Stop By the StopBye Cafe

Get a taste of incredible Indonesian fusion cuisine.
When you meet chef Justin Tulus of the StopBye Cafe food truck as he cooks up his Indonesian fusion dishes, it becomes clear that he has dedicated his life to his passion for food. 

Born and raised in Indonesia, Tulus has worked in kitchens worldwide—moving from Indonesia to Taiwan to Australia, and finally, to the United States. The experience and skills he’s developed in countless places, cooking dishes inspired by multiple cuisines. On the Los Angeles food scene, he’s worked at a sushi restaurant and Lukshon—his first foray into fine dining—as well as Wolfgang Puck’s Spago and José Andrés’, The Bazaar. 

Tulus’s experience is impressively extensive, even tacking a culinary school education onto this long list of restaurants. However, Tulus wanted to do more than just work for other people in their restaurants. 

“I had a dream to own my own restaurant, to have a business,” Tulus said. 

In August 2016, that dream became a reality. 

Tulus worked with his longtime friend and business partner, Thomas Tee, to set up a restaurant named StopBye Cafe by combining their respective kitchen and management experiences. 

Due to issues with their annual lease, the pair shifted their business to a food truck model in August 2017. 

However, the transition from a brick and mortar store to a food truck wasn’t always easy. 

“When we had a restaurant, people got to know about our food and our complex menu,” Tulus said. “When you move to a food truck, everything is limited.”

Working in a food truck meant cutting down the menu and keeping the most popular dishes, as well as simplifying and streamlining cooking processes. 

“We keep a high standard of our cuisine and ingredients, so it’s been a bit of a challenge with space on the truck,” Tee added. 

With a food truck dedicated to Indonesian fusion, part of the duo’s success relies on taking that extra step of interacting with customers and educating them about Indonesian food, which has helped them continue to grow their base of happy customers. 

StopBye Cafe’s food draws upon Tulus’s work with both Asian and Western techniques and ingredients. The business’s signature dish, Justin’s 18-Spice Chicken, is his own creation. The combination of brining and braising with a combination of spices common in Indonesia, like coriander, nutmeg, star anise, and more. Finished with 18 spice rub and fusion soy sauce-balsamic vinegar spray, this dish perfectly encompasses everything that the truck represents. 

It’s dedication to quality, passion for food, and a labor of love. 

If this article’s convinced you to stop by at the StopBye Cafe truck, you can get delivery through UberEats or Postmates and check them out on Instagram , Twitter and Facebook or their website