Bryan Tiller does sushi. BraeAnn Bartlett does ramen.
Together, the two run the Japanese-themed Roll & Bowl, which recently opened in the food cart pod along 11th Street in Astoria.
“We want to be traditional as possible,” Bartlett said of the cart’s concept.
The cart offers two egg noodle ramens: a chicken and pork broth with a shio tare salt sauce made with fermented rice, and a vegetarian option with mushroom broth and a miso shoyu tare soy-based sauce. The ramen comes in bowls with a soft-boiled egg and vegetables.
Bartlett, a native of Maine, grew up enamored with the dual simplicity and complexity of Japanese culture and cuisine, she said. Eventually, she started her own underground ramen delivery service. She moved to Portland nine years ago and studied at the Oregon Culinary Institute before going to work in ramen houses.
A few years ago, she started helping run Bowl & Roll, the mobile eatery started by Tiller and silent partner Jonathan Hoffman, owner of the Dough Dough Bakery in Seaside.
Roll & Bowl traveled between local farmers markets before Tiller and Bartlett tried to set up shop permanently in Seaside. But like other prospective South County food carts, they ran into the roadblock of Seaside not yet allowing mobile eateries.
“We were hoping to just kind of bide our time and wait, and it was moving a little too slowly,” Tiller said. “We wanted to get our product out there. We love to make our food, so it’s kind of hard taking the winters off.”
Roll & Bowl is slowly building its menu, starting with ramen and some other grilled specialties. In the next couple of weeks, Tiller, who started at sushi bars in Arizona and trained in Hawaii, will start working in some basic sushi rolls.
“Once the summer season comes in, and products are coming in, we’ll probably start doing some more intensive stuff, nigiri and some seared albacore, stuff like that,” Tiller said.
Roll & Bowl opens from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays; and 4 to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday.