January 22, 2007

In catching up with my mail, I find that two potentially significant restaurants opened hereabouts during my three weeks out of town:

- Vitoon "Vic" Assavarungnirund, who opened his first Thai restaurant in Sacramento in 1991, Thai Cottage, this past Thursday quietly introduced his latest, Tuk-Tuk, in the Natomas neighborhood. Neither the menu nor the service is complete and polished, cautions Assavarungnirund, but he's confident that enough pieces are in place to run Tuk-Tuk seven days a week. It's at 4630 Natomas Blvd.; the phone number is (916) 575.7957.

- Also on Thursday, Roseville real-esate developer Abe Alizadeh, left, opened his long-anticipated Crush 29, the first of seven restaurants he's planning to introduce to the region. In interior design and culinary style, Crush 29 draws inspiration from the Napa Valley. Booths are made from wine barrels, custom wine lockers are available, and a couple of wine caves have been developed. Irie Gengler, formerly of The Firehouse in Old Sacramento, is the executive chef, overseeing an eclectic New American menu that includes such dishes as a pasta of prawns, red grapes and shiitake mushrooms in a spicy butter sauce, and lamb crusted with pistachios. Sixty wines are available by the glass. Crush 29 also is open daily for lunch and dinner. It's at 1480 Eureka Road, Roseville; the phone number is (916) 773-2929.

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