Rubicon Brewing Company

Dining News: RIP Momiji, Hello Aura Korean & Japanese Restaurant


Momiji, a japanese restaurant formerly at 14th & G, garnered very little attention when it was open. The only review I could find was by Greg Lucas in Sac News & Review in Dec. 2009, where he gave it a 3.5 stars

I had tried to eat there once, but after waiting a couple mins and not being seated, I left and went somewhere else.

But they've closed, and they're about to be replaced by Aura, a Korean & Japanese restaurant.

I stopped by on Tuesday after work, and discoverd a few people working on the interior of the restaurant. They told me the manager wasn't there, and took my info down. I've yet to hear back, but if/when I do, I'll share.

In case you're looking, they're hiring.

H/T to @Cory_Golden and @EdMurrieta in providing tips after I crowdsourced some of this reporting.

Aura can (eventually) be found online at, although for now it's just a landing page.

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Peel'd Juice Bar opens Wednesday in midtown - So, your Lululemons are all soaked after a Vinyasa Flow yoga class and a replenishing juice is needed ASAP. Or, maybe a healthy pick-me-up hits the spot during a quick break from the office cubicle. Either way, Peel'd awaits your detoxification and nourishment needs. Peel'd Juice Bar opens at noon Wednesday inside Asha Yoga (1050 20th St., Sacramento). Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

New Panda Express Planned for Natomas - Signs point to a new Panda Express eatery at Sacramento Gateway shopping center in Natomas. The restaurant is slated for the space located in the Promenade next door to Panera at 3571 North Freeway Boulevard and it could be open by the end of the year. On Natomas Buzz.

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Dining News: Changes Afoot at Maranello

Maranello had long been on my Fancy Restaurants to Try List. It gained a spot on my list after the Sac Bee, Sac News & Review and Sac Mag restaurant critics were unanimous in praising the restaurant. In fact, the Sac Bee restaurant critic said that chef Gabriel Glasier was "one of the finest chefs to ever grace the Sacramento-area restaurant scene."

So armed with a Groupon, my wife and I went made the trek out to the restaurant in Fair Oaks the weekend after Valentine's Day this year for a Special Event Meal. And at least to us, the restaurant didn't live up to the hype and it wasn't worth the 44 mile round trip from Downtown Sac.

There were flashes of brilliance in the food, but other dishes were imprescise. If the restaurant were closer, I'd probably give it another try since all restaurants have nights off, but at least to me, it wasn't worth another $7 in gas to possibly eat another uneven meal. The value of our meal, including tax and tip, was $140. (Our Groupon was $40 for $80.)

Given that, I'm glad to hear that they're tweaking things at the restaurant. Per their Facebook page:

To our Customers and Community: A NEW MARANELLO!

WE WILL BE CLOSED Monday, June 17th - Tuesday, June 18th for a remodel.

In order to create a more social, casual atmosphere, we have decided to remodel… the space, our menu and our name! Expect more small plates, the return of improved summer menu favorites, more bar seating, a larger selection of craft beer and cocktails with a stronger focus on local, seasonal ingredients and products. We cherish our community and want to be a fun place for neighbors, friends and family to gather over great food and drink. We are making these changes for you: our customers, our community. Whether you are a long-time customer, or haven't been in in a while, we hope that you will join us once again when we re-open in a few days!

Maranello's is also hosting a Grand Reopening party on Saturday, June 29 from 5 to 7 p.m., featuring complementary bites, drink specials and live music. Visit their Facebook Page for more information on the event in the coming days.

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Zonca assembles kitchen team for soon-to-open The Dime - Noah Zonca, the former star chef at The Kitchen, is speeding toward opening his new restaurant on L Street, The Dime, by the Fourth of July weekend. Today, he announced the key players of his kitchen crew...There has been some confusion about the actual name of this restaurant in the 1800 block of L Street. Some reports have had it as Capital Dime, while others have called it The Dime. Which is it? When I asked Zonca, he replied, "That's a good question," before being heard asking someone in the distance at the restaurant. OK, it will be called The Dime. It rolls off the tongue better than Capital Dime, which is the name of the LLC (limited liabilty company). Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Try It: Rubicon’s Hot Wings - When I want to include my pooch in a casual al fresco dining experience, I head to Rubicon Brewing Company’s sidewalk patio, a congenial, shaded midtown spot where you can stretch your legs, savor a freshly-brewed cold ale and tackle a basket of the establishment’s messy, scrumptious hot wings. Tossed in a sweetish red sauce that packs just the right amount of heat, the satisfyingly oily wings are paired with crunchy carrot and celery sticks and a soothing side of blue cheese dressing. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

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Dining News: Hook & Ladder 'Intriguing' & Menu 'Eclectic'

Sac Bee restaurant critic Blair Anthony Robertson visited Hook & Ladder just as they opened, and found the experience to be uneven. Since then, Sac Mag's Kira O'Donnell has paid a visit and likes what she found.

