By CLAUDIA KOERNER | THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Foie gras, pancetta, Parmigiano cream sauce — might sound like the menu of this minute’s trendy hotspot, but these foods are being served up at Chef Joe Youkhan’s Tasting Spoon, a new food truck roaming Orange County.
It seems like almost every week I’m writing about a truck cooking meals you simply won’t believe — but really, would you ever have expected to see foie gras coming out of something that runs on diesel fuel? The Lime Truck has wowed diners in the past with its foie gras mousse, Lobsta Truck and SlapFish truck are bringing it with high-end seafood and the Burnt Truck tops its tiny sliders with a perfectly fried quail egg. Seems like the gourmet food trucks just keep getting more gourmet, and Chef Joe, formerly of Savannah Chop House and Chat Noir, is rising to the occasion with some mind-blowingly delicious creations.
At $16, the foie gras slider (at top) is a treat far outside the typical lunch budget. Immediately, though, it’s clear that this is soooome sandwich. Peach barbecue sauce and oil from the juicy liver drip around the slider in a sturdy brioche bun, which is really closer to the size of a junior cheeseburger than a two-bite snack. The sweet sauce adds flavor to the tender-beyond-belief delicacy. Caramelized onions, usually the sweet note in a dish, here instead add a little tang. Rich is an understatement – I have to take a breather after my last bite.
Pizzas provide more bang for your buck, while still incorporating sophisticated ingredients.
As a baconophile, I opt for the Carbonara, which features thick, crispy pancetta, black-pepper-Parmigiano cream sauce and caramelized onions. Priced at $8, it’s more in line with other food truck meals, and the pizza dwarfs an oversize paper plate. Crust is a flatbread pastry, so from the start each slice is decadent. Salty, crunchy chunks of pancetta up the wow factor as they contrast with an intensely creamy sauce. Maybe a little too creamy, if there is such a thing – I can’t really taste the spice I expect from pepper.
Sweet potato fries ($4) are a food truck staple at this point, but Chef Joe’s manage to stand out. These are Parmiagiano fries, and the dusting of hard cheese brings out the savory notes of the potatoes I prefer.
I don’t make it to the bone marrow, served in a split beef leg bone with bread on the side. Even without tasting the dish, my concept of what’s possible in food truck dining has again been busted wide open.
Chef Joe Youkhan’s Tasting SpoonUpcoming stops in Brea and Costa Mesachefjoeyoukhanstastingspoon.com