Tapa the World

Dining News: 'Traditional Dishes with New Attention to Detail & Flavor' at Strings Urban Kitchen


The reviews are starting to come in for Strings Urban Kitchen, the newish eatery at the base of Capitol Towers at 7th & O. First up, it's Ann Martin Rolke in Sac News & Review. (Full Disclosure: Strings Urban Kitchen is currently an advertiser on Cowtown Eats.)

At dinner, Strings offers table service. We shared the Bruschetta Rustico, with chunky toasts layered with seasoned cheese, grape tomatoes, basil and balsamic vinegar. With less garlic than many versions, it’s a delicious and date-friendly choice...

It’s an old tradition that deserves renewed attention. The food at Strings is similar: traditional dishes with new attention to detail and flavor. It’s a nice addition to the downtown grid.

Read the entire article in Sac News & Review.

I've eaten there several times, including during their media preview and later for happy hour on my own dime. I've enjoyed it both times, due to its relaxed atmosphere, friendly service and solid food. On my next visit, I'll be checking out their retail wine store too.

Strings Urban Kitchen is located at 1500 7th Street, can be found online at StringsUrbanKitchen.com.

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LowBrau brunch features signature sausage, drinks - What is less known about them is that they also serve brunch. On Saturdays and Sundays, their deck, shaded by a large tree canopy, is an excellent spot to people watch, sip a shandy, and nosh on sausage-centric brunch food. Andrea Thompson in Sac Biz Journal.

The claim: food trucks are as safe as restaurants - Food trucks are just as safe as restaurants — and, in many cases, safer. That's the conclusion of a new report by the Institute of Justice, a Virginia-based libertarian law firm. The group found that food trucks and carts don't receive any more citations for health-safety violations than restaurants do. In fact, in most of the cities studied, the trucks actually did better. Susannah Locke on Vox.com.

VIDEO: Ice Cream Shops Thrive in Record Heat - It should be no surprise that ice cream shops around the valley are very busy during this spell of triple-digit heat. Staff at Leatherby’s in Elk Grove say they go through 500 to 600 gallons of ice cream on a hot day. Multiply that by three locations, and that number ends up being around 1,500 gallons. Alisa Becerra on FOX 40.

Continue reading "Dining News: 'Traditional Dishes with New Attention to Detail & Flavor' at Strings Urban Kitchen" »

Dining News: Q and A with Coriander Vietnamese Restaurant


Coriander Vietnamese Restaurant, located at S & Alhambra streets, opened in April. I e-mailed with Kristi Ng (no relation) and she gave me some more info about the restaurant.

Q: What's the concept of your restaurant?

A: Our concept is very simple:  although vietnamese food is getting more mainstream, the quality, service and cleanliness still lacks in most restaurants.  We pledge to provide excellent customer service, clean and modern atmosphere, quality ingredients that won't compromise traditional recipes.

Q: Is there any notable experience for the chef or owner in the restaurant industry?

A: There are 3 main chefs at Coriander.  Myself, Kevin and Linh.  Kevin has many years of restaurant experience though myself and Linh are great home cooks.

Q: Anything else interesting you want to share?

A: We are very careful in handling our food. What we serve at the restaurant is what we would serve at home to our families-no compromises.

She also pointed to her business pledge on Coriander's Web site.

At Coriander restaurant, diners will enjoy savory Vietnamese appetizers and entrees in a clean and modern environment without compromising quality, taste, and service.

I haven't had the chance to try it yet, but I'm sure I'll pay a visit in the fall when the air chills and I'm in the mood for soup and spicy food.

Coriander Vietnamese Restaurant is located at 1899 Alhambra Street, and can be found online at http://savorycoriander.com/.

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First impressions: Coriander Vietnamese Restaurant - The impression of garlic and spices still lingers on our palates a few hours after lunch. Many of the foods, especially the chicken wings and Coriander fried rice, are flavored strongly per central Vietnamese custom. So far, Coriander looks to be a good alternative to Star Ginger in terms of ambiance and accessibility. Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

Tapa the World no longer on top - And then there is Tapa the World, a long-running, pun-loving tapas eatery on J Street in midtown that once was a star attraction for tapas. At its peak, the place was packed and was so noisy it was often a struggle to hear the live classical guitarist. Things change. The restaurant scene evolves, and what the competition is doing plays a part in determining the rating a restaurant receives. Since it was last reviewed in 2005, Tapa the World is no longer at the tapa the heap for casual dining in this category. While there are still ways to enjoy this eatery, its food has clearly declined in recent years while the competition has clearly elevated. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Introducing a new voice for food and restaurants - I'm delighted to introduce Andrea Thompson as the Sacramento Business Journal's new restaurant columnist. She brings a deep knowledge of food and has well-honed skills at telling stories about who makes it, how and why. Her first column went up on our site this morning. Jack Robinson in Sac Biz Journal.

