Parked outside of the Sylvester’s Burgers in Atascadero is a food truck with stark contrasts in both style and flavor.
The Kuma food truck is an offshoot of Kuma, a ramen and sushi restaurant located in Los Osos, right around the corner from the original Sylvester’s Burgers.
The Kuma food truck, which made its debut during Atascadero’s Cruisin’ Weekend in August 2018, officially opened in early February.
Both Kuma entities and all three Sylvester’s locations — in Atascadero, Los Osos and Oceano — are owned by Brian Englund.
Kuma manager Tashi Amido said Englund decided to “make the jump” from burgers to sushi in 2016 because he wanted to bring more food variety to Los Osos, and eventually Atascadero.
“Before Kuma was established (in Los Osos in 2015), there wasn’t a sushi or ramen option” in that community, Amido said.
But when Englund first bought the food truck, he had burgers in mind.
Englund originally intended to use the truck to mobilize Sylvester’s and have it replace the restaurant’s usual table-and-pit set-up at community events, Amido said. However, at the 2018 Hot El Camino Cruise Night, she and Englund decided to use the truck to sell sushi rolls instead.
By early February 2019, they decided to dedicate the truck to “sushi, rolls and bowls,” she said.
When the food truck was first converted, Amido said she and Englund would sometimes park it in front of Sylvester’s in Atascadero.
“There was a lot of buzz when we parked it there occasionally,” Amido said. “People started reaching out to us on social media ... asking when the next time the truck was going to be there.”
As a result, the Kuma food truck is permanently parked in front of Sylvester’s at 6455 El Camino Real in Atascadero. It’s open daily from noon to 8 p.m.
The Kuma food truck serves a limited version of the Los Osos restaurant’s menu, using the same local fish suppliers, according to Amido.
The menu ranges from $3 miso soup to $14 ramen. It also includes a range of hand-rolled sushi and a variety of teriyaki and poke bowls.
“We wanted to bring a taste of the Los Osos vibe up to Atascadero,” Amido said.
Amido said she and Englund have not taken the food truck to any recent events — although they’re not opposed to the idea.
For now, she said, Atascadero customers have “the best of both worlds” in one location.