If you’ve ever lived in the New England area, you’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy first-rate seafood. Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs, Littleneck clams, Maine lobsters and of course there is the world famous restaurant chain, Legal Seafood. Whenever I travel back east, I stuff my face with as much seafood as humanly possible.
Again, I was fortunate enough to find a brand new gourmet food truck entering the Streets of the South Bay. It was Just for the Halibut’s first week on the streets and I was extremely lucky that it appeared at the SouthBay DinDinAGoGo truck lot at Pep Boys in Harbor City.
According to Just for the Halibut’s menu, the “Barney” is their signature sandwich. When I see a truck or restaurants featuring an item as their “best”, unless it’s something I dislike, I will usually order it. I ordered the Barney with a side of “dirty chips”. My wife ordered the baja shimp tacos and our friends ordered two other sandwiches.
I was a bit hesitant to order the “Barney”. After all, one may think of the Flintstones cartoon and wonder what type of sandwich this is. Chargrilled halibut with coleslaw, creole sauce and fried pickles; seems safe enough for me to try, I thought to myself.
The Barney sandwich was an absolute delightful experience. I can’t emphasize enough how fresh the halibut was. Brian grilled it to perfection while leaving it ultra most inside. Each bite of the sandwich caused the fish to simply flake away. The fried pickles, a Philadelphia tradition, are combined with the creole sauce, making each bite a flavorful experience.
I met Chef Brian Hogan and was extremely surprised that he worked in the restaurant industry for the last 15 years. I remarked, “you don’t have the grey hairs to show for it”. During the time he resided in New Jersey, he worked as Manager and Executive Chief. He admitted that he suddenly packed up everything and moved to Australia. After his Visa expired, he moved back to Los Angeles where a friend convinced him to start up shop here.
Brian purchased his truck in San Luis Obispo and when it was inspected in LA County, he discovered that none of the on-board equipment was certified to prepare the type of food he envisioned serving. He ended up gutting out the interior and purchasing all new NSF certified equipment. In order to cook seafood his way, he had to purchase a “char-grill” appliance. If you happen to peer inside his truck, you will see a full size state of the art refrigerator which also happens to be NSF certified. Brian added that “We have more refrigerator space than asked of by the Health Department which we felt was necessary [Consequently], …our refrigeration system is never laboring to keep our very expensive and temperamental product as cold and fresh as possible. “
Brian is also working on obtaining a license for Orange County and given that he’s using NSF certified equipment, I don’t think that will take much time. He would also like to add some desserts to their menu as well. He added, “For the time being, I want to make sure that every sandwich goes out as I would like.”
Hopefully for our sake, Just For the Halibut doesn’t spent too much time in Orange County.
Just For The Halibut will be at South Bay DinDinAGoGo this Thursday, June 14, from 5:30 – 9:30pm at Narbonne High School in Harbor City.
Just For the Halibut http://just4halibut.com/