Thursday, March 12, 2015

Tuk Tuk Thai Cafe

Tuk Tuk Thai Cafe is named for a common mode of transport in many developing countries -- the tuk tuk -- a three-wheeled auto rickshaw. There's a tuk tuk parked in the restaurant, much to the delight of the kids who'd rather play in the tuk tuk than sit down and eat with their parents.

I was charmed by the hand-carved wooden column in the center of the room and all the indispensable bottles of Sriracha sauce lined up on the table nearby.

Vietnamese refugee and entrepreneur, David Tran   created and successfully marketed the red hot Sriracha pepper sauce here in California. Sriracha was once named Bon Appetit Magazine's ingredient of the year.

Unfortunately, Tran never obtained a trademark for his famous sauce. Food conglomerates Heinz, Frito-Lay, Subway and Jack-in-the-Box are all jumping on the Sriracha tuk tuk and can market their own Sriracha products without paying David Tran a royalty dime. Tran says he doesn't regret it because it's all free advertising for his company.

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