat. I came here around midnight and there was barely a line. Maybe cause it was raining but still. THIS IS A MUST IF YOU ARE IN NY. Make sure you get the right truck.
6 dollars gets you a bowl of heaven. You get so much food for such a small price. I'm coming back for you guys in a week!!!
PS I think they put crack in their sauce....