Food trucks aren’t what they were five years ago. Most of those “rock star” chefs and their trucks have successfully moved into established restaurants or one of the area’s many food halls. Sure, there’s a new flock of them, but gone are the days where I followed a few of them religiously on Twitter in hopes of throwing down some delicious grub in front of my favorite brewery…until now.
Riding in from across the pond is The Hungry Royal, a powdery blue ex-FedEx truck complete with the Queen herself spooning a delicious treat, properly extending her majesty’s pinkie. The menu is proper British gastropub fare, everything from a basic fish sando (fried golden nuggets of salmon with tempura fried sea beans, chile and miso mayonnaise) that is every bit as far away from basic. The must-get is the Scotch egg, and even the traditional Brit dessert, the Eton Mess (house-made English scones, cream, and The Hungry Royal fruit jam), both of which can have you speaking in a British accent in no time.
“The good people of Southern California are currently lacking classic British cuisine that isn’t the generic bangers n’ mash or fish n’ chips,” says truck owner George Barker, with a suave English accent. “The concept for the truck is effectively a projection of me; born and bred in Britain but with influences from around the world,” he continued, running food orders into a bustling Bottle Logic Brewing.
George grew up in a family that owned restaurants and cafes along the British countryside and loved to travel, immersing themselves in local culture and cuisine. Although British food might get a bad reputation among Orange County locals, he admits that his truck’s focus on doing everything from scratch and not cutting corners will win over the locals.
Pairing proper British fare with beer is a cinch. Go with something dark to balance out The Hungry Royal’s Scotch Egg, as the roast brings out a breakfast vibe with the soft-boiled egg, wrapped in a house blend of sausage meat and sweet chili jam. Pairing with the truck’s Eton Mess, I went with a fruited beer, Bottle Logic’s Berlinier Equation, which matched the lightness of the berry jamboree happening in the dessert cup.