December 6, 2006
A Growing Thai Kingdom

Vitoon "Vic" Assavarungnirund, one of the true pioneers in bringing Thai cooking to Sacramento - he opened Thai Cottage along Fulton Avenue in 1991 - is about to introduce local diners to a more polished take on the cooking of Thailand.

His venue for this will be Tuk-Tuk, his Thai restaurant nearing completion in North Natomas. A tuk-tuk is a motorized three-wheel rickshaw common on the streets of Bangkok and other Southeast Asian cities.

Assavarungnirund had hoped to open Tuk-Tuk the middle of this month, but now is delaying the start-up until early in the new year to give his staff more time to train.

At Tuk-Tuk, he is to provide dishes that represent both a modern take on Thai cooking as well as introduce older styles not commonly found here.

Tuk-Tuk will have a full liquor license, and Assavarungnirund is looking into a lineup of cocktails that take advantage of indigenous Thai ingredients, like lemongrass and chile peppers. Tuk-Tuk also will be one of the city's few Thai restaurants to open for breakfast. It will be at 4630 Natomas Blvd., near Bella Bru Cafe.

This has been a busy year for Assavarungnirund. In May, he relocated Thai Cottage to the site of the former Thai Palms along Howe Avenue.

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