The Kitchen

Dining News: Selland's Market Cafe Coming to Broadway


In a surprise move, Selland's Market Cafe will come to Broadway instead of The Kitchen, reports Sonya Sorich in the Sac Biz Journal.

But on Tuesday, Selland said he's "never really been in a hurry to move The Kitchen." Conversations with customers, many of whom have requested a Selland's Market Cafe location in the Land Park or Curtis Park areas, reinforced his decision to put the cafe on Broadway. Money didn't play a role in the decision, he said.

Compared to The Kitchen, the cafe has potential to bring even more traffic to Broadway, according to Selland. The Kitchen is currently open five nights a week, for dinner service only. Selland's Market Cafe has a more casual setup and is open seven days a week, offering lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.

Read the entire story in Sac Biz Journal.

I think this is a great move. In the 15 years I've lived in Sacramento, I've only been lucky to eat at The Kitchen twice. But I can see myself eating at Selland's Market Cafe more often than I should. It's affordable, accessible and for those who work Downtown, convenient. I can't wait for it to open in September.

When it opens, the third outpost of Selland's Market Cafe will be located at 915 Broadway, and can be found online at

More News:

Sushi bar vandalism being probed - Last month’s late-night vandalism incident at midtown’s Tamaya Sushi Bar & Grill is now the subject of a Sacramento Police Department investigation, according to the leasing manager for the property. Mary Mesa said this week she’s been informed that an investigator has been assigned to look into the incident that happened the evening of Dec. 3 after former operators of the business lost their lease. Bob Shallit in the Sac Bee. (Second item.)

Small plates, big feasts: SN&R takes some tasty bites out of the local dim sum scene - Cart after cart stops by the table, showcasing bamboo baskets, plump dumplings, various fried things and other mysteries. This is dim sum, the Chinese alternative to brunch that’s way more fun, interactive and affordable. It’s kind of like Spanish tapas—instead of alcohol, you consume tea—with lots of small plates meant for sharing. For what feels like an extravagant feast, you’ll probably spend $10 to $15 per person. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Extremely good enough: Shabu Extreme Tea House and Restaurant - The only thing extreme might be the prices for a meal I essentially cooked myself (shabu, for all intents and purposes, is Japanese fondu) and could have accomplished at home for a fraction of the price. This isn’t to say I’m giving Shabu Extreme a poor review. I had a fine enough time, was pleased with the food and left full. It’s getting a solid three-and-a-half star rating, which translates to better-than-good-but-not-great. Garrett McCord in Sac News & Review.

Italian Meets Californian - “FARM TO FORK” IS BEING REPLACED BY A NEW BUZZ PHRASE: PROOF OF CONCEPT. It means that a restaurant is successful and can be replicated in other places. In other words, it’s scalable, another business-school buzzword familiar to anyone who watches TV’s “Shark Tank.” It’s no longer enough to dream of opening a single restaurant and running it for 30 or so years. These days, many restaurant owners hope to hit on The Next Big Thing, like Chipotle or Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack. With proof of concept, they can find deep-pocketed investors willing to help them expand their business. Here in Sacramento, a few restaurant folks are working away on their proof of concept. (Think roadhouse burgers and poké.) One local restaurant is already well on its way to proving its concept: Hot Italian. Marybeth Bizjak in Sac Mag.

Seen in Natomas: Second Domino’s Location - Domino’s added a second location in Natomas last month. The new pizza delivery and pickup store is located at 4401 Gateway Park Boulevard, next door to the U.S. Post Office. On The Natomas Buzz.

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Dining News: What Southwest Air's In Flight Magazine Says You Shoud Do in Sacramento

Southwest mag

Southwest Magazine, the publication fliers find in seat back pockets, featured Sacramento in their Winter Travel Guide.

As usual, when out of towners make recommendations, there are some hits and some misses. Author Alison Miller has more hits than misses, though when she's wrong, she's really wrong.

First, what the reporter gets right, in what she calls the Next Great Food City:

Breakfast: "Local bacon and egg sandwich on a house-made English muffin from Old Soul Co."

Lunch: "Chicken-fried mushroom po'boy at Mother."

Dinner: "Five-course prix fixe menu at The Kitchen."

Nightcap: "Star bartender Ryan Seng's homemade nocino at Grange."

However, she gets one thing hugely wrong.

Lodging: "Make your home base at the centrally located Red Lion Woodlake Sacramento..."

Not sure what it's centrally located to unless she wants to be in the Costco-Arden Fair Mall-REI triangle.

But it's always good to see Sacramento get some good ink in national publications.

Click here to read it for yourself.