Continue reading "Dining News: Q and A with Coriander Vietnamese Restaurant" »

Daily Dining News: RIP Sweetwater Restaurant & Bar


Sweetwater Restaurant & Bar moved to midtown from East Sac in August 2009, replacing Finns, a seafood restaurant. In that time, I've gone there for happy hour a few times and ate brunch there recently on a Groupon. I thought their happy hour food as solid, but their brunch left a lot to be desired.

Here are some more details bout the closing from the Sac Bee's Chris Macias:

[Co-owner Brad] Ross said diners simply aren't spending money like they used to.

"Business had been solid but the economic climate has changed," said Ross. "People rely on Groupons and happy hours. It's now a big part of our culture, but the profit margins haven't changed. Therefore, some other things have to change as well. People used to come in and spend $100 on the way home from work. That $100 doesn't exist very often now."

Ross, who co-owned Sweetwater with Tom Rockenbaugh, said there's no plans for now to re-open Sweetwater in a different spot.

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

So maybe I was their exact problem. I'm sad that they're gone and for those who have lost their jobs, but I'm hopeful that a new and vibrant (and better) restaurant will fill that spot.

PS: I want to add that I'm forever thankful that Sweetwater hosted the one charity event we did a couple years back. At that event, we raised $100 so a needy family could have gifts that Christmas. I wish their owners good luck in whatever their future holds.

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Dining review: Old Sac's refined Firehouse has an edgy side, too - The Firehouse Restaurant, stately and refined as it may be, faces more challenges than any other eating establishment in the city. It has to live up to its lofty reputation – and overcome it. It has to be all the things it used to be – while keeping pace with the many wonderful restaurants that have burst onto the scene over the past decade...How is it doing? It's nailing it. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

5 Great Seafood Dishes - Hankering for a tasty dose of seafood? Here’s five dishes that are sure to satisfy...Featuring Roxy Restaurant & Bar, Viet Ha, Tapa the World, Selland's Market Cafe and OneSpeed. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

Continue reading "Daily Dining News: RIP Sweetwater Restaurant & Bar " »

Yelp Drinks: Half Off Drinks Thru Sunday


Yelp Drinks is a special event where restaurants all across Sacramento are offering select drinks half off for the entire week. There are no restrictions on the hours or coupons. Just show up and drink for half off.

The restaurants participating in this promotion, with their half off drinks, are:

Cornerstone (at Headhunters)

  • Pineapple Upside Down
  • Lemon Drop
  • Fat Ruth aka Mandarin Cosmo

Dive Bar

  • Walk The Plank
  • Mer-tini
  • Wet Whistle

District 30

  • Back Beat
  • Frisky Rhythm
  • V.I.P.

The Firehouse

  • 2007 The Firehouse No. 3 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
  • 2010 Far Niente Chardonnay Napa Valley
  • 2007 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs North Coast


  • Grange Stoli Martini
  • Grange Gibson
  • French 75

Headhunters Video Bar & Grille

  • Tuaca-Tini
  • Sailor Jerr Rum & Coke
  • Carmen Miranda

Heat Shabu Baru

  • Mango Soju
  • TY KU Sake (Silver)
  • Samurai Sour

Kasbah Lounge

  • Caipirinha
  • Kotayk Armenian Lager
  • Valdepenas Tempranillo        

Monsoon Cuisine of India

  • Amelie Martini
  • Raging Bull
  • Breakfast At Tiffany's

Pre-Flite Lounge

  • Happy Meal 
  • Cheap Vacation
  • Over with a twist

Tapa the World

  • Caipirinha
  • Kotayk Armenian Lager
  • Valdepenas Tempranillo        

Taylor's Kitchen

  • Sonoma Oaks Chardonnay
  • Scrimshaw Pilsner
  • Edmeades Zinfandel


  • Sweet Tart
  • Bacardi Rock Coconut Mai Tai
  • Gordon Biersch Märzen

It's too bad they couldn't schedule this around Sac Beer Week. For more information, visit Yelp.