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11.12.2010
Kupros Increases the Kreativity Offered By Midtown Eateries

Kupros Increases the Kreativity Offered By Midtown Eateries

Kudos to Kupros Bistro for kreativity. Fried pickles? House-cured no less. Kompared to the koncept of fried pickles, a tartar sauce accompaniment seems almost mundane. Apparently, this is one of those gastropubs folks are yakking about that aim to ratchet up bar food a notch or nine. Whatever Kupros is – it’s Greek for copper – a tip-of-the-hat to executive chef, Sacramento native John Gurnee, formerly of Mason’s. There’s any number of delights in the wood frame Green & Green-ish former home on 21st near Kapitol that for something like four decades was the costume store, Cheap Thrills. One is Read more »

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7.09.2010
El Abuelo — La Casa de la Madre de Todas Tortas Chilangas

El Abuelo — La Casa de la Madre de Todas Tortas Chilangas

Shoehorned between an auto repair place and a flaking façaded liquor store on Franklin near Fruitridge, El Abuelo – “the grandfather” — does not subscribe to the realtor’s mantra of location, location, location. Nor is its management squandering profit on ambiance. A few posters – one of Pedro Infante astride a Harley doing his best Marlon Brando The Wild Ones imitation and another of Tintan, the famed Mexican singer and comedian – adorn the two-tone cinder block walls. The booths sag from years of many butts and many backs. Scatterings of hand-lettered signs advertise various items: “Ya Hay! Gorditas de chicharron” Read more »

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10.30.2009
Dim Sum Slutiness Is as Dim Sum Sluttiness Does

Dim Sum Slutiness Is as Dim Sum Sluttiness Does

Being insatiable seems an essential element of sluttiness.

A slut can’t be sated or else they wouldn’t be a slut, right?

Being insatiable also bespeaks a certain lack of discrimination. Therefore, as a dim sum slut, if a new venue is discovered it must be experienced. Previously in this space, during the then known Sacramento dim sum universe, New Canton on Broadway was celebrated as the most divine.

Memo to New Canton: Feel the breath of Happy Garden Seafood Restaurant on your neck.

Immortalized in 2007 by the Sacramento News & Review as the best place in town for Read more »

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9.04.2009
Don’t Be Creeped by Crepe House Uni’s Plastic Food

Don’t Be Creeped by Crepe House Uni’s Plastic Food

Crepe House Uni doesn’t benefit from its location. There is nothing intrinsically bad about being located in the 100 block of E Street in Davis. Plenty of foot traffic, near movie theaters. The issue isn’t the street or the city –it’s the country. Crepe House Uni would see a significant up-tick in business were it located in Tokyo or anywhere else in Japan. What Uni offers is a staple of Japanese cuisine. Stands selling crepes — usually peddling sweets but some offering savory – are common sights and regularly frequented for on-the-go snacks. Uni’s parent company, which sells franchises, is, Read more »

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9.04.2009
Roll Your Own at Quan Nem Ninh Hoa

Roll Your Own at Quan Nem Ninh Hoa

One of the most joyful parts of reviewing restaurants is discovering places like Quan Nem Ninh Hoa. Of course it is the genius of my editor that sent me there but that in no way diminishes the delight. It says right up front on the menu that the restaurant, south of 47th St. at 6450 Stockton, is “family operated and family environment.” There’s something downright Norman Rockwellian about the matriarch and her daughter or niece kibitzing behind the kitchen counter while doing prep work for the evening traffic. And while not a lot of the tan wood tables in the Read more »

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5.12.2009
Fuzio Universal Bistro — Be the Firecracker

Fuzio Universal Bistro — Be the Firecracker

 Foraging far a field from the Fuzio Universal Bistro’s firecracker pork, steak or chicken is foolhardy.

Some of the other offerings at the 9th and J St. eatery are hit and miss. The $9.50 bleu cheese chicken salad with penne pasta is a miss; the Chinese chicken salad a hit.

But when it comes to firecracker, Fuzio keeps the hits coming. While management is cagey about the full compliment of components, the marinade for the meat certainly features ginger in a starring role. That’s cool but I’ve always been a Mary Ann guy. Ba-da-bing. Ba-da-boom.

Firecracker isn’t spicy Read more »

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4.12.2009
Cafe Zorro, Loomis

Cafe Zorro, Loomis

You’ve got to be driven to visit Café Zorro, figuratively and, if lucky, literally. The casual Italian eatery is in Loomis and then a jog to the left and a jog to the right to 5911 King Road off the main drag, which isn’t exactly a bustling metropolis to begin with.

“It’s worth the effort,” is the consensus of the four far more cultured food aficionados at the table. The sixth diner, Jim Williams, is the father of Matt, the owner, and, therefore, his objectivity suspect.

Accompanying my friend Sotiris, who graced these pages previously, are a few Read more »

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4.03.2009
Sakura — Straight-Up Japanese

Sakura — Straight-Up Japanese

Sakura, the menu informs, is the name of the ornamental cherry tree so beloved in Japan.

There’s nothing ornamental about this no-nonsense eatery located on the J St. side of the 920 9th St. office building.

Seventy-some sturdy chairs are tucked under solid tables whose edges are numbered with street address stick-em dealies from ACE hardware. The crew behind the sushi counter stoically deals with whatever gets lobbed their way, from teppan to tako. There are no pretensions here, Sakura is what it is – a deliverer of utilitarian chow at a fair price.

It is epic in one sense, however. Read more »

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3.13.2009
Bodacious Brunch at Venita Rhea’s

Bodacious Brunch at Venita Rhea’s

Mother Nature savagely snatches away Sunday golf. So brunch is broached with the two other two-legged members of the Lucas family. As to the four-legged members – let them eat cat chow.

Venita Rhea’s is the curiously chosen name, all-day breakfast is the game.

Find out why Venita at venitarheas.com. Randy is Randy Peters who started the place with his wife, Lisa. Last year, they sold the restaurant to concentrate on catering. On-line, several reviewers claim quality slippage.

The restaurant’s site also catalogues the capacious menu. There are 10 egg benedicts including the eponymous Venita Rhea: poached eggs, chicken Read more »

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2.20.2009
Katie’s First Korean Food Foray

Katie’s First Korean Food Foray

After considerable coaxing, daughter Katie agrees to experience Ko Ga Nae, a tight 36-seat Korean restaurant in the Esoteric Plaza on Folsom near Bradshaw.

This is Katie’s first Korean food foray. I’m not exactly a crafty, grizzled veteran.

We are the only diners of non-Korean extraction. Corrections on the menu are made with White-Out and re-written solely in Korean. The only English word on the placemats is “Fresh.” There’s no English writing at all on the plastic liter jug of ice tea. The woman’s face on the jug’s label is replicated on numerous posters, the primary wall Read more »

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