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Flaming Mountain now open in Citrus Heights; offers all-you-can-eat menu

Flaming Mountain, Citrus Heights
Flaming Mountain Asian Fusion restaurant finally opened its doors last month in Citrus Heights, after many months of delays.

Stacey Hanks contributed to this story–
Flaming Mountain, a new face in the local restaurant scene, recently opened its doors for business on Greenback Lane near Fair Oaks Boulevard.

The building, once home to the popular Mexican restaurant, La Placita Dos, has undergone a major interior remodel with bold new colors and a clean, open design reflecting the change in ownership and cuisine. Menu options include fresh sushi rolls, nigiri and hand rolls, grilled skewer items, noodle, soup and rice bowls, and a variety of alcoholic beverages.

Some of the restaurant’s new features include a large sushi bar serving fresh fish, a full-service liquor bar offering happy hour discounts, and an airy, wide-open dining area with plenty of seating. A separate room complete with a widescreen television is also available for private parties or meetings.

Ryan Chao, the restaurant’s owner-manager and head chef, told The Sentinel he wanted to be able to offer customers a variety of Japanese cuisine, but in small portions and with a lot of choices. An all-you-can-eat “buffet-style with a twist” was the answer.

With a menu consisting of small plates that are made to order, the idea was to keep waste down from a typical buffet, yet at the same time offer a wide variety of choices of fresh food. Customers can order as much or as little as they want, just like at a buffet, the only difference being that the orders are made fresh one-at-a-time rather than being pre-made in large quantities and left to sit.

The downside is that orders can be a bit slow, with Chao currently serving as the sole chef and his wife and another waitress helping serve tables. However, he says two new chefs have already been hired and will start work within a week.

As a first-time business owner, Chao said he faced some difficulties over the past two years while preparing to open the restaurant, including many construction delays. Although the interior renovation, which he said was all done by himself, was difficult — he said once the liquor license was issued, things became even more difficult and had to progress at a rapid pace.

Chao said after the license was issued, the restaurant was only given two weeks before it had to open to the public. He admitted there were some things to “fix” on the menu, such as numerous spelling errors that Yelp reviewers have noted, but pointed out that the menu was designed and printed in one day due to the unexpected two-week deadline.

Flaming Mountain is named after a famous Chinese drama called Monkey King, which involves a trek to Flaming Mountain and is related to the restaurant’s “flaming” barbecue.

The new restaurant is located at 8036 Greenback Ln. and is open Tuesday-Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Mondays from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. A grand opening discount of 20% off is also currently being offered.

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