I generally stick to reviewing restaurants in the Bay Area, but Tuk Tuk Restaurant is one of my favorite places to eat in Sacramento so I’m making an exception. Besides, Sacramento is close enough to the Bay Area, so it sort of counts, right?
The first thing that stands out about Tuk Tuk is its elegant interior. Located in a newish strip mall in the Natomas area, a trendy dining ambiance is not the first thing one would expect when walking in. But the restaurant is stylishly designed with dark wood furniture, colorful pillows and dusky lighting.
The menu has all the usual Thai classics, plus a few dishes less commonly seen on Thai restaurant menus. My dining companions and I shared three entrees, starting with the pad makur.
The pad makur, or stir-fried Japanese eggplant, is extremely spicy. Like, tongue-numbing, sweat-inducing spicy. Stir-fried with loads of basil and chili peppers, the eggplant is tossed with browned ground beef before being served.
We also ordered the pra ram beef, or beef with spicy peanut sauce.
Served on top of a bed of steamed spinach, this is the go-to dish that I usually order at Thai restaurants if I’m not ordering noodles. I love peanut sauce, and Tuk Tuk’s version had a good coconut flavor to it as well.
Lastly, we sampled the rad nah, or soft rice noodles, fried noodles and chicken in a savory and spicy coconut sauce.
Tuk-Tuk’s menu describes rad nah as a “soothing food. I guess it is the warm gravy and the soft noodles.” I don’t know about soothing, but the sauce, or gravy, is indeed delicious. This was my favorite dish out of three.
I’m not nearly as familiar with the restaurant scene in Sacramento as I am in the Bay Area, but if you ever find yourself in our state’s capital and are craving Southeast Asian cusine, Tuk Tuk Restaurant is a solid choice.
Mariam Hosseini is a Bay Area native who has been writing about food and travel for six years. She blogs regularly at yogurtsoda.com