Billy Ngo, executive chef and co-owner of Kru Contemporary Japanese Cuisine, will open a Chinese restaurant in the 700 block of K Street, near Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento. The new restaurant, called Buudai, will be part of the same development as Solomon’s Delicatessen.
Buudai, which will open late this year or early in 2018, draws its name from Ngo’s given birth name, Buu, and its concept, of serving dumplings and other small plates, from Ngo’s acclaimed but short-lived J Street Chinese spot Red Lotus.
Buudai will be more casual than Red Lotus was, Ngo said, but will have a similar, dim-sum-inspired concept. Though he is known for his his sushi expertise, Ngo comes from a Vietnamese-Chinese family. His parents once owned a Chinese restaurant.
Red Lotus occupied the space at 2718 J St. that currently holds Red Rabbit. It closed in 2011 after about a year and a half in business.
“I think it was just bad timing,” Ngo said of Red Lotus’ brief run. “It opened in the recession, and I don’t think I was ready” to open a second restaurant at the time, Ngo said.
Now 35, Ngo was 28 when he opened Red Lotus down the street from Kru, then at 2516 J St. In October 2016, Ngo and his business partners reopened Kru in a much larger space on Folsom Boulevard. Ngo also is behind Fish Face Poke Bar, which opened in 2015 on R Street in Sacramento, other Fish Face outlets planned for Carmichael and Emeryville, and the Sacramento pet-food business Healthy Hounds Kitchen.