The recent recession cost Jonathan Kim his job in the building maintenance industry, but it also opened the door for him to follow a dream he’d had for years – owning a restaurant. A fish and chips restaurant in South Sacramento was short-lived, but five years ago, he opened the first location of Bento Box near Sacramento State, and he came up with a winning formula. He’s now expanding Bento Box to the Midtown/downtown area with its third location, and he said it will be open longer and seat more people than the previous two – one at 65th Street and Folsom Boulevard and the other in Loehmann’s Plaza in East Sacramento. Most dishes will be served in bento boxes – plastic boxes with built
Mongo Mongo Mongolian BBQ restaurant at 19th and J streets opened Saturday, and owner Jonathan Ng said he is pleased with the customer turnout. “It’s been good, we’re really excited to be open,” Ng said Monday. Much of the interior design still needs to be finished, Ng said, but getting the restaurant open and focusing on the food was the top priority. “It’s kind of barren, but we’re working on it,” Ng said, adding that interior décor details are being worked out. In order to keep the garage doors installed when the business was Garlic Shack – which shut down after only three months – Ng said a unique setup had to be made to meet health department regulations that stipulate the kitchen
A Chinese invasion of sorts took place on Saturday in Lincoln, where Thunder Valley Casino hosted a Chinese concert series starring some of the biggest names in Chinese entertainment. The stars of the show were Dragon Li, Michelle Kim and Niki Chow. All were well received by the mostly — scratch that — all Asian crowd. That was a good thing since the concert was mostly in Chinese, with only a couple of songs with English interspersed. At one point I could swear they were talking about me. I usually only get paranoid after taking illicit drugs or riding in an elevator with people talking in a language I don’t understand. Oh well, next time I’ll have to bring a Chinese-to-English translato
The streets of downtown and Old Sacramento were filled to the brim for the 19th Annual Pacific Rim Street Fest Sunday. According to Event chair Merlayna Yee-Chin, thanks to the beautiful weather, she was expecting to reach participant numbers of at least 40,000. Yee-Chin has been involved with the event since the very beginning, which started 19 years ago as Frank Fat’s dream for people in the community to understand the large and growing Asian population in Sacramento. “When we first started, people didn’t know or even really understand what it was, but that has changed over time,” Yee-Chin said. “This is an event that now takes about nine to 10 months to plan.” This year’s spice-theme
Construction delays have slowed the reopening of Zen Sushi at 15th and I streets, but owner Jason Hom said remodeling work should be completed within a few weeks. “We’re 80 percent done with the interior, and we’re painting the outside today,” he said Monday. “I am hoping we can reopen in two weeks.” The restaurant closed in early December for a remodel whose main feature is a new bar and an upgrade to a full liquor license, Hom said. The 3,200-square-foot space has been in operation as Zen Sushi since 2007, and Hom said he expects the remodeled restaurant to hold about 60-70 patrons, about the same as it did before the remodel. Bar specials will be offered, but the details have yet to
It seems there are new restaurants popping up all over Sacramento. Many of these restaurants fall victim to the economy and fail within a year and a half, some only last several months. Fairly new to the scene is Red Lotus Kitchen and Bar where we decided to stop in last night. The decor is eclectic and modern and aromas of dim sum and dipping sauces creep up the nose when you enter the dining room. As we sat ourselves and looked over the menu we were approached by our server Isabel. As Isabel began going over some of the menu with us I noticed we were the only table in the restaurant in the middle of Happy Hour, as a matter of fact the only other people in the room besides the staff were
It’s that time of year again, yes, time to cook a giant bird in the oven. There is a sense of tradition and nostalgia every year, the smell of a home cooked meal and relatives and friends alike come storming through the front door. Thanksgiving is a time of reunions and family tradition. Bring on the wild turkeys, the mashed potatoes, the gravy, the cranberry sauce and biscuits for a massive dinner party. Though most families sit down around a dinner table and pass around plates filled with food, I, on the other hand, never got to experience that tradition until recently. My family never really celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday. Someone takes home a frozen slaughtered turkey and throw
Long before Mikuni Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar existed, co-owner Taro Arai was an 11-year-old paperboy with big dreams. He saved $6,000 over five years to move his family from Japan to the United States. Arai wrote and published his first book, “Abundance: Finding the American Dream in a Japanese Kitchen,” in hopes that he will inspire other Japanese youths. The book is set to be released Wednesday and combines his family’s history with recipes for some of Mikuni's customers’ favorite dishes. “It’s not just a recipe book,” Arai said. “It has my life story in it.” The book’s 12 chapters tell different stages of Arai’s life and include recipes named to coincide with their themes.
In front of approximately 3000 fans, the ‘Spirit of Asia’ took to the stage at Thunder Valley Casino and Resort Saturday night. The group consisted of eleven different singers, two comedians and a presenter (Mc Ky Duyen). The event was designed to bring together individual acts from across Asia, each a star in their own right. They would perform one or two songs and then the next would take to the stage to entertain the mostly Asian crowd. It was obvious by the crowd’s reaction that they not only knew the performers but really enjoyed the individual acts. Starting the night off with a bang, Linda Chou bounced onto the stage and easily could have been mistaken for a young teen-idol from
Downtown Sacramento has so many popular sushi destinations — Mikuni, Nishiki, Sakura, Zen. Each Japanese restaurant has its own creative dishes, but most also offer only standard boiler plate menus of sushi rolls, teriyaki plates, and soup-based udon and sukiyaki. John Voong, owner of Shabu Japanese Fondue, believes Sacramentans are hungry for change. "I see it this way. It's a new concept here in Midtown," Voong said. "Sacramento is ready for something like this." Shabu did a soft opening Nov. 30 to gauge diners' interest and it will continue until Thursday. According to Shabu's Twitter page, the first night was a "great success" and boasted a "packed house the entire night."