We know, we know, we’ve been behind on this site. We appreciate your patience. We’ve been cooking a lot.
Here’s where to find us now:
Tuesday - Friday @ Humble Sea Brewery, 12-9
Sat - Sunday @ Humble Sea Brewery, Brunch 10-3, Dinner 3:15-9:00
Occasionally we abscond for caterings. We will be elsewhere December 7th and 14th, and closed for Christmas.
Here are some thoughts on what we do…
November is drawing to a close, and we are in the thick of the sticky morass of the American holiday season. As the sun shrinks away from the Monterey Bay toward the southern hemisphere we slowly gird ourselves for the cold with food and drinks and things.
The more noble parts of us migrate to the warm glow of family and friends and a genuine appreciation of the rare gift of being fed and clothed and roofed and loved. The more indolent parts of ourselves click and scurry and sip and scarf and stave off the darkness with an opulent semi hibernation.
The state burns, the late rains close the lid on the smoking pot.
In our kitchen, the pots are filled with thick bone broth, even thicker gravy, boiling water, just separating dumpling sauce, aebelskiver pans, sizzling doner, browning bruschetta, toasting pita, softly boiling eggs, foaming rice bran oil, crackling as the baskets cascade into the basin, simmering pickling solution, poured over the last of the vegetables plucked from the autumnal fields, melting butter, ephemeral rouxs and the constant flurry of hands, spatulas, tongs, ladles, oil, salt, pepper, fish sauce, vinegar, flour, water.
We are exploring a loose adaptation of Japanese food, originally with a Miyazaki theme, but the menu, as it is often wont to do, has taken on a mind of its own. As the days have grown colder, rather than the sharp, bright lines of Miyazaki, we have strayed toward the blurry, vague lines of comfort food.
Simultaneously, the original impetus for the name of the menu: howl’s moving castle, was based on the idea that we were on the move, undulating, creaking, moaning, roaming from place to place bringing our interpretation of a venerable food style wherever we went, just as Howl did in the Miyazaki classic.
But that is no longer the case, by and large. We have settled into place this winter, rested on the border of the malt acolytes, hop maestros, not so secret lagering afficonados, barrel curators, artists, hosts, and tap conductors at Humble Sea. We are no longer a moving castle but a ship at harbor, docked in the concrete cove on Swift Street, halfway between the rusted iron of the railroad tracks and the wilting foxgloves in the secret garden, and we are hunkering down to feed people in one place for a change of pace.
This has always been a shapeshifting project, and at its core it is an attempt to create an experience that is simultaneously vital, irreverent and nourishing, and something that might one day, at brief, fleeting moments, merit the label of art. All of this, transparently, exists out of necessity in the context of capitalism, and of what food has turned into in the greater world, and so much of what we do is ultimately a compromise of what we would like both food and the project to be. For that reason, we are constantly adjusting, tinkering, and evolving, striving for something that we hope can exist.
Eating, both alone and together, is, by default, one of the most ancient and intrinsic acts of a human existence. Since before we had frontal lobes, even, arguably, when we were mere protozoa in a lukewarm puddle, we have sifted through the world around us and drawn in the sustenance necessary to grow and procreate and live. As time went by, we embellished.
The forking paths that food has taken are so vast and diverse, that to even try to enumerate or list the divergent forces at play is an exercise in futility. Suffice it to say that right now we would like to believe that the Bruxo project currently exists loosely between the worlds of a white boy trying to learn everyone else’s grandma’s recipes (and quite a few of his own grandma’s, see: tequila cream, chutney, perfect pork tenderloin, soufflet, pate, and more that can fit in a cookbook), crowd pleasing street food, elevated California cuisine, locally sourced seasonal cooking, and a fluctuating service model that bounces back and forth from fried chicken wraps out of a truck window to seated nine course candlelit meals.
Maybe I have attention deficit order, or maybe I just believe that there is no way I could ever discover what food is in ten lifetimes, but we intend to keep changing, and keep exploring. My crew and myself work morning, noon, and night to push ourselves past the limits of what we are comfortable doing. The variables we have to deal with as a mobile kitchen are incredible. Every day, usually 2-4 times, we hand drain, filter and pump our waste water across a parking lot and into a grease trap. We operate off of a generator, and the kitchen bounces and pots spill over if someone walks too heavily from one side to the other. These, and a hundred other oddities of our self imposed circumstances, make our dreams particularly painstaking. But we put our heads down, wrap our cuts, ice our burns, rest our backs, and wake up the next day, knifes in hand and farmers at our door, ready to try something new.
We want to be the best food truck in the world. And then we want a bunch more to come after us and blow us out of the water. We want people to have experiences that are fleeting, and inimitable. Real food is fleeting. Real food is magic. Real food takes blood, sweat, tears, and a whole lot of salt. Real food makes life worth living.
Our kind of food takes bruxos and bruxas.
It’s one forty five in the morning, and I should go to sleep. We have brunch tomorrow. But I can’t go to sleep because I’m so excited to be doing what I’m doing. Tomorrow morning, I have the privilege of putting my hands on the soap stone mortar with the morning light on my biggest wooden block, and smell the crackle of piping hot tellicherry peppercorns beneath the pestle, and gently inhale the spicy dust floating in the air around me as the kitchen clangs and thunders into the day’s meal all around me. Bon appetit. And thank you for eating with us.