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New Srasa Kitchen site at 292 Castro

Original post made by Max Hauser, Old Mountain View, on Aug 20, 2016

This is the latest and long-expected local project of the Poon family, accomplished serial restaurateurs with Cambodian roots. Their 2012 Thai-Cambodian restaurant "Tommy Thai" on ECR has become for me a regular stop for appealing, good-value lunches with friends (some of whom constantly suggest it). In 2014, the family's younger generation opened a casual grill, Buffalo Beers-Burgers-Baos, at 292 Castro (the venerable "Food Street" site). Then they converted their older Chinese restaurant on Middlefield at Whisman to a new build-a-meal format, like Asian Box but (at least in my experience) with wider range and creativity in the ready-made toppings available to quickly construct a one-dish meal for around $10-$12. The offerings had a Southeast-Asian flair, and they called the new place Srasa Kitchen (I'm told Srasa is pronounced "sross" and is the Cambodian word for "fresh").

Srasa Kitchen proved very popular and successful. In April, the family closed the two-year-old downtown restaurant Buffalo and remodeled it to another Srasa Kitchen, with a glassed-in service counter replacing some of Buffalo's tables. Signs behind the counter explain the meal-building formula. The new Srasa Kitchen "soft"-opened this month (according to a friend who works there, and was busy stocking a cooler with ginger beer and other soft drinks recently while Mr. Poon was evident in the kitchen to the rear). I'm guessing a little more time may be needed for full staffing, training, and offerings (that's what happened with Buffalo). If the proprietors can repeat the Middlefield Srasa experience, this will certainly bring something new and worthy to Castro-Street casual dining.

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