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Monsoon to bring Indian cuisine to 16th and K

Monsoon Indian Bar & Grill is scheduled to open the first week of December in the building at 16th and K streets that formerly housed Spin Burger Bar and Bistro 33.

“It’s going to be fresh food, prepared daily,” said co-owner Chan Singh. “This is Indian food where we use spices to enhance the flavors of the food, not overkill it.”

Singh, originally from Delhi, India, came to North America in the 1990s, getting into the restaurant business in Toronto, Canada, opening his original Monsoon location.

Singh said his business in Toronto is well-run by his managers, allowing him to come to Sacramento and focus on the new venture.

In India, the monsoon season typically lasts from June to September, and it’s a special time, according to Singh.

“It’s considered to be kind of a romantic time in India,” he said. “You have five to six months of 100-plus temperatures, and then the monsoon comes, and it really brings everything to life and cools down. People love to go out and have fun and eat.”

The restaurant, which will be open seven days per week, will serve lunch and dinner and have a full bar. A limited late-night menu will be available after about 10 p.m., and Indian-themed cocktails will be available as well, Singh said.

The food will be traditional Indian, served to Singh’s specifications.

“It’s going to be the kind of food I like to eat,” he said. “If I wouldn’t want to eat it, why would I serve it?”

Chicken Vindaloo, a spicy dish from the Goa region; Kerala fish, a fish topped with coconut sauce, peppercorns and curry leaves; chicken tikka masala, roasted chicken in a curry sauce; and numerous other dishes including shrimp and salmon will be available.

In addition, there will be a variety of what Singh said are more modern dishes in India, including a dish with chicken atop a coconut chickpea sauce and lamp chops in a creamy curry sauce.

A range of vegetarian items will be available as well.

Full menu details are still being worked out, as is the cocktail selection. Prices for food will range from around $10 for vegetarian items to $12 – $15 for non-vegetarian items. The lunch menu will be less-expensive, with food running from about $8 – $10.

The 2,800-square-foot restaurant will seat about 95 people inside, and the existing patio will be retained.

Most recently, the space held Spin Burger Bar, which evolved from Bistro 33.

“We originally wanted to decorate it in a traditional Indian way, but when we saw the building, it’s very modern, so we will have a more modern influence,” Singh said.

Some of the décor will be paintings imported from India.

While Singh is not a Sacramentan, he said he will be living here for the foreseeable future as the restaurant gets started, and he has two local partners.

“We were looking in Roseville, but when we saw that this space was available, we knew we had to come here. I don’t think there is anything else like this around here.”

Jennifer Young, a 41-year-old state worker from Sacramento who works in the area, said the restaurant will be a nice complement to the area.

“I like curry,” she said Wednesday afternoon. “I’ll definitely try it out.”

Young said that, with numerous state office buildings in the area, affordable food will likely be key to staying in business.

Another nearby state worker, 27-year-old Abby Eddy of Sacramento, said she thinks the corner location is the perfect spot for a restaurant, and it will be successful if it provides a good late-night option for diners and those looking for drinks.

“I’ll definitely give it a shot,” she said.

Monsoon Indian Bar & Grill, 1020 16th St., is scheduled to be open from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sunday.

Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow him on Twitter @Brandon_Darnell.

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