Midtown's The Coconut Thai Restaurant is adding a second location, replacing Capital Tea Garden at 1110 T Street and around the corner from South.
The Coconut opened its first spot at 25th & J in Sept. 2013. Here's what the owner told me back then:
In a short interview with the owner Nan Pangpanga, she told me that she came to America from Thailand in 2005. In Thailand, she had a bachelor's degree in accounting and finance and a master's degree in management. In Thailand, she had an import/export business, and tried to sell Thai silk across the world. Unfortunately, she soon realized she couldn't compete with China.
After she moved to America, she worked in restaurants, most recently at Thai Paradise in Folsom. While she was working at a restaurant, she took her analytical mind and analyzed what people ordered for a month. That helped her shape the menu at Coconut Midtown.
Pangpanga's goal is to get as close to organic as possible. (She would do fully organic, but many ingredients aren't certified as organic since there's not the demand for that yet in the Asian market.) She also notes that while her price point is lower than her competitors on the same street, she still uses expensive ingredients like rice bran oil. (A subsequent search on Amazon shows that rice oil's about 37 cents an ounce, whereas canola oil is about a third less.) She also stressed that the restaurant was vegan friendly.
I confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that the restaurant would be adding a location and not just moving. The restaurant is expected to open in February.
So how's the food? In early 2014, the Sacramento News & Review's Garrett McCord wrote:
The Coconut has made a place for itself in Midtown. Whereas Thai Basil is a practice in subtlety and expertly crafted seasonal specials, The Coconut is brash and unapologetic with flavor profiles. However, I would venture the kitchen is still fine-tuning its dishes. Plus, it delivers in Midtown. That alone should cement it in the hearts of hungry eaters.
The Coconut downtown will be located at 1110 T Street and can be found online at http://www.coconutmidtown.com/.
Thank you to Cowtown Eats reader @Sugit for the tip.
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