Curbside kitchen binds asian, latin gourmet

Zesty sandwiches need proportional adjustment


Marci Suela / The Advocate

An El Cerrito resident places an order at Curbside Kitchen, outside of Barney McBears, on April 10. The food truck is parked next to the bar every Sunday.

By Marci Suela, Art Director

EL CERRITO —  The new food truck, Curbside Kitchen, needs work on perfecting its craft of Southeast-Asian/Latin fusion mobile gourmet.

Although its sweet service makes the experience pleasant, the ingredients on some of its products are not evenly proportional.

Curbside Kitchen is owned by brothers Raynard and Russell Lozano.

Russell graduated from Contra Costa College’s culinary arts program in spring 2012, where he trained in contemporary American cuisine.

For its grand opening on April 10, Curbside Kitchen parked its truck next to Barney McBears (previously known as The Sky Lounge under different management) at 10458 San Pablo Avenue. Outside the bar is a sit-down area for people to eat, but only patrons who are 21 or over are allowed to eat inside Barney McBears. 

The service of Curbside Kitchen goes beyond what is required.

This could be seen through worker Ticiane Lozano, who would often exit the truck and deliver orders to customers already inside the bar.

Waiting for one’s order can always leave a person anxious about the time of its arrival.

Raynard, however, reassured customers as he constantly updated them on the completion of their orders.

Curbside offers a small arrangement of sandwiches and appetizers: Curbside Burger, Curb-bahn mi, Curbside Chicken, loaded shoestring fries and lumpia. It also serves mousse and brigadeiro as dessert.

The Curbside Burger consists of an Angus beef patty, tocino (Filipino bacon), melted Monterey Jack cheese, marinated onions, achara slaw (carrots and daikon), sliced tomato and house aioli served on a toasted bun.

The tangy flavor of the house aioli pops in one’s mouth, giving the Curbside Burger a piquant taste.

The size of the patty, however, challenges other flavors the burger has to offer.

Because the Angus beef patty is thick and the tocino is cut into smaller bits, the tocino’s flavor gets lost in the burger.

The buns are slightly greasier on the outside than they needed to be.

The Curbside Chicken is a Brazilian styled sandwich, consisting of yucca breaded fried chicken breast, melted Monterey Jack cheese, Brazilian salsa, cabbage and house aioli on a toasted bun.

The zesty Brazilian salsa and house aioli complements the hot tenderness of the chicken, leaving a person to dream about it days after.

The size of the chicken, however, was too big for the buns.

As for the loaded shoestring fries, an individual will be visually stimulated with fries topped with tocino, Monterey Jack cheese, onions, cilantro and house aioli.

There is no disappointment in the consumption of this glorious product. The freshness of the cilantro complements Curbside’s tangy house aioli and the saltiness of the fries.

The tocino completes the circle of flavors, topping it off with a savory element.

The lumpia offered has a clean flavor of ingredients, including ground pork, shrimp, green onions, carrots, water chestnuts and celery. This gives customers a break from the weary taste of frozen lumpia packages.

Curbside is off to a great start for its meals, but needs to reconsider its sizing and experiment more.

Recently on Curbside Kitchen’s Facebook page, it started to offer tacos made with Filipino adobo pulled pork, Brazilian salsa, marinated onions, cilantro and house aioli.

Upon each purchase of $10, a stamp card is given as an incentive to visit them again and earn a free dessert after 10 stamps.

Curbside Kitchen can be found next to Barney McBears every Sunday, from 8:15 p.m. to midnight.

Other locations and hours for Curbside Kitchen are to be announced through its Facebook and Twitter pages.