September 10, 2012
Mikuni to retire sushi bus, launch food truck

After more than a decade of rolling through Sacramento and beyond with its assortment of sushi, the Mikuni Sushi Bus will retire at the end of September. But, that doesn't mean Mikuni, the popular Sacramento-based sushi chain, will hit the brakes on providing food in a mobile environment. Mikuni plans to launch its own food truck in early 2013.

"It's so sad," said Taro Arai, executive chef of the Mikuni Japanese Restaurant Group, about the sushi bus ending its run. "The Raiders vs. Pittsburgh (Steelers) game will be its final trip."

The Mikuni Sushi Bus was rented for private events and included an on-board sushi bar, flat-screen TV and service staff. That bus, however, proved to be costly to run as the years went along.

"The bus served its purpose, but a food truck makes a whole lot more sense," said Jeanne Mabry, vice president of marketing for Mikuni. "Anyone can drive a food truck, versus a bus where you need a special license. It just makes much more sense from a catering standpoint. We're going to try it for a year, and if it doesn't pan out, no harm no foul."

Final details are still being worked out for Mikuni's food truck and business plan. Arai wants the truck to showcase Mikuni favorites and also build its audience outside of Sacramento. Arai's already eyeing a new Mikuni location in the San Francisco Bay Area.

"We'll have all the best sellers," said Arai, about the food truck's offerings. "We're going to hit the Bay area and all the cities, and see who likes us. We're just waiting for the 'go' sign."

Chris Macias is the Bee's food and wine writer. Follow him on Twitter @chris_macias

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