Local chefs open new eatery in Natomas

By Brandon Darnell - Sacramento Press

Date Published : 10/24/2011 -

A group of central city restaurateurs is teaming up to branch out into Natomas, but in a more casual setting than their full-service Midtown and East Sacramento locations.

Pork Belly Grub Shack is scheduled to open this week and is a collaboration between the owners of Kru, a Japanese restaurant at 2516 J St., and Formoli's Bistro, which recently moved to 3839 J St.

"It's going to be really casual – burgers, sandwiches, soups and salads," said Billy Ngo, owner of Kru. "It's going to be simple, good food, and it's going to be cheap."

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First Impressions: Chez Daniel and Pork Belly Grub Shack score strongly 

Date Published : 1/1/2012 - Sac Bee

Pork Belly Grub Shack

4261 Truxel Road, Sacramento

From a small strip mall in Folsom to strip mall sprawl in Natomas, we're chasing after the newest and best food going.
Armed with two iPhones and with Siri barking directions – and misdirections – we finally stumbled upon this modest but exciting venture nestled among a series of shopping centers.
The name is cool, the menu is cool, and it's owned and operated by two of the cool young chefs in town, Billy Ngo of Kru fame and Aimel Formoli of Formoli's Bistro.
The Grub Shack is a chance for Ngo and Formoli to go downscale and informal while still showing off their inventiveness and their ability to showcase flavors and textures.

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Pork Belly Grub Shack: Fine swining

By Greg Lucas

Date Published : 6/21/2012 - News

 Pork Belly Grub Shack encourages its customers to pig out. A prominent painting carries the mantra, "Swine is Fine." It is very fine, but the cut from the underside of the pig hovers near 90 percent fat with multiple hundreds of calories per serving. Explaining it a different way, when cured and smoked, pork belly is bacon. The words "pork belly" just scream south of the Mason-Dixon Line: "Hey, y'all, let's git us some grits and pork belly and maybe fry us up a mess o' catfish." But, usually cubed or diced, pork belly is routinely showcased in Asian cooking, and now appears with increasing regularity at swanky white-cloth restaurants.

As the name implies, Pork Belly Grub Shack is anything but swanky with its red-and-white checkered tablecloths and towering plastic self-serve napkin dispenser. The space is sunny and utilitarian. It is a joint venture of Aimel Formoli—of Formoli's Bistro—and Billy Ngo, creator of Kru Contemporary Japanese Cuisine and the great, lamentably late Red Lotus Kitchen & Bar. The shack sits in a Natomas strip mall, and, on an initial visit, patrons may recognize a friendly face behind the counter: Kim, the waitress who brightened all visits to Momiji Sushi and Grill, the downtown Japanese joint. Now she's helping Ngo at the Grub Shack, and the eatery is a better place for having her there.

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Instant Reaction: Pork Belly Grub Shack

Date Published : 11/8/2011 - Cowtown Eats.

Pork Belly Grub Shack, a collaboration between Kru owner Billy Ngo and Formoli Bistro's Aimal Formoli, had its soft opening last night, and Cowtown Eats was there to let you know whether it's worth the drive to Natomas or not.

The concept of the restaurant is pretty simple. Pork belly is awesome, so they're going to try to find as many creative and tasty ways as possible to put it into their food.

Given that yesterday was their soft opening, it would be unfair to give their restaurant a full review. This post will focus mostly on their vision and flavors, and not their service or execution.

The restaurant, tucked away in a strip mall on Truxel Ave. between Arena and Del Paso, is in a smaller space – akin to the space you'd see a lot of Subways or Quiznos taking up. Its tables, mostly two and four tops, were covered with red and white checkered table cloths, invoking a picnic feel. When we got there at just 30 minutes shy of its 6 p.m. closing time, and the place was bustling but not packed. But enough of the ambiance. Let's talk about the food.

I went with my wife, and we asked the cashier (it's the type of restaurant where you stand in line to order your food and they'll bring it to your table) which menu items had pork belly in them. He rattled off about half the menu - the street tacos, Pork Belly Fries, Belly Mac & Cheese, Bahn Mi and Notorious PIG burger, PLT (Pork Belly, Lettuce & Tomato) and Pork Belly House Salad. They were out of the Belly Mac, so we ordered the street tacos, fries and bahn mi.

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Pork Belly Grub Shack

 Published : Gayot

Pork Belly Grub Shack Restaurant Review

: An unlikely partnership between a sushi master and a classically trained locavore has resulted in a casual eatery that pays homage to the humble hog. Housed in an otherwise ordinary suburban strip mall, Pork Belly Grub Shack is reminiscent of a Southern barbecue pit, with red-and-white checkered tablecloths and paper-lined serving baskets. The vibe is laid back, with diners ordering at the counter and seating themselves, but the food is anything but. Not surprisingly, pork belly takes center stage, whether sandwiched between bread, loaded into a tortilla or piled onto a salad. The pork belly fries were expectedly decadent, with tender meat and french fries balanced with blue cheese and a tangy house sauce. The PLT --- pancetta, lettuce and tomato --- was equally rich, the crispy pork standing up to the citrusy garlic aïoli. Belly mac took an unusual spin on the classic, topped with pork and melted Brie. Other popular dishes include a roasted pork belly banh mi, Asian street tacos and the Notorious P.I.G. burger with pancetta and house sauce.

 Pork Belly Grub...Yum !

Date Published : 11/10/2011

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Pork Belly Grub Shack

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