The dining scene continues to warm up at the Palladio at Broadstone in Folsom, the 54-acre "lifestyle center" that was an unfinished ghost town until Cinema West opened a very popular 16-screen movie complex (www.gopalladio.com).
The Pinkberry (frozen yogurt) and Johnny Rockets (burgers) chains followed with stores nearby, catching the moviegoing traffic and anticipating more store openings.
The latest restaurant to set up shop is the Blue Nami sushi house, which had its grand opening June 24. It's the third store in the mini-chain, with sister restaurants in Roseville and Orangevale.
Plans are for more dining spots (and a Whole Foods store) to open between October and "the end of the year," said Stephen Hemington. He's the chief financial officer for Elliott Homes, owner of Palladio. Then he dropped some names: Chicago Fire, Chops, Panera Bread, Freebirds World Burritos and Toby Keith (named after the country singer, and part of his national chain).
So, what's going on here? "I think restaurants are recognizing an underserved market here in Folsom," Hemington said on the phone today.
Indeed, the joke is that if you open an envelope in Folsom - much less a restaurant - crowds will form. Case in point was when Land Ocean steakhouse debuted a few weeks ago, just down the street from Palladio, in another Broadstone center owned by Elliott Homes. Getting through the door still can be a struggle, but the menu's worth it (2720 E. Bidwell St., 916-983-7000).
Meanwhile, the Blue Nami menu looks good - from barbecued scallops and shrimp tempura to sushi, sashimi and nigiri. Plus, pork, beef, poultry and noodle dishes. Look for an upcoming review in "Counter Culture," my restaurant review column that appears Fridays in The Bee.
Blue Nami in Folsom is at 330 Palladio Parkway, (916) 983-3388, www.bluenamisushi.com.