Try one of the restaurant’s fabulous signature quaffs (I relished the “Boatswain Cocktail,” prepared with two different rums, lime juice, almond syrup and fresh mint); and make sure to set aside enough time to read the menu carefully. Inspiring dishes on that first visit included a delectable pancetta and poached duck egg salad; and the rustic, flavorful house-made sausages (3 to an order) served up with mustard and a chunky-sweet chutney.

Read the entire article in Sac Mag.

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Kombucha Kulture debuts mobile concept - Kombucha Kulture debuted its mobile vending trailer Saturday, Oct. 27, offering a host of different flavors of the fermented tea drink growing in popularity. The trailer features six flavors of kombucha, according to a press release, and the Zombie 5K run at Miller Park was the venue. The brewers were Revive, Bùcha, House and Lev’s. Brandon Darnell in Sac Press.

Midtown residents rally to support music venue, and police listen - After an outcry from neighborhood leaders, police agreed recently to rescind a recomendaiton for a restriction on the liquor license transfer at Harlow’s, a nightclub at 2708 J St. A shooting Aug. 18 spurred some neighbors to act when the license came up for transfer to new owners – with the residents arguing that alcohol sales on the block, which includes several restaurants and bars, were partly responsible for the shooting. Brandon Darnell in Sac Press.

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Dining News: Sac Becomes 'Farm-to-Fork Capital'

In an effort to become a destination for foodies, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson proclaimed Sacramento as America's Farm-to-Fork Capital, reports Jake Ferguson and Jon Schuller of Sac Foodies.

Surrounded by a sea of white chefs’ coats, Mayor Johnson was joined by nearly three dozen of the area’s top culinary talent to announce the new proclamation to an excited crowd of media, local officials and foodie enthusiasts.

“Right here in Sacramento, we have a lot to be proud of,” said the former NBA star and Sacramento native. “This is the best of Sacramento. This is the Dream Team of chefs in Sacramento!”

In conjunction with the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, the California Farm Bureau, and a coalition of local chefs, today’s proclamation is intended to market Sacramento as a farm-fresh culinary hub. According to the mayor’s office (and cited in today’s City Beat blog), the region is home to between 7,000 to 8,000 acres of “boutique farms” and touts more than 50 farmers’ markets.

Read the entire story on Sac Foodies.

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Rubicon Brewing offers special IPA for anniversary - Rubicon Brewing Co. is releasing a special edition single-malt, single-hop IPA on Friday, when the brewery turns 25, as part of a weeklong celebration marking the anniversary. Rubicon was one of the first breweries in the country to use an IPA as its flagship beer and it is the oldest functioning brewery in Sacramento, according to the brewery. Besides the anniversary beer release party on Friday, on Saturday Rubicon will host live music, guest beers and a pig roast. A “hangover party” is planned for Sunday. Guest beers will be available for special discounts. The weeklong celebration has also featured guest bartenders and special discounts to thank loyal customers. Melanie Turner in Sac Biz Journal.

A Brewer’s Life - I swung by Rubicon on Capitol and 20th around 3 p.m. to shoot the breeze with Scott Cramlet, brewmaster since 1990. Not quite happy hour, not quite the lunch rush, the patio remained lively as were the tables inside. The bartender Summer Quinn offered water or coffee. I must have looked like I needed freshening up. Two glasses of water deep when Scott sat down at the bar with me, an unspoken short pour of IPA was placed in front of him as he asked if I wanted a pint. I graciously accepted, requesting a Rosebud and used my choice as a transition into a curiosity I’d had since I first tasted the hoppy red ale, “Is the name a Citizen Kane reference?” Blake Gillespie on Submerge Mag.

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Dining News: Cornerstone to Replace River Rock Tap House


Cornerstone Restaurant, a much loved brunch spot, has had bounced around the last couple years. It left its longtone home at 24th & J and relocated at Headhunters Bar on Capitol. It was slated to open at a former church, but the parking situation didn't work out. Now, they're set to replace River Rock Tap House on J St, reports Brandon Darnell in Sac Press.

The restaurant will reopen Thursday next door to its former location – now a gun store – in a spot recently vacated when River Rock Tap House shut its doors for good.

“We’re excited to come back to the old neighborhood and see all of the old customers,” said owner Danny Leung...

When the restaurant opens on Thursday, hours will be from 6 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. When the liquor license is obtained, Cornerstone will be open from 6 a.m. - midnight.

Leung described the food as traditional American food, with omelets, sandwiches and burgers. About 90 percent of the menu items are priced less than $10, he added.

Read the entire article in Sac Press.

