Dining News: Localis to Open on Friday


Localis, the latest outpost in the rapidly-expanding Team Broderick empire, will open on Friday, July 10.

The restaurant, led by chef Chris Barnum (most recently at Cibo 7 in Roseville), has been holding tastings for local chefs over the last week as they fine tune their menu. Among the chefs who have participated are Adam Pechal (Tuli), Noah Zonca (The Kitchen & Capital Dime), Bobby Coyote (Dos Coyotes), Jason Azevedo (Esquire Grill) and Michael Touhy (formerly of Grange, Lowbrau/Block Butcher Bar and now with Executive Chef & General Manager Legends Hospitality - Golden1 Center).

According to pictures posted on their Facebook page, Localis will be serving:




Duck two ways


Surf & Turf



Chef Pechal, who once ran Tuli at that location, commented on Facebook: "The best meal I've had in a long time. So happy to see "my baby" in such capable hands. Keep up the good work!"

You can start making reservations now by e-mailing RESERVATIONS@LOCALISSACRAMENTO.COM.

Localis is located at 2031 S Street, and can be found online at http://www.localissacramento.com/.

* Edit on Tuesday morning - added another chef who participated in the preview dinners.

More News:

East Sac brewery boom -  Sactown Union Brewery is getting ready to make East Sacramento an even better craft beer community. The brewery, which will be at 1210 66th St., has had its demolition and building permits approved...While the brewery’s website currently says it will open in July, that’s probably too optimistic, given those bureaucratic delays. “We’ll probably be brewing beer in July, but I don’t think our tasting room is going to open until mid-August,” Gardner said. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee. (Third Item.)

Boatload of flavor: Ho Mok Seafood, Orchid Thai Restaurant & Bar - It's easy to get distracted by all of the fancy modern décor and glamor of 16 Powerhouse, but forget that: What's the chow like? If you're looking for Thai fishiness, a plate of Ho Mok Seafood ($16.50) is a great choice. Anthony Siino in Sac News & Review.

Frozen dessert shop to open in Rocklin - Vampire Penguin – a shaved-snow specialty dessert shop – is projected to open Aug. 1 in Rocklin’s Blue Oaks Town Center...Vampire Penguin owners plan to expand with four new locations slated to open in Berkeley, San Mateo, Reno and Emeryville within the next few months. Jennifer Crane in the Sac Bee.

Don't roll with it - Tsukiji Sushi is a conundrum: a terrible, repetitious sushi joint but an excellent Japanese fry and noodle house. Still, know what to order and your visit will be worth the time and money. Garrett McCord in Sac News & Review.

Nuevo Latino - Inspired by the colorful cuisines of Latin America, Sacramento chefs are inventing a whole new way to dine. Featuring Lola's Lounge in Elk Grove, La Huaca in Roseville, Sol Cubano in North Highlands, Tequila Museo Mayahuel downtown, Flame & Fire in Roseville, Las Islitas off Florin Ave., Waffle King - Machu Picchu in Carmichael, Cafe Capricho in East Sac and Cielito Lindo in East Sac. Catherine Warmerdam in Sac Mag.

Continue reading "Dining News: Localis to Open on Friday" »

Dining News: Fish Face to Open on Thursday


Fish Face, the long awaited poke bar by acclaimed chef Billy Ngo, will open on Thursday, July 9, reports Sactown Mag.

According to a menu posted on their Web site, the restaurant will have a build your own poke setup, kind of like Chipotle.

Diners select the size they want, a protein (ahi tuna, octopus, shrimp, ora king salmon, Passmore Ranch sturgeon or Tofu & Cucumber), a sauce (Sesame soy, Spicy Kimchi, Wasabi, creamy cilantro pesto or yuzu pnozu) and then an additional garnishes for an extra charge (like the guac at Chipotle).

Prices range from $8 for a small to $19 for a BIG Fish combo, with Large Poke, one side and one soft drink.

