Road Grill


Pimp my Paella.

 Most of us eat out in brick and mortar establishments. It’s less drafty, and there are places to relieve yourself, and sit. 

Some of us treat them as homes away from home, pouncing on our favorite booth as if it were a Sit ‘n Sleep floor sample.     

But what about those days when you can’t leave your desk and no one in the office is going out to even the most rudimentary of drive-throughs?   Or when you’re a gridlock captive in the Honda Center lot after the concert in dire need of absorbant vittles?

Tapas on Board!

Meals on wheels are the answer, and their evolution has never been more fully realized. A few months back, a food truck convoy the length of Mariner’s Mile rolled into OC in the wake of Kogi BBQ’s exhaust offering  everything from Taco Dawgs to Hakuna Mattatta Tostadas.

The latest mobile offerings come from Barcelona on the Go, twenty-two feet of quilted steel that looks like the spawn of an   Overhaulin’  rig and  Pimp my Ride  utility vehicle. And they have tapas on board. 

Croquettes are  as big as biscuits with the tender texture of Thanksgiving  mashed potatoes. The gilded crispy crust gives way to fluffy, mellow manchego and savory bits of ham. Balsamic reduction drizzle adds a concentrated sweet acidity to the mild snack. 

Alongside the croquette sits a Galician style empanada is the size of a coin purse, stuffed with  sautéed onion, red and green bell peppers and savory, moist chicken infused with smoky pimenton.   

Chimmi Chimmi Co Co Bop!


A full flavored flat iron steak is Expertly seared, hacked into rugged strips and generously doused in chimmichurri giving each bite of fat-marbled beef a garlicky, oily blast. A handful of rustic, crispy hand cut fries accompany the dish.    

While his fellow Argentine chef makes each dish to order,  you notice Barcelona on the Go owner Esteban Nocito’s curatorial attention to detail. His is the only coach I know of with lilting samba on the speakers, a museum quality facsimile of Picasso’s Guernica on the side of the truck and lovingly nurtured snapdragons in a window box. 


Piping hot lentil soup with morsels of ham is deeply flavored and homespun, like something you’d sample in a San Sebastian taverna. 

Flan was, well, flan. But when Nocito adds the promised chocolate drizzled pears poached in tempranillo to the menu, I’m there. 

For location, check Twitter updates at 949.939.6798. Dinner for two, $18.00, food only.


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10 Responses to “Road Grill”

  1. Mr. Bill Says:

    Wow, Galley babe, this is a huge cut above the traditional roach coach. The menu, though necessarily limited, sounds extremely appealing. It makes the mobile mellowness worth seeking out.

  2. Missy Seeley Says:

    You’ve peaked my taste buds! I can’t find the weekly schedule?

    • galleygirl Says:

      Thanks, Missy,
      Looks like it’s more of a daily twitter update for now. On the right hand side once you enter the site, there’s a twitter box and they posted 10 hours ago they’d be in Costa Mesa today from 11:30-2:00 at the corner of Bristol and Randolf. Thanks for reading!

  3. Tippy Says:

    What an awesome idea!!! Thanks, galleygirl!!

  4. Cynthia Says:

    Me voy inmediatemente – mil gracias, Kelly! My stomach started growling just reading and looking at your always awesome photos! Maybe the lines won’t be as long as Koji if they’re not as well known yet & haven’t developed the same following, but I’m sure now that you’ve put the word out, we’ll be waiting longer.

    • galleygirl Says:

      Shucks, thanks, Cynthia! I love Kogi’s but the lines are killing me. The line is there before the truck even arrives. This is every bit as good: no lines yet! Thanks for reading!

  5. I-ling Says:

    Dear Kelly, I just wanted to say how much I enjoy receiving galley girl 🙂 You’re continuing to inspire me on my quest for amazing food, delicious words, and savory photography. I haven’t been to Kogi’s or Barcelona on the Go, but I can tell you that I immediately looked for their schedule after reading your review.

    Thanks so much again!

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