More News:

Black Bear Diner opening Monday in Elk Grove - Black Bear Diner, the Redding-based restaurant chain specializing in traditional comfort food and sizable portions, will open a new eatery in Elk Grove on Monday. Mark Glover in the Sac Bee.

AUDIO: Best Of Sacramento Party And The March Of Dimes - One of the biggest events in the Capital City is more than just a party this year, it’s a 15th Anniversary Party and a celebration of more than $4.5 million donated to the March of Dimes. Nov. 12 is the annual Best of Sacramento Party, hosted by Sacramento Magazine. Sacramento Magazine Publisher, Joe Chiodo and March of Dimes Volunteer Jessica Bracy talk about the event's impact on Insight. On Capitol Public Radio.

Nacho Day, bro: Seafood nachos, Lou's Sushi - Seafood nachos consist of six fried wonton “chips,” topped with smashed avocado and a blend of raw seafood pieces dressed in spicy-mayo magic, then topped with green onion and roe on a bed of red cabbage. An unexpectedly addictive and sharable appetizer. Nick Miller in Sac News & Review.

High tea: Tea Service No. 1, Empress Tavern - Tea Service cocktails at Empress are conversational, boozy and absolutely precious. It's essentially a cocktail brewed for four, poured from a teapot into glass punch glasses. Garrett McCord in Sac News & Review.

New housing taking shape at downtown Sacramento landmark - As for the ground floor of the 105-year-old Ransohoff Building, Fathy said the partners are in talks with several users interested in taking over the 8,200-square-foot space vacated by Pyramid Alehouse in March 2013. Some of the potential users have expressed interest in keeping the beer-making equipment that Pyramid left behind. Bob Shallit in the Sac Bee

Continue reading "Dining News: What Southwest Air's In Flight Magazine Says You Shoud Do in Sacramento" »

Dining News: Praise for Localis Continues


Localis, the restaurant which replaced Tuli/Trick Pony at 21st & S in July, continues to get rave reviews from the critics. The latest is from Ann Martin Rolke in Sac News & Review.

However, the food is worth seeking out. Barnum, most recently at Cibo 7 in Roseville, presents food with the eye of an artist. The menu changes daily, dependent on local and regional ingredients, as well as “curated” planters of herbs alongside the patio.

Recent standout dishes included the Farm Plate ($11), a board of the freshest produce arranged carefully. Yellow wax beans, lightly pickled baby beets, and chunks of carrot reveled in a light dressing of piquant lemon vinaigrette.

The bacon and eggs ($11) included a golden-fried square of fine-grained polenta in which a raw duck egg was nestled. The heat of the polenta barely cooked the egg, which combined with the pesto to make a creamy sauce. Crisp jamon serrano and pea shoots rounded out the dish.

Read the entire story in Sac News & Review.

Rolke did ding the restaurant for "cramped tables and lackluster patio" though. The one time I ate there, I sat at the bar/chef's table area, and I loved my experience. It could be one of the best seats in town.

Previously, the Sac Bee's Carla Meyer was effusive with her praise.

That carpaccio dish also held cherry tomatoes, dressed in a foie gras vinaigrette, that flirted with best-thing-I-ever-tasted status. More seafood and/or vegetables, and less game, would have been welcome in the tasting menu. But the meal tasted special and thought-out, and Barnum makes a good host/chef. Friendly but low-key, he mostly lets his food speak for him.

Since we're on the topic of Localis, the restaurant, led by Chef Chris Barnum, started serving lunch this week, with entrees in the $10 to $15 range. Here's a sample lunch menu.

LOCALSLUNCHMENU-2-1Localis is located at 2031 S Street, and can be found online at

More News:

An inside look at one of the restaurants coming to DoCo - At Sauced, I was satisfied with the money I spent. Everything was cooked and presented well. Alcohol is a big component of the Sauced experience. There's a long beer list, in addition to craft cocktails. I opted for one that involved lemonade. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Popular local Mexican restaurant to open downtown location - Carolina's Mexican Food, a family-run business that's been in the region for more than 20 years, is opening a location downtown. A sign is displayed outside the restaurant at 906 J St., which is across from Cesar Chavez Plaza and already has its own Twitter account. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Work could begin soon on new Broadway home for The Kitchen - Planning entitlements in hand, developers of a Broadway building that will become a new home for The Kitchen are moving ahead on building permits. Scott Maxwell, one of the partners in the proposal, said depending on the city, construction could get underway by year’s end. Ben van der Meer in Sac Biz Journal.

