Star Ginger is Changing the Top of the Grid
Nationally acclaimed chef Mai Pham expanded her Southeast Asian food emprie in Sacramento with the opening of her newest restaurant, Star Ginger Asian Grill & Noodle Bar, on Tuesday, January 25, 2011, and ever since I heard about it I wanted to see what it was all about. From her incredible food and cocktails that I’ve had at her landmark restaurant, and then the local and affordable convenience of her addition on Howe (Lemongrass Noodle Bar), I was hooked. This is exactly the kind of food that is approachable for novice foodies to the Asian dining scene, and Pham gives a wonderful introduction to what those flavors have to offer!
Blending the bold simplicity of Asian street food with the exotic flavors presented at her famed Lemon Grass restaurant, Chef Pham draws from the cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, and other culinary regions of Asia.
Lunch offerings at Star Ginger include noodle soups, salads, salad rolls, wok-fried rice noodles, and an assortment of Vietnamese hot toasted sandwiches called banh mi. I can attest to how great these banh mi sandwiches are, fresh crisp veggies, and well cooked (locally sustainable) meat, LOVE!
Small plates will highlight the extensive dinner menu, encouraging diners to sample and share a variety of flavors. Specialties include Thai curries, stir-fries, grilled meats and fish, and vegetarian options.
"When I opened Lemon Grass Restaurant 20 years ago, most Southeast Asian foods were new to Sacramento," says Star Ginger owner Mai Pham. "Fortunately, over the years, our customers have increasingly fallen in love with the bright, fresh flavors. Star Ginger represents the next chapter, and is inspired by the street food I grew up with in Vietnam and later in Thailand. It’s fresh Asian food on-the-run, food that is rather inexpensive but yet delivers high-impact flavors. It’s also healthy food because many menu items are built around fresh herbs and greens. I’m so excited to be sharing this amazing cuisine with our mid-town customers!"
Star Ginger focuses on the use of local, seasonal produce from area farms and farmers’ markets. The culinary team is committed to featuring naturally raised meats, the freshest seafood, locally made rice noodles, and a flavorful assortment of Asian vegetables and aromatics, such as Thai basil and chilies, Vietnamese rau ram, lemongrass, kaffir lime, mint, and curry leaves. Dessert will include a special ginger ice cream made exclusively for Chef Pham.
The beef pho. This is one of my all time pick-me ups, whenever I need a cup of soup or I’m not feeling well THIS is the soup that cures my soul. It’s quite simple in style, content, but not execution – this is not your normal corner store Pho, it has bright flavors of clove, garlic, beef broth, red onion, scallions, and pure delicate decadence! This is a must try for all those that call themselves a foodie in the Northern California area.
The Star Ginger menu is designed to simplify everyday dining and take-out. Most lunch items are priced at $7.00 to $8.00, and dinner entrees will be under $12.00. Many small or appetizer plates are offered at $5.00 to $7.00. Weekend specials will be featured to add ongoing diversity to the menu.
The atmosphere at Star Ginger is distinctively modern and casual. Lunch is counter service with table delivery, while dinner is full-service, with hours coming soon. Reservations are not required. Coming soon there will also be a dinner menu and seated dinner service at the restaurant! Word to the wise: this place is seated to capacity at noon, so do yourself a favor and get there early or take a long lunch, but don’t ever consider passing – this place is worth the wait!
Star Ginger Asian Grill and Noodle Bar
3101 Folsom Boulevard at the intersection of Alhambra Boulevard
Phone: (916) 231-8888
Fax: (916) 231-8885
Hours: open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.