For awhile there it looked as if Natomas might get a new arena for the Kings before it got the long-anticipated restaurant Malabar. John Cook, a partner in the Scott's Seafood restaurants in Sacramento and Folsom, announced plans for Malabar early in 2005, saying he expected the place to open late that year. But delays for this reason and that kept putting off the debut. Now, however, Cook is predicting the place will open within the next week or two. The staff is in training, and just a few finishing touches need to be applied to the restaurant, at 2960 Del Paso Road, just east of I-5 and northwest of Arco Arena.
Mike Wilson, formerly of P.F. Chang's in Roseville, is the executive chef. While Malabar has an Indian sound to it, the restaurant's extensive menu will celebrate American regional cooking, along with several dishes representative of Latin America and Asia. Starters, for example, are to include a chicken quesadilla and tempura ahi rolls as well as the classic Cobb salad, fried calamari and chili.
The name Malabar was inspired by a late friend of Cook's who enjoyed curling up in a roomy woven-rattan chair to read. She not only thought it would be a good name for a restaurant, Cook feels that the strength, comfort and invitation to linger associated with the chair are standards a restaurant should emulate.