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May 20, 2011 11:49 AM

New and notable in Santa Rosa

I haven't lived in Santa Rosa since 2004, but I do visit family here from time to time. As I'll be in town until Wednesday, I'm hoping to find a few new places to check out while catching up on old favorites.

A few places I really like: Rosso, Sazon, El Rinconsito Yucateco, Dierk's, Willi's Wine Bar

Other decent places I've visited over the last few years: Jackson's, Franco's, Riviera, Jack & Tony's, Taqueria Santa Rosa, La Texanita, The China Room, Flavors, Third Street Aleworks, Syrah (before the remodel)

Is there anything new or otherwise notable I should make a point of trying in Santa Rosa?

For context - I live in Seattle, where I can get pretty good Vietnamese, Thai, and Chinese food (relative to Santa Rosa, at least). As a result, I'd rather direct my efforts elsewhere.

Also, are there any places where I can try a variety of Moonlight beers? Most restaurants and bars only seem to have one on draft at a time, and it's usually Death & Taxes.

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  1. I like Jackson's, too. Had some delish grilled baby artichokes at Jackson's last week.

    Also recommend the lemon meringue tart at Viola (picked the tart up to-go- haven't tried the food)

    I was going to recommend Santi, which I enjoyed last Oct, but unfortunately, it has closed.

    Jackson's Bar and Oven
    135 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

    Viola Boutique & Cafe
    709 Village Ct, Santa Rosa, CA 95405

    1. Not new but here are a few that we have enjoyed:

      Pamposh, good variety of quality Indian food.

      Chloe's French Cafe, have had tasty sandwiches at lunch.

      Royal China has always been very good, the Mu Shu Pork made table side is killer.

      Enjoy wherever you go.

      Royal China
      3080 Marlow Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

      Chloe's French Cafe
      3883 Airway Drive 145, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

      Pamposh Restaurant
      52 Mission Cir Ste 110, Santa Rosa, CA 95409

      1. I ended up going to Johnny Garlic's, Jackson's, and Monti's, and will probably visit Sazon tonight before leaving town tomorrow. Some comments:

        The last time I ate at Johnny Garlic's was before the fire 7 or 8 years ago. The food doesn't seem to have changed much since the 90s, but they do use a surprising number of high-end ingredients (Snake River Farms beef and kurobota pork, for example). Highlight: Arrogant Bastard on draft.

        At Jackson's, it seems like the path to success is to order something cooked in the wood oven. That's what I did (the pork chop), and I was happy for it. A noisy place when it's busy.

        Monti's turns out to be very different from Willi's Wine Bar. Most of the portions are rather large - even the shrimp starter we shared was bigger than any of the small plates I'd had at Willi's last year - but prices are reasonable for what you get and everything we ordered had a lot going on. I really enjoyed the rotisserie goat (Monday special) and the aforementioned shrimp, though I have to admit I would've been happy paying a bit less to get less food.

        1 Reply
        1. re: lavaca

          El Coqui is a relatively newish Puerto Rican restaurant that is worth checking out.

          Also for beer try the Russian River Brewing Co. downtown. The food is mediocre but the beer is worth a stop.

          Russian River Brewing Co.
          725 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

          El Coqui
          400 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa, CA

        2. I haven't been, but I've heard good things about Zazu. It's been a Michelin Bib Gourmand choice

          The chef, Duskie Estes, was recently a competitor on Next Iron Chef (didn't win


          EDIT: Looking at their website, I see that they're not particularly new and were around before you left (Opened 2001)

          Zazu Restaurant
          3535 Guerneville Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

          1. For Moonlight beers, Flavor located downtown has a couple on tap, so does The Tap Room at Whole Foods in Coddington Mall.