Ju Hachi

Dining News: Grange Chef Oliver Ridgeway Featured in Southwest Magazine

Grange

Farm to Fork got a boost this month as Sacramento's regional identity when The Grange was featured in Southwest The Magazine, the free publication that Southwest Airlines puts in the seat back pocket.

Sacramento is an agricultural hub, and chefs are starting to take note. There's a lot of creativity coming in, and a lot of camaraderie. At Grange, we're all about locality and sustainability. Living in this bountiful area, it's not hard to do, because even in the winter we've got an abundance of local produce.

The magazine featured a recipe by Grange Executive Chef Oliver Ridgeway for braised roots.

Read the article in Southwest The Magazine.

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Boba blast - Whatever the case, boba seems to be picking up popularity in South Sacramento and Elk Grove with a host of new shops recently opening. Among the best of the new spots are Cool Tea Bar (5555 Sky Parkway, Suite 207; www.coolteabar.com), Snowbee Tea Station (6905 Stockton Boulevard, Suite 250) and Moo Moo (8698 Elk Grove Boulevard, Suite 2B in Elk Grove). Jonathan Mendick in Sac News & Review.

Let's eat: Three places to check out for lunch - Looking for somewhere different for lunch? Our three places to try this week include a place with vegan and raw foods, a place to get ramen in Davis and a Southeast Asian restaurant in Loomis. Andrea Thompson in Sac Biz Journal.

Sactown Union Brewery proposes full tasting room in East Sacramento - A new craft brewery has applied to open a full tasting and sales location in an industrial building in East Sacramento. According to an application with the city of Sacramento, Sactown Union Brewery would be established in 7,200 square feet of a 24,700-square-foot building at 1210 66th St. Ben van der Meer in Sac Biz Journal.

Try It: Ju Hachi - When I’m craving Japanese cuisine but want to avoid noisy crowds, I head to quiet, peaceful little Ju Hachi in midtown. This friendly spot offers a more laid-back, personalized dining experience than many other options in town, and it also warmly welcomes my kids. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

At Sacramento’s Pancake Circus, clowns are all around - With a name like “Pancake Circus,” there must be clowns. And there are – a small gallery’s worth. The vintage restaurant is part of Sacramento’s cultural landscape, and its collection of clown art and memorabilia is a niche repository reflecting a rarefied form of community involvement. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

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Dining Deals: BarWest, Bistro Michel, Revolution Wines

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It's great to save money at restaurants you're already going to or restaurants that you've been meaning to go to. Here are six great deals to save you money today.


Dining News: Zocalo's Food is 'Only Occasionally Delightful'

Zocalo

I'm a big fan of Zocalo. They're a solid choice when you want Mexican food in an upscale setting. I like to think of them like Paesanos - pleasing and decent food but not trying to be something it's not.

My go to dish there is the conchita pibil, which Wikipedia describes as a traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork dish from the Yucatán Península of Mayan origin. I'd just describe it as delicious.

Sac Bee restaurant critic Blair Anthony Robertson's experiences seem to be different than mine.

The best part of the Zocalo experience just may be the building. It excites the senses and signals that something special might be on the way. Even the noise – the acoustics are awful – creates a sense of anticipation in diners approaching the restaurant. There’s a hum, a buzz. But surely those inside can’t be buzzing about the menu, as the food is mostly acceptable and only occasionally delightful.

Part of the problem is consistency and quality. During one visit, our carnitas were too dry and chewy. Another time, they were dark, glistening and delicious. A third time, all we could taste what seemed to be a vaguely citrus marinade, and the texture was nearly more mushy than meaty...

The conchita pibil ($16.99) was even better, an excellent example of a pork shoulder cooked to tender perfection and flavored with an achiote rub and habanero salsa.

Best of all may have been the fish tacos. Fish that is plump and battered and ample, on tacos that are nicely accessorized and delicious. The only thing holding them back from greatness are the ho-hum corn tortillas that look and taste mass-produced – rigidly uniform and rather bland. And at $14.99, this plate of tacos is on the pricey side of reasonable.

Read the entire review in the Sac Bee.

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Check it Out: Midtown's Ju Hachi - When I’m craving sushi, I often make a beeline for cozy little Ju Hachi on S Street. This warm, friendly midtown spot usually has a seat or two available at the sushi bar (even on a Saturday night!), and I appreciate its quiet environment and unfailingly gracious service. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

First Impressions: State Fair food comes to Rocklin with Fancy Funnel Cakes - The desserts are tops, especially the pan-fried pound cake, which resembles french toast, and the peach cobbler, rich with cinnamon. As for the funnel cakes, we’ve had our share at fairs and carnivals and these are the best we’ve tasted. Part of the lunch spread was the Oblivion, a funnel cake topped with two scoops of vanilla ice cream, cherry sauce, chocolate and whipped cream – ideal for sharing. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

The Rind serves unique cheese pairings for local foodies - Local cheese, wine and beer shop, The Rind, is causing a splash by giving the best pairing experience for Sacramento locals. Located on 18th and L streets, The Rind has set itself apart from many new shops springing up, because of its unique approach to pairing artisan and farmstead cheeses. Kaitlin Bruce in the Sac State Hornet.

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Dining News: Midtown's Der Biergarten Hopes to Open in August

Der biergarten

Der Biergarten, which first hit the planning commission back in March, now hopes for a late August opening for the open air restaurant next to The Golden Bear at 24th & K streets, reports Cathie Anderson in the Sac Bee.

Derfield said he also received a warm reception in preliminary meetings with the city's design review team in October, but after he hired an architect and contractor and submitted renderings in January, the tone changed completely.

"They did not like it at all," said Derfield, who owns the River City Saloon in Old Sacramento. "They said, 'We cannot put cargo containers in the middle of Sacramento.' "

Attempts to reach city urban design manager Greg Taylor were not successful. City planners made suggestions that Derfield at first interpreted as optional.

"When we'd take it back," Derfield said, "they'd say, 'No, we really don't like that. We suggest you change it and come back and see us again.' So, after three times, we gave in to their wishes. If they had just told us the first time, 'We're not going to approve you unless you change this,' but they didn't."

Read the entire article in the Sac Bee.

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Ju Hachi - Sacramento is filled with great sushi and since moving to Sacramento, I have enjoyed sampling several sushi hot-spots. Thinking that I already had my go-to establishments nailed down, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon a new favorite: Ju Hachi. Nestled on the corner of S and 17th, not only does Ju Hachi feature delicious, reasonably priced sushi—but also boasts some of the friendliest staff around. Jake Ferguson on Sac Foodies.

Karaage translates into popular take on fried chicken - We're talking about chicken karaage, the form of Japanese fried chicken that's a favorite of bento boxes around the world. But these are no ordinary nuggets meant for Happy Meals. Chicken karaage starts as marinated pieces of meat, which are then cooked golden in a wok or fryer with oil. The result: tasty chicken pieces that'll appeal to both preschoolers and their Japanese-food-loving parents. "It's a favorite," said Taka Watanabe, chef and owner of Taka's Sushi in Fair Oaks and midtown's Ju Hachi. "I'll make them for my employees and me, too. They're crunchy outside and moist inside." Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

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Daily Dining Deals: Ju Hachi, T&R Taste of Texas BBQ

Juhachi

I love eating sushi. But sometimes I'm in the mood for a low key meal as opposed to one of the larger, more raucous scene. In midtown, the perfect place for a quiet but great sushi meal is Ju Hachi. Today, you can eat there half off.

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Looking for more deals like this? Check out the Cowtown Eats guide to saving 50 percent at good restaurants.