Taco Bell's 'Upscale' Restaurant Is Like Nothing We've Seen

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Fans of Mexican fare have cause for celebration. Taco Bell, home of the always-fun-to-say Chalupa, is upping its game.

The popular fast food purveyor opened the first of its new upscale chain of eateries, U.S. Taco Co., in Southern California Monday. While some of the menu items might look familiar, they're anything but ordinary. 

Calling it "food truck food you don't have to chase," Jeff Jenkins, the man behind the new venture, said being "playful and different" and capturing America in a taco shell is what it's all about. Ten different tacos, each with fun and funky names, feature everything from lobster to pulled pork. And you won't find Dorito shells or paper wrappers at this taco joint, that's for sure!

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Some of the catchy and tasty-sounding items include: "The 1% Er," a flavorful combo of lobster, garlic butter, slaw, housemade roasted poblano crema, and cilantro on a flatbread. Then there's the "Wanna Get Lei'D" (I'm sure the servers never tire of hearing that one!), a corn tortilla filled with grilled Mahi Mahi, Polynesian sauce, slaw, poblano crema, pico de gallo, and cilantro. Not too shabby.

More of a landlubber? Consider the "Not My First Rodeo," featuring smoked brisket, molcajete salsa, slaw, pickled onions, and cilantro.

If the names don't already give it away, the newest player on the fast-casual scene is looking to have a good time while taking on the competition, namely Chipotle.

Milkshakes and fries round out the eclectic menu and their names are just as clever.

Why not give the "Friggin' Fried Ice Cream" a try? Vanilla ice cream and caramel marries Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal for a breakfast-meets-dessert showdown. Then there's the "Shut Your Pie Hole" combining vanilla ice cream, strawberries, and pie crust chunks. Each is priced at $4. 

Jenkins is eyeing Los Angeles for the next U.S. Taco Co. location.

Would you like to see a U.S. Taco Co. open near you?


Images via GettyImages/Joe Raedle and Twitter/Marketing Mixologist

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