Natomas Area of Sact'o
Attending a meeting at Residence Inn Natomas in May.
What do you recommend relatively nearby for a group of about 15 (all California residents from up and down the state) on a Friday evening? And for Saturday lunch?
Higher priced, but good is the Rio City Cafe. That's in Old Sacramento. If you are only in town for a day or two, it's worth checking out. I did that last year around this time when I was considering moving out here.
Also, you can try the Tower Cafe. I recently found this place and it was GREAT!
If you are in Natomas, there are plenty of places to eat. Within a few miles, chains like Applebees, Hooters, Logan's Steakhouse, Carinos. You can also try BJ's Brewery.
My sure pick would be to call the Tower Cafe and see if they can get you in for lunch on Saturday. It will be busy, but totally worth it!
I forgot...there is also the Firehouse which I hear is great, and Fat's. Both are not chains and are also located in Old Sac.
Tuk Tuk is in Natomas and everyone raves over it. Here is a thread about it from the past http://www.chowhound.com/topics/363157. I haven't been, but those I know that have loved it. Say it is the best Thai restaurant in Sacramento.
Natomas is kind of chain city. So maybe midtown is more like it. Waterboy, Tapas etc for dinner. Check some of the other Sac-centric threads for reccos there.Old Sac has some nice places too but not The Crab Shack. California Fats is nice and the Delta King is nice too with a murder mystery thrown in.....
I have been to Tuk Tuk many times and love the place! It is excellent Thai in an attractive setting. Do not let the strip mall location fool you, it is a great spot with easy access. Tuk Tuk is perfect for Friday dinner, especially given the extreme logistics of moving 15 out-of-towners from Natomas to midtown on a Friday night!
Saturday lunch would be perfect for the river, especially a sunny weekend in May. Crawdads on the River is not the best food wise, but its location is very close to Residence Inn and directly on the Sacramento River. That might be a fun place on Saturday.
Tuk Tuk Restaurant
4630 Natomas Blvd Ste 150, Sacramento, CA 95835
Crawdads River Cantina
1375 Garden Hwy, Sacramento, CA 95833
Had a very nice lunch at Crawdad's this past Monday. Their Blackened Catfish on creamy white beans with andouille sausage topped with red pepper sauce a tomato, red onion, cilantro relish was very tasty. Two generous fillets of fish. Sat out on the deck where it was actually too warm to sit in the direct sun, only a few boats, one toting a sunbather followed shortly by a river otter. Most pleasant and relaxing.
How willing is your group to drive a little? And what type of cuisine are you looking for? Is your group adventurous at all? The Natomas area is chain city. Tuk Tuk Thai is one bright star in that area. If you are willing to drive then mid town (J & K Streets between 15th and 23rd) is great for many excellent places. I am negative on the Old Town scene, esp. Joe Crap Shack (I mean Crab Shack) and Rio City. The Firehouse is good but a little on the expensive side.
For Friday evening you'd pretty much need to make a reservation.
My recommendations would take you away from Natomas, save for BJ's and Tuk Tuk Thai. If you want good sushi, head downtown to Tamaya on 22nd and J, no Old Sac parking problems, and great food - good for both lunch and dinner, although lunch for 15 may be a little easier than Friday dinner for 15. If you're looking for Italian food, you have your choice of the Spaghetti Factory on J and 19th (cheap eats, not *bad*, but not fantastic either); or try Espanol on 56th and Folsom. Excellent food, service, family run restaurant. I'm recommending places that can accommodate 15 and not cause you a long wait. I would recommend calling ahead, though, just to expedite things. There are also a couple of places both in and across from the Arden Mall area, but the drive may take a little longer than getting to downtown. Reply if you want more info. Know that on the south side of Sacramento, construction on I-5 is supposed to start soon (I don't know when, exactly) so you may be in for delays (once you get downtown, it should be much better).
If you want more info on a wide variety of restaurants visit http://midtowngrid.com/
Hope this helps