Icing on the Cupcake - After closing its doors for part of 2014, the Rocklin-based dessert shop Icing on the Cupcake is now expanding, with plans to open two new locations by early 2016. The new spots – which will be located at 2379 Iron Point Road in Folsom and at 1730 J Street in midtown – were chosen based on customer feedback via social media, word of mouth and orders. In Sactown Mag. (Fourth Item.)

Jimmy John’s Now Open in Natomas - A new Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches is now open in Natomas Town Center. As reported by THE NATOMAS BUZZ in May 2015, the new eatery is the first franchise for the sandwich chain in the greater Sacramento area. On Natomas Buzz.

Continue reading "Dining News: Praise for Localis Continues" »

Dining News: New Chef at The Kitchen

Video of Kelly McCown from 2004.

For the third time in 2.5 years, The Kitchen has a new executive chef.

The Selland Group announced yesterday that Kelly McCown would take over for David Chavez as executive chef of The Kitchen. Chavez was preceded in recent years by John Griffiths and Noah Zonca.

McCown most recently served as the driving culinary force behind the upcoming 'Obo Italian Restaurant by the Selland Group. He has also worked at Napa's Goose & Gander and served as executive chef at Ella, another Selland restaurant.

Chavez, according to the Sacramento Bee's Allen Pierleoni, decided to move back to Los Angeles to take a job with Sprouts.

“Because of construction issues, (the opening of OBO’) is taking much longer than we thought, so we probably won’t open until January or February now,” said Randall Selland. “Kelly helped Nancy (Zimmer, Selland’s wife and a partner in the group) develop all the recipes for OBO’, and when David decided to move back to Los Angeles and take a job with Sprouts, Kelly said he was ready to commit to (The Kitchen job). We’ll find another chef for OBO’ when the time comes. (The situation) just sped things up. Kelly wants to make a career with us, and we’re really lucky.”

“Ultimately, we knew Kelly would play a role in The Kitchen,” added Josh Nelson, Selland’s son and co-owner of The Kitchen. “David had committed himself for only two to three years. The timing just happened the way it did.”

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

The Kitchen remains on track to move to Broadway. I drive by its new location every day and demolition continues on the existing building.

I do wish Chef Chavez good luck. I spotted him at a recent preview for Billy Ngo's Fish Face Poke Bar. I don't know if he was pushed out or left on his own, but I enjoyed his accessibility, showmanship and the food he served.

Click here to read the entire press release.

More News:

Another local cupcake shop crumbles - A cupcake shop in Roseville has closed, suggesting the rise of doughnut ice cream sandwiches and bite-size desserts continues to mute the local cupcake obsession. Cupcake A La Mode permanently closed on July 11, according to a post on its Facebook page. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

More details about new horror-themed doughnut shop - The chances that a horror-themed doughnut shop will open in the Sacramento area certainly exceed the likelihood that a pretty actress will survive a scary movie. Donut Madness is on track to open in about a month, according to owner Kipp Berdiansky. The new store at Watt Avenue and Kings Way in Arden-Arcade combines doughnuts and the horror genre. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Gastronomicon: Del Taco Platos put the bar dangerously high - Does that mean that the Platos are a failure? Certainly not. The offerings are fine choices (although I’ll always give fast-food fish a fearful side-eye, even if unwarranted), and the quantity and presentation matched well with the price point. If they sound appealing to you, give them a go. I imagine you’ll be more than a little impressed. Anthony Siino in Sac News & Review.

About a Bite Bakery and Harvest Bar open on K Street - Two new food concepts opened last week in one location: About a Bite Bakery and Harvest Bar. The storefront at 1200 K Street features two distinct bars with display cases—About a Bite’s cookies and confections on the right, Harvest’s grab-and-go sandwiches on the left—as well as a shared, sizeable outdoor patio. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Counter Culture: Heaps o’ meat and spuds in Auburn, then pie - So many restaurants have preciously clever names, or names so obscure or confusing they don’t mean anything until the managers explain them. On the other side of that is Meat and Potatoes in Auburn, which has as straightforward a link to its lunch and dinner menus as possible. “It says we’re going back to basics,” said co-owner Michael Smith. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

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Dining News: Opening Dates for Localis, Saddle Rock & Broderick Midtown


Chris Jarsoz and Matt Chong, the maestros behind Team Broderick, are about to open 3 new midtown restaurants. Here are their opening dates, per Sactown Mag.