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Sacramento to be proclaimed "America's Farm-to-Fork Capital" - Local chefs and elected officials will gather Wednesday morning as Mayor Kevin Johnson proclaims Sacramento as "America's Farm-to-Fork Capital." The event, scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at Cesar Chavez Plaza's weekly farmers market, will recognize that 70 percent of the area's land is agricultural and highlight the synergy between regional farmers and chefs. Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

Rubicon Brewing Company Celebrates 25th Anniversary - It’s an exciting week for beer lovers in Sacramento, as Rubicon Brewing Company celebrates its 25th anniversary all week long. The festivities will kick off today and continue through Sunday November 4, with special themed events, guest bartenders and food and drink specials. Jake Ferguson on Sac Foodies. Mark Glover in the Sac Bee.

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Daily Dining News: 'Good Beer, Solid Grub' at Firestone


Sac News & Review's the final major food reviewer to weigh in on Firestone Public House. (Click here for their happy hour info.) Here's their take:

Our appetizers arrive quickly; hunks of poached chicken and avocado float in the tomatoey, savory tortilla soup. The menu doesn’t specify that the avocado spring rolls are deep-fried, but unfortunately, they are. Hot avocado is never a good idea. The pizza emerges from the handsome yellow-tiled wood-fired pizza oven with a good char and bubble on the crust, but the thick blanket of grated mozzarella makes it taste old school, for good and for bad. The restaurant does, however, also offer a simple pizza with fresh mozzarella and tomato sauce.

The Ahi Tuna Burger patty has a mushy texture and lacks flavor, but the quick-pickled sliced cucumbers, Sriracha-sauce mayonnaise and daikon sprouts add crunch and a slightly spicy bite. A drippy chicken salad, served between thick slices of sourdough, is made with generous chunks of chicken and tastes of celery. The Reuben sandwich would be the real deal if the too-thick bread had more than a passing acquaintance with rye flour. Still, its fatty, delightful corned beef makes it close enough for jazz.

On another visit, this one on a Saturday night, the wait is 45 minutes, and the short shorts and flesh-colored platform heels are in full effect with the ladies. Firestone seems to have mastered the trick of exuding a casual, flip-flop vibe during the day and serving as a dressy see-and-be-seen spot at night. The DeVere Whites and the Wongs know what Sacramento wants: good beer, solid pub grub, and a casual, unpretentious atmosphere.

Read the entire review in Sac News & Review.

In case you missed it, here's my Instant Reaction and reviews by Sac Mag & the Sac Bee.

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Kombucha tea mobile draft bar coming soon - The mobile draft trailer will pour 16-ounce servings of three brands of kombucha to start out with: Bucha Live Bucha, Revive Kombucha and GT Synergy. With a variety of brands comes a broad variety of taste – Kombucha Kulture will offer both mellow and more potent flavors. “The best thing to compare it to is a bar with a well-rounded draft beer offering,” Giatras said. “That’s where we think our strength will be.” Sara Godley in Sac Press.

Rubicon begins construction on West Sac brewery - Construction has begun on space Rubicon Brewing Co. leased late last year in West Sacramento, where Rubicon plans to make up to 10 times more beer than at its midtown eatery. The brewery has not been able to keep up with demand for its beer, and Rubicon’s owners are ready to diversify, especially as the craft-beer market is thriving. Last December, Rubicon leased 16,380 square feet at 885 Stillwater Road, near Ikea, to brew more beer. Melanie Turner in Sac Biz Journal.

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Daily Dining News: Starbucks, Jamba Juice on Broadway Burglarized

On the heels of the midtown shooting over the weekend, crime has struck the area again, reports KCRA.

Break-in alarms started sounding just before 2 a.m., according to Sacramento police officers.

At a shop called The Catholic Store on Broadway and 19th streets, owner Richard Perez found a large rock in the center of his store.

The glass door was shattered.

Perez said he only left some change in the cash register's open drawer and it was taken.

A Starbucks and Jamba Juice both had their glass doors shattered at the corner of 15th and Broadway.

Watch the video from FOX 40 above, or read the entire story on KCRA.

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Urban wine tasting room coming to Sacramento's K Street - Downtown & Vine – an urban wine tasting room – is seeking to bring the best of California wine country to K Street downtown, with a scheduled opening date of mid-October. Co-owner Gregg Lamer said Friday that he and co-owner Kate Chomko think Sacramento needs a varied selection of wines from Sonoma, Napa, the foothills and other wine regions across the state, and the 1200 K St. location is the perfect fit. Brandon Darnell in Sac Press.

Tips on perfect icy treats - While Hawks was on the phone, I asked whether she still had plans to expand. She said she hopes to open her casual dining place at the intersection of Stockton and Alhambra boulevards in Sacramento within a year. Cathie Anderson in the Sac Bee.

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