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Fresh headliners: Sawmill welcomes new restaurants

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Diners at Albuquerque’s Sawmill Market have a few more options to choose from with the opening of two new restaurant concepts this week.

Rush of Prana and Kulantro, both locally owned, started serving customers at the popular food hall at 1909 Bellamah NW this week, each debuting menus that feature an array of fresh ingredients.

One of the smoothies from Rush of Prana. (Photo courtesy of Rush of Prana)

Rush of Prana, owned by Annapurna’s World Vegetarian Cafe’s chef Yashoda Naidoo, follows in the popular restaurant’s footsteps with offerings of juices and bowls featuring ayurvedic ingredients.

“This is a juice bar, but it’s not just a juice bar, it’s an ayurvedic juice bar, you know, playing off the whole ayurvedic concept from Annapurna and borrowing from it,” Naidoo said.

Unlike Annapurna, the menu at Rush of Prana is entirely vegan.

Rush of Prana sells a variety of fresh treats like smoothies, juices and bowls. Pictured here is one of the restaurant’s acai bowls. (Photo courtesy of Rush of Prana)

“It’s been my decision to make this exclusively vegan, because that’s … the way the market is going and also I personally … would like to make less of a footprint on the dairy industry,” she said.

Menu items range from acai bowls to smoothies with ingredients like dates, strawberries and kale to juices and more. Prices range from $3 to $11, according to the restaurant’s menu.

Warm bowls and desserts featured at Annapurna are on the menu as well.

Also new to the food hall is Kulantro, a Vietnamese street food restaurant owned by Jason Doan.

Kulantro sells modern Vietnamese street food like this bao slider. The restaurant opened this week inside of the Sawmill Market at 1909 Bellamah NW. (Photo courtesy of Kulantro)

Doan said he has been working in the food industry since he graduated from high school and most recently worked at the former Naruto location at Sawmill Market, which gave him first hand experience with the market.

When a space opened up at the food hall, Doan said he quickly got to work creating a business plan and concept.

He landed on Vietnamese food with a focus on grilled meats since the market didn’t have a restaurant that sold Vietnamese or grilled food.

“There’s nothing like it at Sawmill Market, so I believe that … it will be a big hit,” he said.

One of the new restaurants at the Sawmill Market, Kulantro, sells modern Vietnamese street food like these skewers of meat. (Photo courtesy of Kulantro)

The menu features grilled skewers of meat, a noodle bowl, pho, bao sliders and spring rolls. Prices range from $5.20 to $16.20.

Doan said that all of the menu options can also be vegan or gluten-free.

Sawmill Market also announced plans to expand its outdoor area known as The Yard and add five new merchant spaces.

A spokeswoman for the market said one of the current tenants, Spurline Supply Co.’s pop-up shop, is set to leave at the end of the month and that space will be converted into three booths.

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