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Cypress Tuesday Night Food Trucks: Dos Chinos and Burger Monster

Words and Photography by Jake Conlee

When I’m home in Southern California, there isn’t a moment spent that I am not looking for my newest favorite thing ever (I am always looking for my newest favorite thing ever.) Whatever makes up our favorite things were at one point all brand new to us at one point. I have been living in Las Vegas for the past two years, and a revolution has overcome Southern California that I completely missed. Amazing kitchens, incredible chefs with insanely good menus started hitting the streets, slanging the culinary arts in every which way. Farmers’ Markets, Street Fairs, Foodie Fests and hot nightspots had them show up, and sometimes (most of the time) they bring their IG, Twitter and Facebook followings with them. Criss-crossing the county and popping up in random parking lots for a few hours at a time. I dig it. I am a fan of the whole movement.

This week, I happened to be around on Tuesday night, and after an astoundingly delicious lunch at The Packing House in Anaheim, I wasn’t sure that I was ready to tackle a full on Food Truck Meet. I learned a very important lesson in humility, choose wisely, and your eyes are always bigger than your appetite. I had been to a few Westminster Wednesday Night meets in 2012, but at the time, it was a loose collective of trucks. It is definitely a stark contrast from what we saw at Cypress on this night. The trucks are tightly and conveniently arranged at the end of the Home Depot Parking Lot, facing Lincoln Ave.

I was accompanied by our soon-to-be newest writer, Jason Sasaki, who was armed with his camera and signature positive attitude, and we were ready to get to it. The sun was bright, the crowd was gathering and the trucks were smoking, steaming and grilling to life. In attendance were the iconic White Rabbit, Grilled Cheese, Lobstah Truck, Bacon Mania; but we were here for two specific trucks, who also happened to be my lunchmates. Dos Chinos and Burger Monster.

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I had known about Dos Chinos through friends and by watching the Food Network  show, Chopped. Making it to the finals, the co-owner/ operator and jack of all trades, Hop Phan proved his work and mettle, and I jumped off of my couch when I saw Dos Chinos showcased on cable network television, primetime on Sunday, no less.

Today, Dos Chinos was the endcap of this alley filled with Food Trucks, and the smell of carne asada and chorizo filled the air. The brightly colored purple and skull covered truck already had an assemblage of rabid fans, and first timers alike. I will have to admit, my absence from Orange County has made it so this is my first time in this line as well. Jason was opting for the Stoner Fries, a behemoth of a dish, French Fries, laden with Dos Chinos Asada, Vietnamese Pork Belly, Chorizo Fried Rice, cheese and a fried egg. Before it came to the pass, we had a preconceived notion of what they were going to look like, but once it appeared in the window, the pair of us stood dumbfounded at the massive, steaming and wafting mass of deliciousness known as Stoner Papas.

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Growing hungry and restless, it was time for me to select the one dish that would be my tasty companion for this food truck gathering. It was definitely going to be a selection from OC Burger Monster. I love this truck. I love the imagery on the side, I love his selection of no nonsense and tattooed staff, and I love standing in front of his truck, like a zombie, smelling the grilled angus beef waiting for my turn at the window. I wanted something different, something original and something I haven’t had before. Then it hit me, I saw the selection amongst the monstrous burgers that would be mine. The Satyr: Grilled Angus Beef, Goat Cheese, Caramelized Onions, Arugula(!) and Fig Jam. Yes, please. It was different, refreshing and totally left field. I loved every bite and crumb of that burger. I ate each component by itself and all together. The goat cheese, when eaten upside down, gives the taste illusion of an incredibly delicious lamb burger. But it is all beef, the goat cheese has gotten me all crazy.

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This is definitely a tradition that I would like to continue on. This will not be our last visit to these food trucks, and it definitely will not be the last you’ve heard from Dos Chinos and OC Burger Monster. Check out the trucks tonight in Cypress!

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