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Jan 25, 2012 12:20 PM

Sacramento - which of these spots are worth checking out?

I'd like to use up some vouchers on an upcoming trip.

Could you skim this list and see if anything leaps out at you as being particularly chowhound-worthy?

Anthony's Italian Cuisine
Azukar Sushi
Brick Oven Pizza
Broadway Soul Food
Buggy Whip
Cheesesteak Restaurant
Cool River Pizza
Costa Azul
Crest Cafe
El Coyote Junction
El Primo
Espanol Italian Restaurant
Famous Kabob
Hacienda Sports Bar Brewery and Grill
Hot & Spicy Cafe New Orleans
House Kitchen & Bar
Kathmandu Kitchen of Sacramento
Kaveri Madras Cuisine
La Cabana
La Fiesta Mexicana Bar and Grill
Lada Thai Restaurant
Mamma Susanna's Ristorante Italiano
Mandango's Sports Bar and Grill
Marrakech Morroccan Restaurant
Mehran Restaurant
Mint's Euro-Asian
Morgan's Central Valley Bistro
Mountain Mike's Pizza
Naan India Grill
New Rice Bowl Express
New Rice Bowl Restaurant
O'Connors Santa Maria Grill
Queen Sheba Ethiopian Cuisine
Rincon Alteno Taqueria
Sandra Dee's Barbeque & Seafood
Sensei Sushi
Simply Thai Authentic Thai Express Cuisine
Streets of London Pub
Strings Italian Cafe
Susumu Japanese Steakhouse
Swagat Indian Bistro
Taqueria Los Compadres Authentic Mexican Food
The Broiler Steakhouse
Tokyo Steak House
Tsuki Sushi
Vince's Ristorante
Waffle Kings Restaurant
Yianni's Bar And Grill Restaurant
Zinfandel California Cuisine

Mr Taster

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  1. I see Alan Barnes has recommended the doro wot at Queen Sheba, but none of the others look familiar to me after scanning other recent Chowhound Sacramento postings.

    For the record, I did a 15 mile radius search from 95814 on the website. Feel free to widen the radius a bit.

    Mr Taster

    1 Reply
    1. re: Mr Taster


      I would rec La Fiesta, Marrakech, Morgans, Queen Sheba and sort of recommend The Broiler and Sandra Dee's.

    2. That list is interesting, there are A LOT of restaurants that are very Sacramento that I was hoping to see and none are there.

      I have been to Kaveri Madras Cuisine... very good Indian food. Not your best ambience, but you will eat very well here. I recommend the dosas.

      Streets of London Pub is just what it sounds like, a good bar with good bar food.

      8 Replies
      1. re: nasv

        You say the list is interesting. How so? Do you mean interesting in a bad or good way? Please elaborate. I've never been to Sacramento (I live in LA) and so I have no sense of what the dining scene is like here.

        For the record, I do tend to prefer delicious dives but since this is our first visit to the capital I'm not counting anything out, even if it doesn't appear on the list (Waterboy for example... wish I could find a discount voucher for that one!)

        Mr Taster

        1. re: Mr Taster

          This list may be based on paid advertisements. I don't recognize most of the
          names, and the few I recognize would be hard to recommend: Mountain Mike's Pizza
          is a franchise chain and the quality is very uneven. In Davis, where I live,
          I saw 3 incarnations.The first one was excellent, then the owners sold out and
          the pizza became horrendous. It was taken over and I could see some improvements,
          but then the restaurant went bankrupt. Same thing for Strings Italian Cafe. It is also a chain.
          It used to have a restaurant in Davis which was ho-hum, and then it went away.

          I would recommend sticking to all the proven values recommended in Sacto
          boards, like Waterboy, Biba's, Ella's, Lemon Grass, etc.I don't know how the
          Sac location is, but Aioli Bodega Espanola in Davis used to be great. I was sad
          to see them go. So I would be tenpted try out the Sac location.

          1. re: Mr Taster

            I meant interesting not-so-good... Sacramento is one of California's best kept secrets and the dining scene is fantastic. I agree with the poster above that the list seems to be a product of paid advertisements.

            Some of my favorites, all in downtown/midtown/EastSac/LandPark (aka Sacramento Proper):
            -- Mulvaney's B&L
            -- Magpie
            -- Formoli's Bistro
            -- Tuli Bistro
            -- Kru Restaurant
            -- Juno's Kitchen and Delicatessen
            -- One Speed Pizza
            -- Roxie Deli
            -- Cafe Rolle
            -- Masullo Pizza
            -- Selland's (and his higher up restaurant, Ella)
            -- Cafe Capricho
            -- Tower Cafe
            -- Burgers and Brew

            There's more!

            1. re: nasv

              i haven't been to cafe capricho yet-what's good there? thanks

              1. re: toncasmo

                Cafe Capricho 100% recommend - a very fresh go-to place... they describe their menu as Mexican and American, which is accurate, it is not Mexican American.

