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Dining News: Kru Owner Aims for Expansion, Again

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Big changes are coming for Kru owner Billy Ngo, scoops the Sac Bee's Blair Anthony Robertson.

Already considered one of the most innovative chefs in town, Ngo is looking for a larger building to move Kru. Though he would not provide specifics and said a lease has not been signed, it appears he is close to sealing a deal.

When Kru moves, Ngo explained, he will keep the current location (2516 J St.) and renovate it in preparation for a new sushi-only concept that is intended to showcase the craft at the very highest levels. This new restaurant will be given a new name, yet to be made public.

Further, Ngo is in line to open a new “grab-and-go” sushi eatery in the artist lofts building under construction on R Street (at 11th Street). He expects that project to open by the end of the year. It will feature hand-crafted sushi made in advance and packaged for take-out. The restaurant will be called Fish Face.

Yap, who has already started at Kru, has ambitious plans of his own to work in conjunction with Ngo to bring Kru to a new level with sushi. That is saying plenty. Kru earned four stars (out of four) in The Bee and is widely considered one of the best and most exciting food experiences around.

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

Robertson also reports that Ngo has hired a new chef for Kru, Ricky Yap, who left San Francisco's Akiko's Restaurant in July. Akiko's has been named one of the San Francisco's Chronicle's Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants.

I wish Ngo good luck, but he has a spotty track record when it comes to additional ventures beyond Kru. He opened Red Lotus in 2010 in the spot now successfully occupied by Red Rabbit, only to have Red Lotus shut down in Sept. 2011.

He and Aimal Formoli's jointly opened Pork Belly Grub Shack in Nov. 2011, only to sell the restaurant in 2012.

Ngo is one of the nicest chefs I've ever encountered both at his restaurant and at food events around town. Hopefully things are different this time. The economy's better now than it was when he opened his last two ventures and he's hired a new chef for Kru so he can spend more time on his new venture.

More News:

Ella bartender wins blue ribbon at Midtown Cocktail Week competition - Chris Dooley of Ella Dining Room & Bar (pictured above) emerged from Midtown Cocktail Week’s cocktail competition $1,000 richer on Tuesday night at Harlow’s. His drink, an elaborately presented “Bloomsbury Bramble” which was surrounded by orchids and looked like a scene from “Fantasy Island,” topped all contendors. The eight bartenders duking it out cocktail style were actually the finalists from a pool of 24 hopefuls who competed in a preliminary round on Aug. 11. All hopefuls were required to use Tanqueray No. TEN gin in their drink. I helped determine the winner Tuesday night in a judging panel that included Jayson Wilde, a Shady Lady alum and current general manager of Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco, Rick Dobbs (owner of The Last Word in Livermore) and Tanqueray national brand ambassador (and former Sacramentan) Rachel Ford. Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

Hot idea: Chicken wing festival coming to Sacramento - Bone-in or boneless? That might be the question of the day on Aug. 23, when Sacramento hosts its first-ever chicken wing festival at Fremont Park. Sactown Wings will combine music, games, beer and, of course, chicken wings. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Krush Burger opened in Roseville - If you're looking to change your dining routine this week, you're in luck. On Monday, Krush Burger opened its newest location at the Westfield Galleria at Roseville. The restaurant is located between Ruth's Chris Steak House and Brooks Brothers in the Galleria's Promenade area. It's the third California location for Krush Burger, which has restaurants in Davis and Sacramento. Krush Burger also has a Dubai restaurant. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

‘Farm to Every Fork’ dinner to help homeless - When it comes to Sacramento’s upcoming Farm-to-Fork Celebration, Slow Food Sacramento and other local organizations want to make sure less fortunate diners have a seat at the communal table. “Farm to Every Fork,” among the events that will kick off September’s celebration, will be a dinner like no other. Half of the 150 guests at the Sept. 13 dinner will be regular clients of local social services. Most of these guests are homeless and face hunger issues on a daily basis. Debbie Arrington in the Sac Bee.

VIDEO: Midtown Cocktail week kicks off - The 7th annual Midtown Cocktail week kicked off Tuesday. Watch Hook & Ladder's Chris Tucker and The Grange's Ryan Seng teach you how to make craft cocktails. On KCRA.

VIDEO: Goldfield Trading Post - Cambi Brown is at a new hot spot in Midtown where you can wear all of your urban cowboy and cowgirl gear. On Good Day Sac.

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