Next to the pier in Huntington Beach, Calif., is a taco place where you can order lobster, brisket with tacos and milkshakes. Behind this new fast-casual venue is none other than Taco Bell, which launched U.S. Taco Co. on Monday to take tacos to a foodier edge. First, let’s take a look at the menu:
- The 1%Er: Flatbread with lobster and garlic butter – slaw.
- Friggen Fried Ice Cream: Vanilla ice cream with caramel and cinnamon toast crunch
- Not My First Rodeo: Tortilla with smoked brisket, molcajete salsa slaw, pickled onions and cilantro
- Roasted Chili Queso with Papa’s Fritas
- Winner Winner Chicken Dinner: Tortilla with crispy chicken, jalapeño southern gravy and roasted corn pico de gallo.
The idea behind the launch of the first U.S. Taco Co. came from Jeff Jenkins, who, after conducting a dining survey with Taco Bell, found that people from certain demographic simply don’t eat at fast-food restaurants, the Los Angeles Times reports. Jenkins and his team decided to open a fast-casual taco place that targets people who favor restaurants like Chipotle.
Taco Bell funded an eating tour for Jenkins and Rene Pisciotti, executive chef of U.S. Taco Co. They then decided to take their favorite American meals and turn them into tacos, eventually creating a menu inspired by Philly cheese steaks, lobster rolls and Southern fried chicken.
“It’s food truck food you don’t have to chase,” Jenkins told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s playful, it’s different, it’s not about creating the next chain concept.”
All ingredients are either house-made, sourced from the same supplier used by Taco Bell, or come from where they were inspired, such as the brisket for the “Not My First Rodeo,” which comes from Texas, Pisciotti told the Food Beast.
U.S. Taco Co. has 10 6-inch tacos on the menu, all priced between $3.25 and $3.75, except the taco with lobster – “The 1%Er” will cost you $9.90. All desserts are $4 each.