This is how they described themselves on a Craigslist job posting:

We are a casual counter service restaurant and bar specializing in Hawaiian poke inspired seafood salads and Japanese style hand rolls. Our bar offers a variety of beer, cider, and Japanese sake with potential to expand into cocktails in the future.

Chef Ngo is best known for his very successful Sacramento restaurant Kru at 25th & J. That restaurant is slated to move into a shared space at Folsom and Alhambra. The other restaurant in that space will be Obo' Italian by the Selland Restaurant Group. Chef Ngo is also reportedly working on another new restaurant at 7th & K, near the new Golden 1 Center/new Kings arena.

Fish Face will be located at 1104 R Street, and can be found online at  http://www.fishfacepokebar.com/.

More News:

Prohibition-era laws have chilling effect on local beer, wine events - An Amador County winery is protesting the state’s enforcement of arcane alcohol regulations that have aroused fears among small producers and cast a shadow over popular wine and beer festivals. Renwood Winery is challenging the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control over provisions of tied-house laws that forbid alcohol producers from promoting or giving “a thing of value” to retailers. The vintner is one of eight local winemakers that ran afoul of the regulations at the 2014 Grape Escape. Robert D. Davila in the Sac Bee.

Tacqueria Culture - Whether you're downtown or in the 'burbs, there's a taqueria ready to impress you. Featuring Taqueria Jalisco at 16th & D, Chando's Tacos and Taqueria Rincon Alteno in Natomas. In Sac Mag.

First Impressions: Roxie Deli rolls out a new look in R Street Corridor - A massive oak-burning Ole Hickory smoker turns out tri-tip (Mondays), pulled pork (Tuesdays), pork ribs (Wednesdays) and brisket (Thursdays and Fridays), with chicken and outrageously good smoked meatloaf daily. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Hitting the Road with Chef Michael Tuohy - When I moved from Atlanta to California in 2009 to be the founding chef of Sacramento’s Grange Restaurant & Bar, I was actually coming home. (I grew up in the Bay Area.) In the years since, I’ve bounced around a little, living and working for a time in Napa Valley before returning to Sacramento to open Block Butcher Bar. A few months ago, I took on an exciting new challenge as executive chef for Sacramento’s downtown Entertainment and Sports Complex, future home to the Sacramento Kings. I’ve always been an enthusiastic food dude who loves to travel, seeking out food and drink at exceptional places wherever I go. Here’s a look at some of my favorite restaurants, bars and more based on recent day trips to San Francisco, West Marin and Napa. In Sac Mag.

Rancho Cordova business lets you brew your own beer - If you want to brew your own beer, but have been too intimidated to tackle the process alone, a new Rancho Cordova business might be a good starting point. You Brew It is expected to open in early August at 3251 Luyung Drive. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Continue reading "Dining News: Fish Face to Open on Thursday" »

Dining News: Best Intersection for Food in Sac


Many try to determine who the best restaurant in Sac is, but with so many top tier restaurants, it'll be hard to come to a consensus.

If you're to believe recent national surveys, however, the best intersection for food is not in dispute. It's the corner of Franklin Blvd. and 3rd Ave. in Oak Park where Pangaea Bier Cafe and Gunther's Ice Cream are located.

An analysis by Business Insider did an analysis with FourSquare to find the best place for ice cream in every state, "taking into account Foursquare users' likes, saves, shares, tip sentiment, and more."

According to their ranking, the best ice cream in the Golden State is found at Sacramento's own Gunther's Ice Cream Shop. Per Business Insider:

CALIFORNIA: Gunther's Quality Ice Cream features a new specialty flavor every month, from eggnog in December to Bailey's Irish Cream in March. The Sacramento shop is also known for its sorbet-like fruit freezes, a combination of icy fruit flavors in a huge cup.

Read the entire story in Business Insider.