                I am a big fan of simple Mexican: tacos, quesadillas - and they do this with your choice of filling beautifully. My wife is very picky about her mole, and she proudly orders the mole here.

                They have burgers too... yeah, and they are freaking good, especially the Jack burger.

                Negra Modelo ON TAP.

                The service can be slow, but it has never bothered me, I'm a very laid back person and understand that such a "homey" touch can take time, and it may be a way to keep costs down by not hiring extra people... though I've seen this irk others.

              2. re: nasv

                Cafe Rolle is an excellent, casual lunch spot. Try the quiche. Avoid Tower Cafe. Mediocre food; lots of attitude; terrible service.

              3. re: Mr Taster

                Sacramento has great restaurants!!!!!!!! Not many on that list though.

                La Fiesta for great mexican...owned by 3 friends from Mexico who are now citizens. Marrakech for great morrocan, Morgans is good, Queen Sheba..hell yes!!

                The Broiler is hit and is Sandra Dee's for BBQ.

              4. re: nasv

                i haven't been yet, but my family loves kaveri for food. usually its the indian party celebration since the ambience isn't that great. they did their new years party there

              5. I can only comment on a few. Espanol italian restaurant is an East Sacramento institution. I believe they've been around awhile. I went last year for a birthday lunch and it was pretty good. Old school italian. Strings Italian Cafe is a chain. I have been to several different locations for lunch, pretty decent. I believe the Waffle Kings restaurant serves Peruvian at night. I haven't been but my friend's tried it out and liked it.

                1. What are the best recommendations in the J Street 18-20th Street area for those of us in town on conventions near the Captiol? Thanks

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: glbtrtr

                    J Street between 18th-20th has a handful, but not necessarily the closest to the convention center (15th St) or the Capitol (10-12th) Street.

                    Some that come to mind:
                    -- La Bonne Soup Cafe (lunch only)
                    -- Mulvaney's (19th and L)
                    -- Ella (12th and K) (a little fancy, but great for happy hour, not as fancy for lunch)
                    -- The Press Bistro (haven't been there but high on my list: 18th and Capitol)
                    -- Lucca (16th and L)


                    1. re: nasv

                      la bonne soup cafe is gone
                      the press bistro is really good!

                      1. re: toncasmo

                        La Bonne Soup Cafe was gone and is BACK!

                          1. re: toncasmo

                            The old owner trained the new team to duplicate recipes exactly... the fervor is still there, check it out!

                      2. re: nasv

                        My wife and I went to The Press Bistro early on a Saturday night without reservations. At about 5:30, they were almost full, but we got a couple seats at the bar. The food is really good with interesting preparations and they have a neat wine list. We had wine, but the bartender gave us a taste of one of their signature drinks. It was a pear infused vodka cocktail; wow, dessert in a glass. We had a great meal in a lively place.

                        1. re: BN1

                          Thanks - the Press Bistro sounds like a great suggestion close by. We will be looking for Sunday night, forgot to add that important point. But this list will help us find one hopefully that will be open.

                          For nostalgia sake we are going to Frank Fat's for the first night (Sat) - place of many "wedding banquet" meals in the past to celebrate the end of some work up there. This is where I fell in love with shrimp and walnuts and love their beef and onions and topping off with banana creme pie - doubt if there is anything authentically "Chinese" about much of this, but the place is a place of legends in past Calif politics so we shall go pay our tributes once again for old times sake.

                          1. re: glbtrtr

                            You may want to check other postings about Frank Fat's- lots of reports that the menu has shifted away from his traditional menu and towards an "Asian Fusion" type menu. Supposedly the old dishes that you're looking for (like shrimp and walnuts) have suffered as a result.

                            Mr Taster

                            1. re: Mr Taster

                              Frank Fats: we had our usual shrimp walnuts and wedding beef with onions and both were absolutely delicious. Happy night dining there and would easily go back again and again.

                              Lucca's: Sunday night Farmer's Market prix fixe dinner with wine pairing - $32 each -three course - very nice, small filet, composed salad and dessert. Port with dessert.

                        2. re: nasv

                          The Waterboy on 18th and Capitol or Spataro's across the street from Capitol on L.

                      3. I've only been to a handful of these places.

                        I would not recommend Azucar Sushi unless you're into it for quantity. At least at lunch, they'll keep making it as long as you'll keep eating it. The quality is lacking, however.

                        Kathmandu Kitchen has been good both times I've been there, and worth another look.

                        Mountain Mike's is a chain, and individual locations are hit-or-miss.

                        Queen Sheba was good the only time I went there, but it was a party served buffet-style, so I don't know if that was representative of their normal offerings.

                        Streets of London is a default selection when I'm in the mood for a Guinness and a football match. Their fish and chips is good.