Moving to Sacto
I'm a old time chowhounder from LA who is making the move to River Park near Sac State.
Good bye SGV and K-town, hello to what?
I'm going back to read the previous articles about Sacramento (even though the new software on CH makes that difficult).
Is there anything wonderful close to RP? I have an infant and a toddler and am partial to hole-in-the-wall asian places where they don't speak English but am openminded.
All you LA people are going to ruin the place (and this from a 20 year LA resident), not to mention bay area people. You'll find that most things are actually more expensive in Sac than in LA (grocery, for example). This is esp. true of Chinese and Korean restaurants.
I work at Sac State, so you are close to where I work. For Chinese the closest places are on Broadway (south of downtown). New Canton is the standard for dim sum. But you won't get the variety of SGV. The only Korean restauarnt I would recommend is Korean House, on Folsom Blvd, north of Bradshaw. You'll find them at about twice the price of Korean food in LA, and in not nearly as nice a space.
Close to RP you'll find a couple of places that I like. Sellands and Cafe Rolle on H and 54th. Opa Opa and Sweatwater on 5500 J Street.
Your exploration will be around the mid town area of H, J, and K Streets between 15th and 25th. Also I think it's the consensus here that Waterboy and Bibba are the best restaurants in Sacto.
River Park is a great location for a 'hound as not only are you in East Sac and can take advantage of all the great places along Folsom Blvd, J St and H St; but you are close to downtown and midtown, or you can go the opposite direction down Fair Oaks Blvd into Carmichael and even hit up Rancho Cordova for some good eats. Have fun exploring.
For Korean...Oz's Korean BBQ in Rancho Cordova is my favorite.
I'm from Sacto, although I fled for college. For hole in walls, the suggestions above offer great places to prowl for tiny local restaurants.
My more mainstream favs:
Thai -Mai Pham's Lemon Grass (Arden and Fair Oaks)
Cal/Tex Mex - Dos Coyotes
Mexican - Tres Hermanas (on K St.)
Creole - Celestins (although I've never been to the new location)
American - Firehouse or Chanterelle
Casual Lunch - Ettore's (Fair Oaks Blvd.)
Dessert - Tower Cafe (Broadway)
Asian Fusion - Chinois (Fair Oaks and Watt)
I have family in Sacramento and used to live in Modesto. Over the last 10 years Sacto has come into its own. Many wonderful places to try out. Just avoid old Sac- too touristy for my tastes. I suggest venturing out beyound just the area around Sac State. The metro area is huge and has lots of interesting little neighborhoods. West Sac, Natomas and Elk Grove can be interesting.
If you are looking for Soul Food and am not afraid check out South Sacramento- around the relatively renovated Art Center and North Sacramento. Some great hole in the wall places for ribs.
Also head up to Placer County and beyond on the way to Tahoe and Gold Country. Gorgeous country and many little places to check out.
I escaped the Central Valley- despite folks saying, "It's really the humidity that makes the heat" summer can be a scorcher- to Petaluma- land of four seasons in one day.
But the Valley is far more sophisticated than people may think initially.
I've heard that Capitol Tea Garden has great dimsum at very reasonable prices. I love Yeungs on Freeport as well...also reasonable and their salt and pepper shrimp is so good. Ocean King on Stockton is fabulous and very reasonable.
Sacramento has many great food dining options. Welcome to Sac!