  • Localis, which replaced the never-opened Piccola Citta, Trick Pony and Tuli at 21st & S, is expected to open July 1. It will be helmed by Chef Chris Barnum, most recently at Roseville's Cibo 7.
  • Saddle Rock, replacing Capital Dime/L Wine Lounge, is scheduled to open July 22. It will be led by chef Kevin O'Connor, who has worked at Blackbird and recently held popups in and around Sacramento.
  • Broderick Midtown, replacing Wahoo's Fish Taco, is expected to open Aug. 1. It will mirror the menu of the West Sac location.
  • The Patriot, a solo project by Jarsoz, will open Oct. 1 at the Milagro Center in Carmichael.

Read all the details in Sactown Mag.

While we're on the topic of Team Broderick, Sac News Review's Janelle Bitker had a great & long profile of some of the up and coming teams building small restaurant empires in Sac, including Kimio Bazette and Jon Modrow of Golden Bear, Hook & Ladder and Jason Boggs, Alex Origoni and Garrett Van Vleck of Shady Lady.

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The Kitchen's former chef finds home in Berkeley - John Griffiths quietly left his post as the executive chef at the highly-acclaimed, theatrical restaurant The Kitchen last year, and we haven’t heard much from him since...Today, we learn about that “something else.” The San Francisco Chronicle reveals that Griffiths will be the executive chef The Advocate, a hotly-anticipated restaurant coming to Berkeley from the same owners as obscenely popular Mexican restaurant Comal. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Sonic Drive-In reopens in Roseville - If you're thirsty for the signature cherry limeade at Sonic Drive-In, this is your lucky day. The restaurant's Roseville location reopened after shutting its doors last year. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Design of new Broadway home for The Kitchen is shaping up - Owners of the Broadway building that will become home to The Kitchen restaurant have submitted plans to the city and hope to begin work by the end of the year. A former grocery store, it has all the charm of a retail project built the middle of last century. But Scott Maxwell, a partner in the project at 915 Broadway, said the goal is to soften the stark design to create a more inviting one-story building with multiple tenants. The plan also calls for adding trees to the site. Ben van der Meer in Sac Biz Journal.

Something’s fishy (in a good way) at McCormick & Schmick - Hefty chunks of fresh cod are dipped in batter that’s spiked with Blue Moon Ale, deep-fried and served steaming hot and crunchy. Dip them in tartar sauce that gets heat from poblano and chipotle peppers. The house-cut french fries (from Idaho potatoes) are spritzed with malt vinegar and dashed with Old Bay seasoning. Save some time and eat in the bar area, where the window view is of metal statuary of an elk family. Hmm. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Continue reading "Dining News: Opening Dates for Localis, Saddle Rock & Broderick Midtown" »

Dining News: Big Change Coming to The Kitchen

SellandRandall Selland, patriarch of the Selland Family, at The Kitchen in Oct. 2014.

Six months after naming a new executive chef, The Kitchen is undergoing another a big change - a move to Broadway, they announced late Friday afternoon. Here's more from their press release:

There’s a new redevelopment project in the works that includes a group of local Sacramento visionaries working together to redevelop an existing site on Broadway. The ownership group includes the following partners: John Nunan, President of Unger Construction Company; Scott Maxwell, Vice President of Unger Construction Company; the Selland Family of Selland Family Restaurants; Brian Silva and Jeffery Stowell, Principles of Silva Stowell Architects.

“We think it’s one of the best streets in Sacramento and that’s why we are taking on 915 Broadway”, says Maxwell, “this project is an opportunity to be a catalyst to the transformation of Broadway”. “Sacramento City Council of District 4, Steve Hansen has been very supportive in this project”, adds Randall Selland.

The site will be the future home of Sacramento’s iconic restaurant The Kitchen in late 2016, owned by Randall Selland and his family. Silva Stowell Architects will also be tenants at the redeveloped Broadway location, scheduled to move in by late 2015. The group is still carefully considering the tenant mix, but will possibly include other restaurants and professional office space.

The timing of the announcement was peculiar, though. If you work in PR, you know you generally dump bad news on Friday, and not announce a big change to your flagship operation. The timing implies that they were forced to announce before they wanted to. In fact, I heard very loud rumors on Thursday that something was going on with The Kitchen. Maybe another reporter was also on the trail.

This is undoubtedly good news for Downtown Sacramento and the Broadway corridor. It also speaks to the continued shift from Sacramento being a largely suburban city to one with a budding urban core. (See also, Kings moving from Natomas downtown, etc.)

More News:

Festival signals food trucks’ rising popularity in Sacramento - Lines were long at the eighth SactoMoFo food truck festival Saturday, in what may be the last time the event is held under the concrete canopy of the Capital City Freeway at Sixth and W streets. The festival continues to grow in popularity, with 15,000 patrons expected to sample the offerings this year, said festival founder and director Paul Somerhausen. Edward Ortiz in the Sac Bee

Wild and refined: Paper Plane, Block Butcher Bar - Aperol and lemon add a bit of fruit to finish. This concoction of both wild and refined flavors comes off surprisingly sweet and matches well with Block's menu of pickled veggies and cured meats. Garrett McCord in Sac News & Review.

