The Halal Guys officially opened on Friday, October 2 to huge crowds who were excited to try its popular chicken-and-rice platters, gyros, and famous white sauce. The first customer in line had camped out to snag the coveted spot, which gave her bragging rights for being their first official customer on the West Coast. By the time their doors opened at 11 a.m., a line had formed around the block of approximately 250 people hoping to be one of the first to try something that New Yorkers have loved for years. Over the course of the weekend the line remained that long and reached wait times of four hours, even though once customers get to the counter to order it averages only four minutes to complete their transaction. Despite the long wait time, the overall consensus was positive and that the brick and mortar location in Costa Mesa, California, had delivered the same flavors as the original food carts in New York.
Why is The Halal Guys concept so popular? Perhaps it's the high-quality products like their chicken, which has never been frozen and is marinated and seasoned over night, then cooked and chopped on the grill and served directly to their plate to ensure a crave-worthy meal that's piping hot. Perhaps it's the debate between those who favor the white sauce versus those who prefer the red sauce. Perhaps it's the memory for those who have lived or visited New York City and stood in line at 53rd and 6th. No matter what the reason is, Southern California is excited for this concept to expand.