Column: Surf and turf, burger style


Photo credit: Lily Miro

The “Surf and Turf” burger is topped with a whole fried lobster tail, crispy onions, lettuce and a perfectly toasted bun. This was definitely the star of the menu and worth every penny.

By Lily Miro, Columnist

I let my dad pick this month’s food truck adventure yet again, and I somehow ended up shoving a burger stuffed with an entire fried lobster tail in my mouth. Yes, that’s right, an entire fried lobster tail in a cheeseburger. Now, you may be disgusted, or you may be intrigued. Either way, you’re definitely going to want to hear about the amazing Billionaire Burger Boyz and their creative culinary concoctions that mix traditional Louisiana dishes with American classics. 

The Billionaire Burger Boyz truck — which is also now a restaurant in Compton — was started by singer Derrick Bivens (Chef Soulo), professional barbecue chef Davidlee Kitchen (SmokeHouse Lee) and Jennifer Johnson (Jenni Jenn), who were all looking to combine their favorite comfort foods, with “billionaire” dishes. Now, they have various truck locations in Southern California, ranging from Downtown L.A. to Riverside and San Diego.

According to the blog “I Love LA Girls,” the truck “has been one of the brightest lights to shine for Black-owned businesses in California in recent times.” And this definitely shone through the cooking. 

When I first arrived at the truck, I spotted the infamous “Surf and Turf” on the menu and was scared for my adventurous taste buds. Nonetheless, my dad’s eyes were too wide with wonder to not order the dish, and I am extremely glad we did. While a fried lobster tail on a burger may sound like too much, the lobster perfectly complimented the beef in a surprisingly subtle way. The lobster flavor was understated and combined perfectly with the crispy fried onion straws. The burger was perfectly cooked and the lobster only added to the flavor palette; I highly recommend it. 

Sensing that our seafood burger excursion might cause us to miss typical traditional American dishes, we ordered the “Smokehouse Stack Burger,” which consisted of American cheese, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, grilled onions, fried onions, bacon and barbecue sauce. If you’re a fan of barbecue sauce, then get this burger, because it was doused in the perfect sweet and smoky sauce. This was my favorite burger, but my dad remained team “Surf and Turf Burger” — I guess it just depends if you’re in the mood for a whole fried lobster tail or a surplus of barbecue sauce.

Finally, we decided to take a step into New Orleans and ordered jambalaya fries. Jambalaya is a seafood dish consisting of meat (pork, chicken or even rabbit), seafood (shrimp, crab, crawfish), or both (often including andouille either way) cooked with vegetables, stock, rice and various seasonings. For the dish to be considered Creole style, as it is in New Orleans, it must contain tomatoes; however, to be considered Cajun style, as it is in Louisiana’s bayou country, it is cooked without tomatoes. The dish’s ancestry is somewhat of a mystery, with some suspecting it comes from Spanish settlers in New Orleans who were attempting to make paella without adequate ingredients and others believing it to have West African roots due to its similarities with jollof rice. 

Whether Spanish or West African, jambalaya is an interesting choice to mix with fries. Because of the various liquid ingredients in jambalaya, the fries didn’t retain a lot of their crispiness and were pretty soggy when we began eating them. I guess it all depends on whether you enjoy fries as the main course or as a side dish. My dad said he prefers his fries as a side dish; however, he makes one exception, stating, “If I am eating my fries with a fork, I tend to want chili on them.”

Well, there you have it folks, the inevitable comparison to chili-cheese fries. As an avid chili-cheese fries hater myself, I thought the jambalaya fries were delicious, but if you’re like my dad, and are for some reason extremely picky when it comes to which kind of fries you enjoy eating with a fork, then this dish may not be for you. 

In the end, The Billionaire Burger Boyz truck is a force to be reckoned with. If you’re an adventurous eater, which in this case means you like lobsters on your burgers and shrimp on your fries, then this is the truck for you. While you ponder whether you can manage this month’s adventure, think about this: where else can you ever have a burger with a whole fried lobster tail? 

  • Location
  • Food
  • Ambience
  • Enjoyment
  • Service


“Billionaire Burger Boyz” makes priceless burgers with unique flavor combinations. The service is great, and the food comes fairly quickly so order hungry. The food is delicious, but messy, so grab your fair share of napkins as you leave. All in all, if you’re an adventurous eater and love burgers, this truck is for you.