Casa Garden gets new chef with exciting new menu ideas - The Casa Garden Restaurant recently hired a new Restaurant Manager who is bringing some new ideas to the Casa. Upon the retirement of Chef Joan Simmons, CC Curran assumed the Restaurant Manager mantle on Feb. 1...CC has worked at banquet-type of facilities before such as at the Del Paso Country Club. She has most recently worked serving food at a daycare center at a local community college. In Valley Community News.

Continue reading "Dining News: Big Change Coming to The Kitchen" »

Dining News: New Chef at The Kitchen


Sacramento's most difficult reservation and likely most expensive restaurant has a new chef, scoops the Sac Bee's Blair Anthony Robertson.

David Chavez, who has held high-level kitchen positions at several properties in the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, has taken the helm at the restaurant after John Griffiths, who won the job more than a year ago in a national search, decided to leave the post. Selland will help Chavez acclimate to working the $135-per-person dinners, in which the chef not only cooks but acts as a sort of an emcee for the evening...

Chavez, 31, had been hired several months ago as a sous chef by the Selland Family Restaurants, even though Selland said there was not a specific job opening at the time. The Selland Family also owns highly regarded Ella Dining Room and Bar, and two locations of Selland’s Market-Cafe. When Griffiths announced he was leaving, Chavez, who had shown both his culinary and people skills, was named to what many consider to be one of the most coveted kitchen jobs in the city.

Griffiths’ departure after a relatively short tenure came as a surprise to many.

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

There had been some signs that something was up at The Kitchen. On Thursday, Sept. 25, The Kitchen announced via e-mail that Chef Randall Selland would be "in all month doing the show at The Kitchen." When Chef Selland first started The Kitchen, I was too early in my career to be able to afford to go, but as I've been able to save my pennies, I've added eating at The Kitchen with Chef Selland to my Sacramento Food Bucket List. I've been watching and waiting for an opportunity to see him at The Kitchen.

I had seen Chef Griffiths during his first month at The Kitchen last year, and had a great time, but it wasn't so good that I'd be willing to shell out that amount of money again. I've been calling The Kitchen every few months and asked whether Chef Selland would be filling in while Chef Griffiths was on vacation in the near future. I was told that there wasn't any time scheduled this fall, but honestly, once I saw the Sept. 25 e-mail announcement, all I cared about was grabbing a reservation. I did, and didn't worry about the why.

Kudos to the Sac Bee's Robertson for getting this story.

More News:

5 flapjacks to flip for on National Pancake Day - Friday, Sept. 26, is National Pancake Day, and we have five hotcake hot spots around the region where you can have your own delicious celebrations. Batter up, Sacramento! Featuring Katrina's Cafe in Auburn, Nopalitos Southwest Cafe, The Original Pancake House in Roseville, Tower Cafe and Venita Rhea's in Rocklin. Tori Masucci Cummins and Alex Hernandez in Sactown Mag.

Blast 825° bets on build-your-own-pizza craze in Roseville, Rocklin and Elk Grove - Blast 825°, a new pizza restaurant with big plans for the Sacramento region, has launched its grand opening this week in Roseville with an eye on charity. The eatery, which invites customers to build their own pizzas from three different types of crust and more than 40 toppings (a la Chipotle or Subway), specializes in the quick-fired cooking method from which it draws its name: Pizzas are blasted in an oven at 825 degrees for roughly three to four minutes. S.T. Vanairsdale in Sactown Mag.

Food trucks on campus - A variety of food trucks began appearing at Sacramento State in the summer of 2013. They have since then become a part of campus, with single truck events visiting twice a week and one multi-truck event once a month. The food trucks were re-introduced to campus because of the closing and remodeling of the Hornet’s Nest in the University Union. Justyce Mirjanovic in the Sac State Hornet.

VIDEO: More Downtown Plaza businesses face reality of moving - More businesses in the Downtown Plaza are now talking about having to leave the mall. On KCRA.

Ruhstaller and Blackbird Kitchen Partner for a Hops and Dreams Beer Pairing Dinner - With so many food events happening in Sacramento this month, I often wonder how chefs come up with unique menus for each meal. I caught up with Blackbird executive chef, Carina Lampkin, to learn a bit about the process. Rodney Blackwell on Sac Foodways.

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