But having the best ice cream in the state doesn't mean it's the best intersection for food in Sacramento. Across the street is Pangaea Bier Cafe, which The Daily Meal deemed the 96th Best Burger in America. Per The Daily Meal:

If you like a good beer with your mammoth of a bacon cheeseburger, than Pangaea Bier Cafe is the place for you. With a long list of rotating craft ales — both local and international — you’ll have your pick for creating a great burger and beer combo. Whether you’re into saisons, IPAs, or pilsners, the Pangaea Burger is sure to make a great mate. For this beloved sandwich, an all-Angus beef patty is grilled to your preferred temperature and topped with bacon, Cheddar, lettuce, onions, tomato, and house-made pickles and sauce. The brioche bun is perfectly domed, crispy fries come on the side, and the whole plate is quite a sight to behold.

Read the entire story in The Daily Meal.

Pangaea Bier Cafe and Gunther's Ice Cream can be found at Franklin Blvd. and 3rd Ave.

* Photo via Pangaea's Facebook Page.

More News:

Last call for Downtown Plaza restaurants - Shoppers and movie goers to Downtown Plaza have a lot fewer choices if they get hungry or thirsty during their summer excursions to the Sacramento mall. As construction of the Kings’ new arena kicks into high gear, all food and drink providers in the mall’s west end are in the process of shuttering except the Starbucks. Debbie Arrington in the Sac Bee.

Try it: Café Bernardo's Pancakes - Who doesn’t love pancakes? Warm, fluffy flapjacks can be smothered with butter, drizzled with maple syrup, or both—there’s no wrong way to eat a pancake. Café Bernardo keeps it simple and delicious with their fresh buttermilk pancakes. Barbara Harvey in Sac Mag.

Beer Run: Bike Dog gets bigger - “What I can tell you,” he said, via email, “is that we secured the (building) next to us ... which doubles our footprint and will allow us to modestly expand the tasting room (and have access to two more bathrooms). But more importantly it will allow us the space to install a bigger cooler to support the two new tanks we have on order (50 percent total tank capacity growth). Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee. (Second item.)

Pho Viet: Pho real, pho real - Usually when a restaurant tries to tackle two different regions’ cuisines, that’s a sign that quality isn’t really a big focus. But Pho Viet, located on Auburn Boulevard in Citrus Heights, serves both delicious Chinese and Vietnamese food to families, couples, college students and a surprising number of people stopping in solo for a quick bowl of pho. Jonathan Mendick in Sac News & Review.

Sacratomato Week Celebrates All Things Tomato This July - Midtown’s Sutter District is spreading the tomoato-love this July with the return of Sacratomato Week, a week-long celebration of the the multi-colored, multi-flavored globes of fruit that epitomizes summer. Taking place July 20-25, the 2nd annual Sacratomato Week will give us city dwellers an eating frenzy of one of the Sacramento agriculture region’s signature commodities. Bethany Harris in Sac Press.

Continue reading "Dining News: Best Intersection for Food in Sac" »

Dining News: 'Chef Gabriel Glasier creates art at Cask & Barrel'


Cask & Barrel (disclosure: they're a valued advertiser) has been doing amazing things over on Del Paso Blvd.

I was there several weeks ago and Chef Gabriel Glasier described how his recipes aren't measured in ounces or minutes, but rather are so precise that grams and seconds are used.

When developing his Hangtown Fry recipe, he says he ended up eating 50 eggs that weren't quite what he wanted before he nailed the recipe.

So it's no surprise that others are also noticing what's going on at Cask and Barrel.

Here's a snippet of Carla Meyer's review in the Sac Bee:

Its dishes do not seem transitory. They wedge themselves into memory. You will think often of the meats’ tenderness, of the appetizers’ visual allure and of the local, seasonal ingredients Glasier uses. You will think of these things because nearly every restaurant you visit after this one will seem expensive by comparison...

Even if Cask & Barrel grows busier, Glasier said he will not change his 40-seat model. Here’s hoping that’s true. For me, Cask & Barrel has ruined that other restaurant model – the one charging a lot for quality ingredients and pretty presentation. It needs to stay as is.

