Elk Grove international: One worldly strip mall has it all - Rand McNally says Hanoi, Vietnam, is 2,395 miles from Kabul, Afghanistan. Kabul is 3,806 miles from Manila. Hanoi is 1,088 miles from the Philippine capital. Rand McNally is full of it—and not in a good way. At the Laguna Village Plaza, Kabob Palace is no more than 15 paces from Savory Fried Chicken, which is across the parking lot from Viet Hoa. Besides being a microcosm of the glorious diversity that is California, the three restaurants at Franklin and Laguna boulevards all appear to be family-owned and operated. There’s also a Little Caesars in the mall, but calling that Italian would be like calling Anthony Quinn a Greek. Greg Lucas in the Sac News & Review.
Counter Culture: Roxie Deli in east Sacramento piles on the quality - The fourth Earl of Sandwich may or may not have invented the concept of his namesake in the 1700s – it's debatable – but Roxie Deli & Grocery has certainly taken it to a new level. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.
Jim-Denny’s: Bring your appetite! - I loved the menu. It was HUGE, diverse – lots of vegetarian options, lamb, I think maybe seafood was thrown in there, and all very flavorful. We ordered the Bombay appetizer plate which consisted of samosas, pakora and some fried dumpling thing. It was sooo good – flavorful, interesting and not too fried, but still heavy. Don’t know if I would start out a large dinner with heavy apps again. Or maybe I would. Who knows. Cecily Fuller on Sac Foodies.
Build a Burger - Build-your-own burgers are all the rage. But who does ’em best? Here’s the lowdown on four local eateries where custom is king. Cathy Cassinos-Carr in Sac Mag.
Dining Review: Sake House - An edgier restaurant recently took up residence at Fountains, one that aims to attract not only shopping-weary customers but also a late-night crowd. Sake House, which brings a touch of big-city-lounge ambiance to this suburban shopping center, has an interesting provenance: It was created by investors Randy Paragary and Bob Simpson, and the opening menu was crafted by consulting chef Buu “Billy” Ngo of midtown’s Kru and Red Lotus. Day-to-day operations are managed by Mike Rapport, a developer who owns Basic Urban Kitchen + Bar and The Rose Room in Roseville’s historic district. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.
The Dollar-Wise Gourmet: Farmers Market Fare - Think the farmers market is just a place for pretty produce? Turns out it also happens to be a hot spot for prepared foods. That’s what we discovered at the Cesar Chavez Plaza farmers market at 10th and J, open Wed-nesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Once you get past the perimeter of produce and enter the inner circle, you’ll find vendors serving a cavalcade of cuisines, from Chinese and Mexican to barbecue and crêpes. It’s almost like a shopping mall food court magically moved to the great outdoors. What’s good, and what’s cheap? Better yet, what’s both good and cheap? My pal J and I recently trolled the market to conduct a little taste test. Here, in order of preference, are our findings. Cathy Cassinos-Carr in Sac Mag.
Press on the Handle - Speaking of earlier than expected, The Press, the new restaurant coming from David English, is on track to open ahead of schedule and could be in business by late July. Rick Kushman in the Sac Bee.
Tops for ramen - A sign on the wall of Curtis Park's popular Shoki Ramen House says the eatery is expanding – to a "secret" location. But Kathy Ueyama, who owns the place with her husband, Yasushi, is spilling the beans. Bob Shallit in the Sac Bee.
Gastropubs Galore in Sacramento - Jonathan Modrow, co-owner of The Golden Bear in midtown. Modrow set me straight last week after I wrote that Sacramento was about to get its first gastropub. “My partner Kimio Bazett and I have owned The Golden Bear for almost seven years and after our recent remodel have become a gastropub,” he wrote in response to my blog. Marybeth Bizjak in Sac Mag.
Looking for more restaurant news and reviews? Find previous roundups at http://www.cowtowneats.com/happy_hour/weekly-news-roundup/