Read the entire review in the Sac Bee.

More News:

Organizers cancel – then un-cancel – Davis Beer Week - We’re doing a lot of writing – and rewriting – here in the newsroom this afternoon, fresh off the news that organizers opted to cancel Davis Beer Week, then, in a matter of a few hours, reverse course and say the event is back on. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Food truck owner’s dog fatally shot in Sacramento home burglary - The owner of Drewski’s Food Truck is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who shot and killed his dog and business mascot during a burglary of his home Saturday night. Cathy Locke in the Sac Bee.

Downtown Plaza's west end empties out. Now what? - In the food court, Gyro Supreme's last day of business is Tuesday and a sign at Panda Express says it's open through July 3. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Don't Miss The Dish: Zabuton - Zabuton. When I saw a dish by that name on Grange’s menu recently, I almost passed it by, figuring it for some sort of fish. But when the server came to take our order, my curiosity got the better of me, and I asked about it. Turns out it’s beef—and absolutely delicious. Marybeth Bizjak in Sac Mag.

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Instant Reaction: Sammy's Restaurant & Bar at Stones Gambling Hall in Citrus Heights


Walking into a restaurant in a casino, I'll be honest. I had low expectations.

I thought it would be smoky, dingy, dilapidated, and noisy. And I thought the food would be an afterthought since they had a captive audience of gambling, let's say, enthusiasts.

So when there PR person (and a professional acquaintance) e-mailed me about driving 30 miles round trip to sample their food, I agreed to do it as a courtesy.

When I got there, though, my view totally changed. I was wrong, and pleasantly surprised.


First, there was no smell of stale smoke wafting through the air. Second, the casino is only a card room, which means the quiet sounds of cards shuffling and not the loud cacophony of slot machines. The room was modern, clean and well lit.

Continue reading "Instant Reaction: Sammy's Restaurant & Bar at Stones Gambling Hall in Citrus Heights" »

Dining News: Maui-Based Coconut's Coming to Sacramento


Coconut's Fish Cafe, a fast casual restaurant based in Maui, is coming to Sacramento, reports Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Coconut's serves items such as salads, fish tacos and entrees that combine fish and brown rice. "This is all about eating healthy with profiles and flavors that really explode," Phillips said. He prides himself on a "California cuisine take on Hawaiian culture food." The casual restaurants cover about 3,000 square feet and have an island theme.

Coconut's currently has four locations: two in Texas, and one each in Hawaii and Arizona. Phillips said he's sold 11 franchise locations, with more on the way.

Read the entire story in the Sac Biz Journal.

Lest you think the restaurant is mediocre a Wahoo's copycat, the restaurant has received high scores for its food, including a 27/30 from Zagat. As a point of reference, The French Laundry received a food score of 28/30 from Zagat.

The owners hope to open a location by the end of the year.

Disclosure: My wife used to work with a member of the family who owns and runs the growing chain.

More News:

News on MARRS - Over at the neighboring Block Butcher Bar, you can expect a slightly revamped menu coming soon....Now, A llyson Harvie is the culinary director of Block and LowBrau, and she’ll be adding a few new dishes on top of two desserts she started serving a few weeks ago. Harvie has held posts at formidable San Francisco restaurants, such as Citizen Cake, Ragazza and Absinthe. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Garden to Grill: Step up your meatless game - While the savories are hit or miss, the baked goods are really pretty good. Enormous “Creamies” feature two large cookies sandwiching a vegan “cream” filling. The chocolate-mint version is a satisfying pairing. A creamsicle-flavored cupcake one day had vanilla filling and a light orange-flavored frosting. One benefit of gluten-free baking is that sweets are usually quite tender. Ann Martin Rolke in Sac News & Review.

Starbucks says it won't close Downtown Plaza store, for now - Despite the many business closures in the works, it appears Sacramento's Downtown Plaza will continue to offer a caffeine fix, at least for the time being. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Continue reading "Dining News: Maui-Based Coconut's Coming to Sacramento" »